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January, 2008

Mark Levine The Fine Print

Successful Writer
10 tips
By  Connie Werner Reichert

Use everything from writing for free to going global to fire up your career.
Writing scintillating copy is harder than it seems. Fortunately there are several ways you can sharpen your skills to make the most of your talents. Here's a list of 10 suggestions for handy reference.
1. Write for free. College or home study courses are not enough. To get a truly professional edge, embark on an exciting internship at a local newspaper or magazine. You won't be paid, but in many instances you will be rewarded with college credits. Most importantly, it will give you the opportunity to sharpen your skills and act as a catalyst for your writing career. Plus, you will make positive contacts with other writers and professionals in the journalism field.
2. Study what your favourite writers are doing and surround yourself with information. Read the books of your favourite authors. Study self-help books on how to write effectively.
3. Ask questions and ask for help. Make a list of your concerns. Maybe you want to know how to break into magazine writing. Perhaps you need help in writing a query letter or need guidance on creating a novel. Surround yourself with professional writers, and ask, ask, ask.
4. Begin by writing small pieces for your hometown newspaper. You might want to contact your local newspaper's editor and propose your idea for a column. Or, you may wish to write for the paper full or part-time as a staff writer. Think of ways you can break into print to collect those all-important bylines and clips.
5. Equip yourself with the necessary tools: computer, printer, hard drive to back up your writing, pens, notepads, recorder, digital camera, and cell phone.
6. Write every day – make writing a habit. Author/Coach Julia Cameron suggests writing morning pages. This means you should wake up in the morning and write at least three pages of what's on your mind. This will help you develop the habit of writing. As you go along, you will expand your skills and perhaps even surprise yourself with your progress.
7. Create a website. It can be as simple as one page, or a dozen pages. You must build a site that entertains, informs, and generates interest. Add your writing portfolio and list of writing credits. Provide the site with an online guestbook so that you can build a database of contacts and track the amount of hits. At the very least, devote a page to your biography. Include photos of yourself and your adventures. Don't forget to add links to helpful writing websites as well as a direct link to your blog.
8. Blog it. Use your blog like an online journal. Write about absolutely anything you desire. Maybe you have recently travelled somewhere and want others to know what you did on your trip. Maybe you just need a place to vent or a place to share your thoughts on a daily or weekly basis. Perhaps you'll use this blog to promote book signings. In addition, you can you can post more samples of your writing. The possibilities are many. Update your blog often to keep it fresh. Use your imagination, and remember to add a link to your website.
9. Join a local writers' group or a group online. Maybe there's a writers' organization near you. Usually the dues are reasonable and the amount of feedback you receive on your writing is invaluable. It's always wonderful to get together with other writers to talk about the trade and to share your stories. Writing websites such as are excellent sources of support and information.
10. Submit! Submit! Submit! If you receive a rejection letter, don't let that stop you. Keep on keeping on, and continue to submit your articles or manuscripts.
Follow the above tips, and you're sure to become a successful writer!
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Connie Werner Reichert is a former radio and television newscaster. The President of Write Side Up in Latrobe, California, focuses on freelance writing, publicity services and travel journalism. She has written hundreds of articles and stories for more than 20 years. She may be reached at, or visit

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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