I got a very cute message this morning, from a very handsome cat, Mr.O’Mally and his assistant. They were out in their garden to check if they could start harvesting some apples, and they had brought my book, “3898 words about life” with them.
I love this. Not only because it’s my book. No, the idea of sharing poetry in your everyday life, that’s amazing. And to share my poems with the cat is just great.
I’ll have to try harder to make this work with my cats as well!
This is not the first time Mr O’Mally listens to my poems though. Earlier this year he was waiting for his morning walk patiently, while his assistant had her morning read.
Thank you for making my day, Mr O’Mally!
One of my readers wrote me an e-mail asking for advices on writing poetry. I immediately felt intimidated by his question, then a bit proud. Someone asking me for writing tips? That’s a new challenge, and a big one
I spent some time before answering his e-mail, and then today I got an overwhelming thank you mail, so it seems I wrote something that helped his work…
I am 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 what I’ve been working on since my book came out in the end of October, last year.
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, my focus has changed since my accepting letter came from my Publisher House in June.
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:
- Say what you want to say. Let your readers decide what your poem means.
- Develop your voice. Get comfortable with how you write.
- Untitled poems are like unnamed children.
- 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.
- Feel free to write a bad poem.
- Don’t explain everything.
- There are many excuses not to write. Try using writing as an excuse not to do other things.
- The more you write, the more you develop. Write poetry often.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- AND FINALLY: Listen to criticism and try to learn from it, but don’t live or die by it.
I think my cat read my blog… or someone told him about Mr.O’Mally who liked my poems last week.
He seems to be reading “3898 words about life”, and making up his own mind 🙂
Yes, Balthazar, both you and your brother are mentioned in there, twice. And one of the poems were in the local newspaper some weeks ago.
I’ve been so lucky to receive e-mails from people that are reading my poems. It all started Wednesday with the Cat O’Mally.
Then my friend in Brüssel sent me his morning photo Friday
And today the photo was taken in a garden in the south of France
So my book gets around 🙂 If you want to buy it you can purchase “3898 ord om livet” from this site. It is in Norwegian, though 🙂
My book has been in sales for four months now, and I experience a bit of “cold” number of sales these days. I wasn’t worried in January, because everybody knows that the first month after our Christmas shopping is a slow month most all over. February was a short month, and I sold quite well after being at the reception at my publisher’s house.
Today we write March the second, and I see that I need to improve in my job of being my books first spoke person. I need some new arenas, while the local bookstores haven’t bought my book as we were hoping. “Poetry doesn’t sell” they say… Well, I did sell 400 books in two months before Christmas, so I guess “that depends..”
If you should be one of the persons that want to buy my book, you can do so here. Or just contact me. 🙂
Writing on my other book projects has been a bit inconsistently lately, and I found myself dreaming instead of writing this morning. So I had a look for some inspiration, and I did find these great writing advices that I had written down from someone, not noting were or who they were from. Anybody knows? I would appreciate it if you could tell me.
Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
Start as close to the end as possible.
Be a sadist. No matter sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.