While scouting today's news I came across a number of authors and poets who have their birthdays today and it struck me that very few are described simply as being authors. I wondered why that is.
Poetry collection 1
This collection is intensely personal and, to be frank, not a lot of fun. However, it is an expression of emotions. In an effort to demystify the process of writing poetry there is also an element of education.
As I have often said I began writing poetry forty years ago and it was my road into writing novels.
I love the front cover of this and the poetry inside is probably more 'grown up'. There is still plenty of angst within the covers but some lighter moments. The reason I like the cover is that no matter which way you view it the book looks tilted, slightly out of kilter! In a sense that then embodies what I feel about what is within the cover.
So back to the idea that not many authors are simply writers of books but quite often poetry as well. For me the poetry is like having playtime at primary school, it gives the opportunity to express our inner selves on the page.
I think that when people begin to write poetry they become too concerned with the format rather than what is being expressed. As I learn, which is every day, about writing the freedom that writing poetry allows is stifled by the style concerns. In a sense it is inevitable in the way it is taught in the schools in which I have worked, and I'm as guilty as anyone. The children worry about having to rhyme. The rhyming issue is wide and varied. If you look up the definition of poetry you come up with the following,
'is the expression of ideas and emotions by using a distinctive style and rhythm'
it doesn't say anything about rhyming. On some occasions rhyming helps with the rhythm but you shouldn't stop writing, or believe that you can't write poetry because you can't rhyme. You just need to get those emotions and ideas down and then perhaps re-work what you have done to generate the rhythm.
My best so far?
So then there are the novels. Writing over a longer period of time has similarities to writing poetry. Perhaps the rhythm isn't there and the writing style is whatever your style is, but there is plenty of opportunity to explore ideas and experiment with emotions. I dare to describe writing a novel as producing an epic poem in blank verse because there is a feeling of emotion when I write, which may change during the course of the book. Also there is plenty of opportunity to express emotions and to examine attitudes in the world. I shouldn't be surprised that authors also tend to have poetry within their cv also.
On a more practical level I came across some information regarding Amazon and the power of reviews. Apparently if a book receives 20 - 25 reviews it is placed on the Amazon 'also bought' and 'you might like this' lists. After 50 -70 reviews Amazon highlights the book for spotlight positions and for its newsletter.
A serious request - if you have bought and read one of my books please take five minutes out of your busy schedule to go on to your Amazon account, find my book and write a review.
As a point of information it doesn't matter if the book was bought for Kindle or in paperback.