Escape from the Slush Pile.

For all you short-story writers—you might discover some valuable advice in Robert Kerbeck’s “Emerging from the Slush: 10 Tips for Writers” at the Tahoma Literary Review site. Honestly, most of what’s over there can also apply to writing in other genres.

One point that surprised me was that it is often easier to get into many literary magazines with a non-fiction submittal than with fiction. This shouldn’t dictate what I write, but it’s a fact that I’ll definitely keep in the back of my mind.

https://tahomaliteraryreview.com/2017/03/14/emerging-from-the-slush-10-tips-for-writers/

Validation.

If you’re a writer, you should write every day.

That’s a great theory, but it doesn’t account for the ebb & flow of daily life, natural fluctuations in energy, and that there are some days you won’t have inspiration.

I usually come down on myself during those days when I don’t have the spark to write. That’s why Annie Scholl’s post at Brevity titled “Maybe You Don’t Need to Write Every Day” speaks to me. It has me rethinking the unnatural act of forcing myself to write when “it” really isn’t there. Worth the read.

https://brevity.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/maybe-you-dont/

Inspire Creativity.

Like many creatives, I run into moments when I am just fresh out of ideas. The muse doesn’t always show up when I need it to…which can be frustrating and a detriment to productivity.

Never fear – the Grammarly Blog has produced a simple list of 21 Ways to Inspire Creativity When You’re Out of Ideas. None of these ideas are groundbreaking, but they are helpful in their simplicity…low-hanging fruit ideas that you can fall back on to hopefully spark up the fires of your creativity when your usual inspiration is just not there.

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/ways-to-inspire-creativity/?utm_source=Facebook_org&utm_content=motivation%2Cdrawing%2Cwitty%2Chelpful%2Cblog&utm_campaign=Blog_Lifestyle

Insults.

I appreciate witty retorts and insults. Quick responses are needed to survive in life.

I believe you can tell a lot about a person from the way he or she puts down another person. Similarly, you can tell a lot about a writer from the way he or she insults a fellow writer. What does a particular writer object to? What makes him this another writer is a hack? What does she value? What are their opinions about grammar and style? You can get that and more just from reading or hearing a single quick put down.

That’s why I found this infographic from AussieWriter.com to be interesting. It compiles some famous insults hurled at one writer by another. Reading these, I can only imagine the shade these writers would have thrown at each other on social media if it existed back then!

https://www.aussiewriter.com/blog/famous-writers-insults/

Revision.

Revising writing is so much more than crossing out a superfluous word or two. It can be a process to some people, an art form to others, but make no mistake – good revisions are the difference between exciting and lukewarm literature.

So check out this article from Lit Hub: 12 Contemporary Writers on How they Revise. It is an awesome chance to steal some tips on revising your work from successful writers.

http://lithub.com/12-contemporary-writers-on-how-they-revise/

Best of the Net.

I’m a firm believer of incremental improvement towards bigger goals. That said, the only ways I know to improve as a writer are by writing…and reading the work of others.

So I’ve been spending some time digesting the “Best of the Net 2016” as presented by Sundress Publications. Why not read and possibly learn from some of the best writing in the past year? My intentions are twofold…I want to read some great writing, but I also have a stretch goal of trying to make the Best of the Net list for 2017. Studying these works might give me the insight to make that goal reality.

There is some amazing work that may inspire you…and also is simply enjoyable to read! Check it out…

http://www.sundresspublications.com/bestof/

Rat's Ass Review.

Happy to announce that I have a new poem published online at Rat's Ass Review's as part of their "Such an Ugly Time" collection of political poems.

The poem is called "Freedom Isn't Free and Neither Are We." Big thanks to Roderick Bates for including it. Check it out and then read through all the inspiring work in the "Such an Ugly Time" collection...there are so many insightful works about resistance and the need for change in America during the first 100 days of the new presidency.

http://ratsassreview.net/?page_id=2399#Potter

Submission Tips.

In order to get to any level of success in writing, let alone famous, I believe you have to submit your work consistently.

I know that I should spend more time submitting my finished work, especially poems. But between the day job, daily life activities, and actually writing, I often feel like I'm too busy or preoccupied to submit my work to journals and contests.

That’s why I need to spend some time studying Robert Lee Brewer’s collection of “Poetry Submission Tips from Other Poets.” I’m sure I can steal at least one tidbit of advice from the poetry pros who contributed to this article…and upgrade my poetry submission routine in 2017.

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/poetry-submission-tips-poets

Writing Better in 2017.

Do you want to develop into a better writer in this relatively new year? You're not alone. That is definitely one of my goals as well. This article from the Grammarly Blog titled “11 Experts on How to Write Better in 2017” looks to eleven famous writers and editors for advice on how to write better this year. It is worth the read…if you‘re able to implement even one of these tips in your writing practice, I’m almost certain you will improve your craft this year.

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/experts-on-writing-better...

 

Is it Wrong to Quote a Song?

I don’t have a published book (yet), but I do have manuscripts that were finalists in contests. So my inner optimist does daydream about a rosier future where I have one or more books coming out. Music is a key theme in much of my fiction & poetry, so I often wonder about whether there are established rules about quoting song lyrics.

This article from Galley Cat was a help in laying out the copyright issues surrounding music in books: “Can You Include Song Lyrics in Your Book?”

It appears this is a sticky issue and that I may want to avoid quoting lyrics in future work if it’s intended to be part of a manuscript. It might just be better to reference a song title. That's sort of a bummer, but it’s just another constraint that as a writer I probably need to navigate around.

http://www.adweek.com/galleycat/can-you-include-song-lyrics-in-your-book/80482?red=as

Awesome Online Literary Magazines.

Are you a writer seeking a new audience or simply searching for a new venue to submit your work? Or a reader who would like to find an online magazine that publishes high quality work? If so, I have a great resource for you.

From Bookfox: “30 Small But Awesome Online Literary Magazines.” This article by Maia Russell has some of the best online literary magazines listed below are currently taking submissions, will compensate their writers and have ongoing writing contests.

Personally, I plan on bookmarking this page and reviewing all of these journals to assess whether my writing might be a good fit.

http://thejohnfox.com/2016/06/30-online-literary-magazines/

Resolutions for Writers.

It’s a new year and you might be a little nervous about the long winter road that lies ahead. As a writer, what lofty goals and positive habits should you strive towards in 2017?

Fear not. This post from Without Bullshit, “10 easy New Year’s resolutions for writers in 2017,” has some practical ideas on what you can do to improve your writing craft and gain success this year. I personally plan to focus on #2 and #4.

http://withoutbullshit.com/blog/10-easy-new-years-resolutions-writers-2017

18 Questions.

From Lit Reactor: Annie Neugebauer presents both sides of the equation in “9 Questions Writers Love to be Asked” and “9 Questions Writers Hate to be Asked.” I agree with many of her points, though because I’m not a full-time writer, some I can only relate to partially. Nonetheless, both articles are a great read.

https://litreactor.com/columns/9-questions-writers-love-to-be-asked

https://litreactor.com/columns/9-questions-writers-hate-to-be-asked