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I often find that helping others benefits myself and make me happy. I also see that altruism is contagious. When one person performs a good deed, it might cause a chain reaction of other altruistic acts. There are studies that found that people are more likely to perform feats of generosity after observing another person do the same. I believe that this effect can ripple throughout the community and inspire dozens of individuals to make a difference.

Let me be personal for one minute. I had dental surgery last week, and I have been in a lot of pain since then. I have to admit, I have spent a lot of time feeling quite sorry for myself!

But today something happened, and I have to say, helping others is rewarding in so many ways!

One of my readers wrote me some days ago, asking for advices on writing poetry. I immediately felt intimidated by his question, then a bit proud. Since I have been a bit self- centred these last days, I found it challenging to write about writing, while I myself was not writing.

I spent some time before answering his e-mail, and then today I finally got around answering and I found that it was rewarding to think through my own writing process.

 I just received an overwhelming thank you mail, it was so nice.

And when I think about it, I think I should thank him, for his questions, because by helping him, I got my writing focus back. He is a reader of this blog, and complained a bit for my lack of posting this year, so I would like to use this blogpost to say thank you for asking my advice and sorry for the frequent – and long – pauses in my blogging.

As I have written about earlier, I find that I’m much more comfortable in giving advises towards other parts of the process, like choosing a publisher house, release days and parties , working towards the press, interviewing … yes pretty much the process that kicks in when your writing is done.

By writing my advices down, I realized that the work of being my books first spoke-person have been time consuming. Even though I say and think that I’m in the middle of my writing process, I realize that my focus has changed from writing to sale and publishing.

So when I wrote down my tips, I actually just wrote down my own “what to do –list” or at least what should be my list, as a writer.

Here I go:

  1. Say what you want to say. Let your readers decide what your poem means.
  2. Develop your voice. Get comfortable with how you write.
  3. Untitled poems are like unnamed children.
  4. The bigger your theme, the more important the details are. A poem with Love, Destiny, Hate or other huge themes in the title already has two strikes against it.
  5. Feel free to write a bad poem.
  6. Don’t explain everything.
  7. There are many excuses not to write. Try using writing as an excuse not to do other things.
  8. The more you write, the more you develop. Write poetry often.
  9. Don’t be afraid to write from a different point of view. Write a poem that says exactly the opposite of what you believe. If you can, do it without irony.
  10. When you write a good poem, one you really like, immediately write another. Maybe that one poem was your peak for the night, but maybe you’re on a roll. There’s only one way to find out.
  11. Write in different places. Keep a notebook. Write in a park or on a street-corner or in an alley. You don’t have to write about the place, but it will influence you whether you do or not.
  12. AND FINALLY: Listen to criticism and try to learn from it, but don’t live or die by it.

These are my writing tips! And this was my thank- you for asking –blogpost!