Prodigal Child

Hello, old friends. So after being gone close to a year, I’m back. Marriage, moving, and a new job pretty much took over for a while, eating my time and energy. But now I’m back and ready to start getting some great content back out there- at least once a week if not more. Stay tuned to see what will be coming out soon!

Four Features to Publish Your Poems

Great to know for an aspiring poet.

The WordPress.com Blog

Earlier today, we kicked off National Poetry Writing Month, also known as NaPoWriMo. Since you’ll be writing a poem each day, here are four easy-to-use features in your Post Editor to help with publishing your poetry.

Blockquotes

When you format your poems, consider blockquotes to call out bits of text. You can display text in a blockquote by placing it inside <blockquote> and </blockquote> tags in your Text Editor, or by clicking the blockquote button in your Visual Editor:

blockquotes

Here’s an example of how text is displayed in a blockquote:

Sifting through my Camera Roll

thousands of images not posted online

I hunt through my library

see the outtakes

and rejects of my days

the stuff I’d felt wasn’t good enough to share

yet these are the photos

unshared, unfiltered

that really tell my stories

“Fragments on Time”

Preformatted text

You can also use preformatted text to distinguish text within…

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Moving Mountains (or just web addresses)

Hey guys! I’m thankful to have such loyal followers and I wanted to let you know what is going on in my life right now. 

In my quest to expand my client list (and pay the bills), I’ve been contacting local agencies and asking if they need help with overflow or backlogged jobs. And much to my chagrin no one was getting back to me and I could not fathom why. Until one lady was kind enough to point it out. And boy, did I feel naive when she explained why her company did not want to work with me. You see, it was because of Catalyst Media Solutions. While my husband and I were using Catalyst more as a front for our freelance work, to outsiders it looked like a rival agency….and that it looked like I was trying to get in with them in order to steal away clients.

Apparently this is a real phenomenon and it makes a whole lot of sense. This business is cut throat I tell you. So, my husband and I agreed to dissolve Catalyst as it exists and rebrand me so hopefully I can get some more work. If you would like to continue following me at my new site I am now at thegingersnap.net. All of my content has been ported over and I would love to see you there! It will still be all me, with a snazzy new look and the same great content. Come meet the Ginger!

Confessions, Confessions

As the title suggests, I have a confession to make. I am suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. Now, I’m not saying that I’m unable to work. Far from it. In fact, my writing for work has been spectacular (ok, that may be a slight exaggeration considering I’ve been writing disease summaries for a neurologist). All things less creative have been much easier as of late.

No, what I’m talking about is “Passion.” That burning desire to work on my novel or write poetry about the spiders that have invaded my apartment just isn’t there right now. I can feel it hovering somewhere just behind my eyes, and I’ve been hoping that when I go to sleep at night I’ll wake up in the morning and that… glow… will there again. And everything will be fascinating and meaningful and I’ll see a message for the universe etched in everything. Ok, that is an exaggeration. I’ve never seen universal truths in everything. But I do see them in lots of things. And lately, even though I still see the truths, it’s been hard to put them on to paper.

Of course, one smart aleck friend’s advice was “Drink vodka.” But I’m not really a let’s booze it up at 8 a.m. kind of person. And honestly, I think the passion is there. I’ve just gotten out of touch with it. Kind of like how I just took a two week hiatus from working out and now push ups are nigh impossible.

I’ve been through spells like this before, and it usually took someone (teacher, friend, angsty stranger) kicking my butt to get me going again. What I need is will power. And persistence. And maybe a big pot of coffee. Definitely coffee.

Why I Chose To Blog

I admit, I am very lazy. Nothing would delight me more than to sit floating in a pool all day, sipping lemonade, and reading a good book. Instead, I work- at something I enjoy, but it’s still work.

It pays the bills of course, which is always a good thing. It gets me out of the house (as much as a work-from-home freelance situation can). Forces my introverted self to get much needed socialization. And fortunately for me, my attitude is of the kind that even if I don’t necessarily want to be doing something, if I end up being forced to do it anyway, I do it as well as I can. No half measures here. I’d rather just do something right the first time than have to go back and fix it later, when I could be reading.

All this to bring us to why I blog. To start, it’s a great way to grow visibility. For my business, for a client’s business, for social concerns. There is an unlimited number of things that can benefit by being blogged about. Whenever I work with clients who want to set themselves up to be authorities in what they do, I strongly encourage them to blog; it creates community that can bring them the attention they need to succeed. For individuals, community is still at the heart of why we blog. Philip Shirley with Godwin Group gives a list of 10 things that blogging does for you:

1. Enhances your search engine optimization so interested people can find you easier.

2. Demonstrates your expertise and builds your reputation.

3. Provides an outlet for reader’s opinions so you can create a dialog and build a relationship.

4. Attracts potential customers by offering information of value regarding decision making about your industry.

5. Brings recent industry news to light as a service which positions you to be a helpful resource to viewers.

6. Draws positive attention to you by offering a trusted voice.

7. Promotes creativity by posing challenging questions people want to address.

8. Advances digital marketing campaigns by delivering self-evident proof of the power of the medium.

9. Informs others about your industry to create interest in its products or services.

10. Challenges you to be an industry leader by forcing you to keep pace with the changes and trends.

For me, that last strikes a chord. I’ve touched on this before, but I’m going to use the workout metaphor again. For me, blogging is like having a workout buddy. At the gym, your buddy keeps you going, pushes you to try new things, and get better at things you don’t necessarily like all that much. As a copywriter in a developing communication world, if I don’t keep up with the fast-changing industry, I will fail. Miserably. Like dropping a 50 lb. weight on my toe.

Blogging pushes me to keep up with my industry, to join a community of fellow writers and professionals and passionate amateurs. It makes me want to share what I know and to learn from the people I am surrounded by, whose posts inspire me. Knowing that this blog is here, and that someone in the vast world of the internet will notice if I give up, keeps me going.

Going and growing. Has a nice ring doesn’t it?

Famous Authors’ Handwritten Outlines for Great Works of Literature

Some of these make my outlines look comparatively sane, but a great technique nonetheless.

Flavorwire

Writing a novel (or a story, for that matter) is confusing work. There are just so many characters running all over the place, dropping hints and having revelations. So it’s no surprise that many authors plan out their works beforehand, in chart or list or scribble form, in order to keep everything straight. After the jump, you’ll find a mini collection of those planning papers, so you can take a peek into the process of some of your favorite authors, from James Salter to J.K. Rowling.

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