Here’s a new blog dedicated to Women Who Write!
Remember when the “Style” and “Life” sections of the newspaper were known as the Women’s Pages? Whether you find this idea bizarre, or are old enough to recall it vividly, if you are interested in womens writing, you are welcome here.
Founded by the members of the Accokeek Women’s Writing Group, The Women’s Pages publishes content of interest to women writers in all genres. Our aim is to provide support and share resources for the Writing Life, and help women’s voices flourish and grow.
If you’d like to become a posting member, leave a comment below.
After joining the blog, please post an introduction so we get to know your wonderful self.
I found this poem by Mary Jo Bang in my in-box this morning, thanks to the wonderful daily poem sent by the Academy of American Poets. (Sign up for their “Poem-a-Day” service — it’s a lifesaver for writers, poetry lovers and seekers!)
What a wonderful way to wake up my mind and heart. Reading Bang’s explanation of the sources of her poem, you can see that she is translating some of the more esoteric cultural innovators and philosophers into a whimsical turn on being and nothingness, perception and play, historical events and the clutter of daily life and objects, greatness and the ordinary, meaning and meaninglessness. (I wonder what connections you see in this short wonder of a poem!)
Enjoy! I hope this poem inspires you to take a risk in your own writing, to translate something larger-than-life into the precious, magical, deceptively small container of words available to you as a writer.
Costumes Exchanging Glances
by Mary Jo Bang
The rhinestone lights blink off and on.
I’m sick of explanations. A life is like Russell said
of electricity, not a thing but the way things behave.
A science of motion toward some flat surface,
some heat, some cold. Some light
can leave some after-image but it doesn’t last.
Isn’t that what they say? That and that
historical events exchange glances with nothingness.
Copyright © 2014 by Mary Jo Bang. Used with permission of the author.
About This Poem
“Bertrand Russell said, ‘Electricity is not a thing like St. Paul’s Cathedral; it is a way in which things behave.’ And it’s not ‘they’ who say, but Walter Benjamin who said, ‘Things are only mannequins and even the great world-historical events are only costumes beneath which they exchange glances with nothingness, with the base and the banal.’ In September, 1940, Benjamin died under ambiguous circumstances in the French-Spanish border town of Portbou, while attempting to flee the Nazis.”
–Mary Jo Bang
For about three years I’ve been writing my personal blog called Art-Spirit-Nature, which is found at:
I’ve learned a great deal by experimenting with different kinds of writing, and learned how to grow my followers, express myself in new publishing format. I’m proud of this blog and I enjoy it because it gives me a lot of latitude to express myself on topics dear to me. You’ll find art, science, profiles of creative people, links to creative things happening around the world, meditations, all about the wonder and beauty of the creative life.
But I’m ready now to go to a more professional level, and so I have two new blogs launched this year for business, and I am committed to maintaining these regularly,twice a week, and that gives me quite a busy writing life on a regular basis, at least for news and essay writing.
My Marketing and Design blog is called Clearly Creative Communication and you can find it at:
The purpose is to explore the new mediums of communication, new tools, and also the new ways of working, particularly for creative women. Design and visual communication are also featured. It’s off to a great start, and I hope if the topic interests you that you’ll Subscribe or Follow.
The other blog is for my other job with Milestone Asset Partners, a commercial real estate investor group. That one is called CRE Milestones and covers news from the world of commercial real estate, particularly multifamily housing, including trends in financing and emerging markets. A drier subject, but it’s the freshness here that counts; I scan the CRE eNews every day and pluck two topics to feature. It’s reporting and linking to others’ stories, where I will summarize the story and occasionally offer my own analysis.
Blogging is an amazing format – it’s basically a magazine that you self-publish. This blog, The Women’s Pages, is a multi-author blog. Every one who is a member of AWWG is automatically elligable to publish here, and other women writers can request guest-author access. Just send me an email and I’ll help you get started.
Like any other form of writing, to become a better blogger you need to read lots of blogs! So my next article on the topic will be how to find blogs you like and follow them. Reading lots of blogs will help you find a niche in the universe of the blogosphere, and help you bring your ‘voice’ into focus. So stay tuned for my next big post, Finding & Reading Blogs, coming in March.
The inimitable Ray Bradbury.
by Jennie Nash, reblogged from Writer Unboxed
There are so many good reasons to write. It’s cheaper than therapy, a painless way to escape reality, a fun way to spend a rainy weekend, an easy hobby to pick up when you have small children or aging knees, an ideal way to preserve family history, a fantastic way to express your feelings, a good excuse for spending all day in coffee shops, and the most reliable way that I know to way to make sense of an often senseless world. But here’s the catch: none of the reasons that make writing good for the writer make it good for the reader. Now that the doors of publishing have been thrown open, I believe it is the responsibility of the writer to make sure that they aren’t confusing the two. When you make the decision that you would like your writing to be read by strangers, you are leaving the realm of what writing means for the writer and entering a world where what writing means to the reader must come above all else. What this means, at its heart, is that it’s the writer’s responsibility not to publish a bad book. What it means is that you must assess your manuscript with the cold-blooded focus of a leopard on the hunt.
When you make the decision that you would like your writing to be read by strangers, you are leaving the realm of what writing means for the writer and entering a world where what writing means to the reader must come above all else.
Read the rest at Writer Unboxed, including the list of stages and key questions to guide your decision process.
Cristian Mihai dedicated himself to writing no matter what, and he blogs about the journey.
Originally posted on Cristian Mihai:
A few days ago someone found this website by searching “how to write a novel step by step guide pdf” on Google. As you can see, there is no step by step guide to writing a novel available on my website.
It seems to me that it’s in our nature to search for shortcuts. That’s why how-to guides are so popular. We want guides, recipes, formulas, and crucial insight from experts. We have gurus in basically any field. And I understand. It’s part of what makes us great – we evolve by building upon what others built before us. But, sadly, writing is not the same as gardening. It’s not just a craft, no matter how much we’d like to believe so.
Thanks to author Katharine Grubb, from her blog, 10-minute Writer. She uses the metaphor of Kung-Fuing through your block, and asks these nine questions to get to the root of the problem. For each one, she has tips about breaking through the block, if this is the source. (Check out her full post here!)
It’s a great strategy — identify the source of the block, and take action accordingly. Get a coach or therapist, clear your head, kill your inner critic, rest, journal, write for ten minutes at a time, find a writing buddy — all of these solutions fit different challenges. Write smarter not harder — find the solution that fits the problem!
So, what’s your block?
Are you blocked because you are emotionally damaged by your project?
Are you blocked because other things (besides writing) are messing with your head?
Are you blocked because you are self-sabotaging?
Are you blocked because your brain is tired?
Are you blocked because you are overwhelmed with the project?
Are you blocked because your inner critic WILL NOT SHUT UP?
Are you blocked because you are discouraged?
Are you blocked because you are lazy?
Are you blocked because you are afraid?
Let us know what works for you to break through these blocks!
from Salon.com, have an amazing list including
More than 30 accomplished women from many times and places:
For centuries, women all over the world have fought and ruled, written and taught. They’ve done business, explored, revolted and invented. They’ve done everything men have done — and a lot of things they haven’t.
Some of these women we know about. But so many others we don’t. For every Joan of Arc, there’s a Mongolian wrestler princess; for every Mata Hari, there’s a Colombian revolutionary spy; for every Ada Lovelace, there’s a pin-up Austrian telecoms inventor.
The women who shaped our planet are too many to mention, so here are just a few of the most frankly badass females of all time.
Hi everyone! Here are two more prompts to play with….
What was outside your bedroom window…
Anna Karenina sitting in a diner…
Remember, let yourself write whatever comes up! I make 5-10 minutes for each prompt, or sometimes will let myself do more, if it relates to a project I’m working on.
And if you decide to post or read the results here in comments, the only responses welcome are positive ones, with the process in mind! These are exercises,not finished products. Appreciation is welcome — criticism unnecessary!
Our writer’s group is launching a regular prompt-writing practice this month. I’m sharing a few prompts a month for freewriting, brainstorming, or adding inspired work to any project. (Others may be adding other prompts as well, as our exchange continues!)
I’ll post them here as well. Feel free to share your responses, if you want, as a “reply.” In our group, I’ve asked that we not respond critically to these exercises, but share what we enjoy about them, letting them be what they be. Remember, as Mary Oliver said, “You do not have to be good!” You just have to keep writing…..
So, here’s the first prompt: My Favorite Shoes