writing

Poetry Beta Readers Wanted!

Hi Everyone!,

I have ‘completed’ my next poetry collection!! (Happy dance!!) Something I didn’t do with my first collection was consult with beta readers! I was quite embarrassed when weeks or months after my launch I was still finding some glaring grammar/ spelling errors.

Beta readers are such an important and useful tool for authors, especially self publishing authors who don’t have editors or a company press looking after their work. Authors are so deep into their writing that they can miss some key concerns. We need fresh eyes and a new perspective to help us see the light.

Some key things to know about my collection before becoming a beta readers:

  • There are about 100 poems.
  • Key themes: Jealousy, insecurity, depression, death, and strength. I understand these are sensitive topics that could be triggering for some so use your best judgment.
  • I’m hoping to have all the feedback I need by the end of February.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have an previous experience, neither do I!

 

If you are interested please email me and I’ll send over the pdf along with some questions where I’m looking to gain some insight, Thank you!

 

 

 

Tips for Writing Poetry

Writing Poetry is a creative and expressive way to let out your emotions and thoughts. The most important thing is that you enjoy writing it and it aids to make you happier and  healthier. But if you’re looking for some tips to improve your writing process then let’s start here!

 

Use Your Own Words

Any time you see a common phrase or idiom in your poem (i.ei: “easier said than done”, “when pigs fly”, etc) You’ll want to rewrite it in a new way, in your way. Although, these phrases are familiar to your reader, they’re not very original and they’re not adding any new excitement for the reader. Metaphors are a great tool for poets, just make sure you’re being as authentic and original as possible.

In my Poem Ocean Blues & You, I take the common ‘keep at arm’s length’ phrase and put an original spin on it

“Yet still, we keep each other at an oar’s length distance,

afraid that our pasts will crash against our lifeboats once more.”

 

Show Don’t Tell

You don’t want to just write “I am sad” “She is in love”. You want to show it through descriptions and having your reader use their five senses. Poetry is an vulnerable and emotional art form that shows through imagery and honest declarations.

When the Salmon Rots is a poem that uses all 5 of the reader’s senses.

Hearing: The ebbs and flows of laughter from backyard parties crash on my ears like      ocean water beating against the rocks.

Touch: that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

I still have these bug bite memories itching all over the skin of my heart

Sight: It was hard to tell the difference between the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire versus his taillights fading down the road.

Taste: because a man who can taste the honey on my lips

Smell: Because honey soothes all bug bites and coats over foul salmon memories.

Try New Things

Challenge yourself to try new things – descriptions, different senses, a strict form. I always hated learning a new form in poetry class but those were always my favorites because of the skill level needed to complete one. You may then want to try something you learned in another freestyle poem or formatted one. Explore new themes, perspectives, and point of views and you may find an unexpected strength in your writing.

My poem War Cry is in the strict form of a pantoum. Pantoums require lines to be repeated in a specific order. When I was learning the form it didn’t really make sense until I saw examples so check out my poem and you’ll see that each line is repeated only twice and must be a specific order in the next stanza.

The other form I ended up really enjoying was the abecedarian. The form requires each line to begin with the next letter of the alphabet.  This is from No One Cries for the Sinners.

Arizona is the place for a funeral, if there ever could be such a place

because believe me when I say, Life

can’t take root in dry soil. No Botanist or Investigator

dares to try and stop her. She is contacted by the weak, the helpless, the hopeless,

 

Learn

Gets your hands on all the poems you can to assist in your research. You’ll notice different styles and techniques that will help you define your own style as you learn what appeals to you. It’s also beneficial to read your own work after some times has passed. You’ll see where your writing has developed, where you can improve, and where you want to make edits. I reviewed some of my old work in order to show examples for this article and found I use more cliches than I thought. Now I’m more aware for my future writings.   

 

New Year, New Series! (Poet theme)

Every year I do a series along with my dating articles and poems. The first year was Love Fest when I reblogged love related articles. This past year was the monthly advice column and my 2019 series is…….

POET INTERVIEWS!

 

As a poet trying to find exposure myself, I completely understand the hardships these poets face trying to share the news of their latest works. I’d like to offer them an opportunity and my support through this series.

I’d like to ask questions specific to your collection so sending an ARC, PDF, or instagram account of your poetry would be extra fun! I will ask you 4 questions and you are able to ask (and answer) 4 questions of your own incase I’ve missed a topic you wish to tell readers about.

If you are or know a poet that would like to interview, please contact me!

Twitter / Instagram / Contact Page

Email: ddateable@gmail.com

Poets with published works will receive priority but if I receive a lot of responses, I will schedule the interviews accordingly (bimonthly/week, etc) to fit as many poets as possible over the year.  

 

Thanks Everyone and Happy New Year!

 

End of the Year Goals

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving in the US! 2018 has just a little over a month left! I can’t believe it’s nearly the start of a new year already! My blog has taken a back seat in my life lately but I want to set some goals to make sure I stay motivated in these final weeks of 2018. Here are some of my goals.

 

Blog/Writing specific:

  1. End the year strong by not having an empty queue or falling behind on my publishing schedule.

     2. Have the final monthly advice column installment completed and in queue.

     3. Have leads for next year’s special installment series (excited to share with you guys       what it is!!!).

     4. Continue the uphill rise in monthly blog views.

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     5. 150 more followers for each of Twitter , blog, and Instagram

6. Produce new content on Instagram (realllllly slacked on this the past few months)

7. Enter editing stage of my next poetry collection (SOOOO EXCITED to tell you all more about it soon!)

8. Promote Cracked Open more and in new places (also really slacked here :/ )

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Personal:

Decide if I’m going back to school or not.

Figure out next job for the new year.

Execute next year’s living plans.

 

 

What are your goals before 2018 ends? Write some in the comments!

 

The Things I’ll do Differently when Promoting my Second Poetry Collection

I am thrilled to have a published poetry book out there! My own self doubt has gotten in the way of my creative passions for too long so I have no regrets to reach for my dreams. I was, of course, so eager to publish and not lose my confidence that I didn’t utilize every opportunity I had. Here are areas for improvement:

 

Growing my audience

My biggest mistake was switching to self hosting so close to my release date. I didn’t realize my viewership numbers would fall so drastically and that really affected the audience I could reach for my book launch. I should have waited until my numbers grew again instead of rushing right along. I’ve set goals for growing my blog followers as well as social media that I have to reach before releasing my next book.

 

Establishing a Fan Base

I have also set goals for my current collection that I want to meet before my sophomore collection. I understand the ease of pushing a follow button or liking a tweet, but that does not easily convert to the number of sales. By the fourth month after I published Cracked Open, I didn’t have a single sale. I don’t want that to be the case for this next book.

 

Creating Buzz/ Chatter

I started promoting my book and creating buzz a month before it’s release. Although i don’t think I need to push to more weeks, I was unaware of the role of ARC (Advance Reader Copies) that could be sent to reviewers/fans before a launch. With the support of their audience, I’ve grown my reach immensely. There is a lot of research to how influential reviews are for potential buyers and any author/poet/business person is a fool to not capitalize on it.

 

Try Various Channels for Marketing

Social Media is easy and free to promote your work but as I’ve mentioned likes and follows don’t translate into book sales. Don’t hesitate to try flyers or leaving business cards wherever you travel and visit. Many bloggers are familiar with email campaigns and even capitalize on blogger events to connect and network.

 

My Interview on Sakura Publishing!

I was recently interviewed on Sakura Publishing! – full interview here

Excerpt:

Your poetry collection, Cracked Open, has recently been published. What was its genesis?

I started a blog Debatably Dateable two years ago that is a mix between my poetry and dating related articles. Nearly all my poetry is about love and relationships so the two mix well. Cracked Open was born from that blog and heavily follows my own dating history craving a journey from failed love to a deep and healthy love. I had planned on my first collection being something else but Cracked Open had already begun to wite itself.

 Is there a second book in the works? What do you find most influences your current writing?

 There was a second book in the works as soon as I had categorized my current poems for my first collection. I found some common themes and keep them in mind when writing new poetry in order to complete my next book. I’ve also begun thinking of some non poetry book ideas as well that will hopefully come to fruition in the future. I’ve always loved Love which heavily influences the topic of my poems. I also have a big hang up on honesty so I try to always share my work even if it is sad, embarrassing, or hard to hear.

Get your copy of Cracked Open here

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THE INTERNAL DEBATE TO GO SELF HOSTING

There is a lot of excitement to go self hosting. It’s a goal for a lot of bloggers and a popular motivational quote states “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. A popular life goal is to enjoy your work by finding what you’re good at and making money from it.

So you’ve completed step one and found something you’re good at and enjoy. Now you need to figure out how to make money from it. Since I never had a long term plan for my blog, I didn’t have many expectations for it. I definitely wasn’t marketing it or trying to grow my audience; my first 6 months I had 300 followers and was THRILLED!

But here we are 1.5 years later and I’m trying to plan for the future. The past few months my blog had been mostly running on scheduled content I had built up back when I had a lot more free time. That supply was starting to run out and I wasn’t coming up with any new ideas; so is now really the best time to make an investment?

When you self host you think how will you make money – selling products, affiliated programs, sponsored posts & brand collaborations? I didn’t know what direction my brand was headed, instead it seemed to be crawling to a stop. Being in the dating and relationship niche, I thought it would be a hard sell to popular brands. Company marketers could clearly understand the benefits to working with book, beauty, and fashion blogs but what could I offer them?

I heard a lot of different numbers tossed around in the blog community when it came to making money with the amount of traffic on your blog. I was worried I’d spend money on my blog and it would take months to finally make a net profit. I was worried the blog’s monthly income would be laughable at best. I was worried I’d fail and it freaked me out. Forget self hosting, I questioned if I should even continue blogging anymore!

I decided to push back my self hosting date, take a breather for a couple weeks, and try to build back up my content. And in order to do that I had to post less frequently. With less activity my stats dropped, they were nowhere near my past 6 months but also much better than what I was expecting. This gave me the push I needed and the confident to know I could do it. Of course, it’s good to have a plan and strategy but if you try to wait until everything is perfect then you’ll never make the leap.

My plan is to build up my content, understand the changes that come with self hosting, and work on building my traffic. I’m also giving myself slack with this learning curve and not setting high expectations for income for the next 6 months. After that I will re evaluate and set goals, all I had to do was believe in myself and my blog.

Finding Your Blog Motivation Again

You’re probably reading this because you haven’t written a new blog post in a few weeks or maybe its months. First thing you have to hear is that it happens to all of us and is totally normal! Being involved in the blogger community may seem like a double edged sword while you’re doing through your writer’s block. You’re seeing all your peers producing new content and that adds to the pressure to not fall behind.

The positive side though is seeing how many of your fellow bloggers are also going through their own dry spell. This helps you feel less alone and relieves the pressure by normalizing your situation. Feel free to reach out to those you relate to and connect, feeling support could put you in the writing mood.

As I mentioned earlier, if you stay involved in the community you’ll be exposed to new content from other bloggers. Since you’re not writing you’ll have extra free time for reading! See what’s currently trending in the blogger world! You can also search Newspapers, Magazines, and google keywords in your niche to try and find a spark. (Of course, don’t copy anyone’s work that doesn’t solve anything).

Some bloggers would suggest taking a break from the community. Take some time off from social media and focus back in on your life. We draw a lot of our inspiration from life experiences but if you’re not out there living then you could run low on material. A conversation with friend or relative could give you a new perspective a topic you might have been stuck on.  

While you’re taking a social media break, try to find inspiration in other art forms. Go to a concert or see a play, or maybe you’re also a creator in a another format such as painting or a fictional writer. None of these things have to do with your blog or niche, they’re just ways to light that fire inside of you again.  

Lastly, it’s nice to look at your old posts, see what used to inspire you and remind you of how far you’ve come and what you’ve been able to create. Remind yourself of why you started blogging in the first place and the fresh hope you had back then.

PS this is my first post since my writer’s block! You can even make your lack of a writing your way back into writing!

Big Announcement!

I’m SUPERRRRRR excited to be telling you all that I’m working on my

FIRST PUBLISHED POETRY COLLECTION!!!

It’s something I’ve been contemplating for many months and finally in January I decided I was going to actually go for it this time! I love poetry but I never expected I’d be on this path so you’re all surprised as I am. I’m nervous about it all but I know I just have to  take the jump and face the unknown.

The book will be a 5 chapter journey of love and heartbreak. I’ll be incorporating 20 never before seen poems as well as new illustrations throughout the book!! I expect the book to be just over 100 pages and I am beyond excited for you to see it all! I’ll be self publishing and you can definitely expect some articles on my experience there.

I’m so happy to be sharing this passion project with all of you and will be updating you all along the way! Expect to get your hands on a copy THIS SUMMER!!! I’ll have more information and links as that time approaches.

 

 

Love on a Budget

I think people often mistake expensive dates for romance. You don’t have to a fancy restaurant every weekend, in fact idea number one is

Cook In instead of dining out. Yes usually grocery shopping is more expensive than just one evening dining out but the food you get can be used for multiple meals so at the end of the day you’re definitely saving money. Cooking together is a great bonding experience too, you learn how particular your partner is about materials, measurements, and sanitation as well as learning what frustrates or stresses them out. Creating a meal together allows you to feel like a united team accomplishing a goal together and the shared memory is a great building block in a relationship.

It’s much easier to find free things to do over the summer such as hiking, parks, and finding some water to splash around in. However low key or intense you want your adventure to be, you can find a good fit! Back in high school when everyone was just learning how to drive, I loved late night adventures just driving around, singing along to the radio, and feeling the wind on your skin. You can make amazing memories out of nothing as long as you’re with people you love and the good vibes flow.

Look into events going on in your neighborhood since the tickets are usually cheap or free! There might be a cover band at a brewery, the local theater putting on a play, or a food expo at the museum across town.You can have fun with your friends too by inviting them over for game night or splitting the cost of a weekend getaway trip.

You don’t have to always miss out on dining out or an expensive experience, you can look for deals on Groupon and other coupon sites to make it more affordable. Restaurant week is the perfect time to dine at the fancy places on the water that you would normally never go to (or be able to afford).