It’s hard to talk about what it means to be a writer to other people who are not writers.
Because most of the time, they really, really don’t get it.
Today’s guest post is from Fred Johnson, who is an editor for Standout Books, where he helps authors take their manuscripts from good to perfect. He’s had poetry published in Zetetic, Spark: A Creative Anthology, The Incubator, Iota, Belleville Park Pages, Smoke, and Spring 14. His personal blog can be found here and he can be found on Twitter as @FredBobJohn. You can also find out more at the Standout Books Blog.
Poetry is big and confusing and I don’t get it. As a form, it’s remarkably fluid—just when I think I’ve grasped what it is and how it works, I’ll discover some poet who throws the whole thing on its head. Whereas contemporary formalists like Glyn Maxwell argue that poetry without strict form is like a table without legs, the bleeding edge throw words all over the page, dismissing grammar, form, spelling, and linear sequence. How do I know where to stand? It’s all too much to keep up with.
I routinely receive inquiries about my editing services from writers who are just about ready to hit the “publish” button, and writers who have a very rough draft and need to get it to the next level. What I’ve noticed is that most of these writers have a pretty vague idea about what they’re looking for in an editor. They’re unsure about pricing, expectations, and what they need to do to be part of the process.
Writers have a natural talent for communication, but when their blog posts are failing to bring in traffic, the problem is that they’re usually not communicating their ideas as well as they could. There are a few simple fixes every writer-turned-blogger can use to boost general interest in their writing, get their posts shared, and up the number of new visitors to their site.