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Are you a closet writer, too? Maybe a night owl like me?

Welcome to this wonderful, frustrating, intoxicating world of writing!

The most important thing I ever did as a writer was live in the downstairs bedroom of our new house when I was 13. This isolated me from the rest of the family, allowed me to keep bohemian hours…and to write.

So, my advice is to isolate. Get miserable. And grab a pen (or a keyboard.)

Other advice about writing poetry? Read the work of X.J. Kennedy. Or read ALL THE SMALL POEMS by Valerie Worth. Also, if I am stuck and can’t figure out how or what to write, I type out a poem I like and then, inserting my subject, I imitate, as closely as possible, the rhythm, the rhyme scheme and the style. This exercise has gotten me out of many tight spots!

On submitting a manuscript or poem

Terry Dunnahoo, who I call the Johnny Appleseed of children’s book writers in Southern California, taught this: when you are submitting your writing via snailmail, address two envelopes: one to the publisher you are sending to now, and one to the next publisher. Then, if/when the manuscript is rejected, it won’t land—clunk—on your desk. You may feel depressed and unable to move, but that next envelope with your work in it will have the energy to fly off to the next publisher almost on its own.

And one more thing: this is a rocky road, this writing road. It is. You may decide that the rejection is more than you can handle…and that’s okay to decide. But take a look at this 2:12 video of advice to aspiring writers. Perhaps it will help you.

Share your writing with a friend ~

Share your writing with a friend ~

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