Virtual Writers holds a daily Writers’ Dash exercise (Monday-Friday at 6am and 6pm PT) that benefits both students and writers by expanding their knowledge of the English language. According to Sue Dymoke (2003), part of the instructional process of creative writing is to attempt the usage of new words. Other aspects of creative writing development include the initiation and expansion of ideas as well as the process of planning and reviewing (Dymoke, 2003).
By drawing from personal reservoirs of knowledge, each writer gains insight into his or her world view. The ongoing exchange of dialogue and support at the dash helps improve the self-confidence that so many writers need. Through the absorption of content found in each other’s writings, participants fuel one another’s progress while at the same time garnering value by observing a multitude of individual writing styles.
Within the constraints of a 15 minute time limit, writers are faced with the challenges of composition: form, word usage as well as content (Dymoke, 2003). They must make decisions about the tone of their writing, the delivery of their words, and at the same time be mindful that others will read what they have written. With the option to post their Dash pieces to the Virtual Writers blog, there is an immediacy of exposure which can benefit writers and that engenders confidence amongst peers.
Also, by making writing habit-forming, the daily Dash supports a diet rich in creative writing. Writing on a daily basis instills discipline, while at the same time this routine allows an immense inborn quality to emerge. Writing gives many lives new meaning. I’m sure you will find that exploring creative avenues will allow you to delve into depths which cannot be explored in the confines of reality.
And after a period of time writing in this way, many people find that they have amassed quite a large diary of their own work, much of which can be edited and reworked for the purposes of self-publishing. For those of you who are considering self-publishing, I encourage you to explore your options and seek out publishing partners who are reputable. In North America, a high rating from the Better Business Bureau is indicative of the propensity to conduct sound business. Seek out consumer evaluations and research all registered complaints against a given company before signing up.
Price points in self-publishing include the initial publication package, which may include services such as copyright registration, book sellers insurance (in case of returns), cover design and copy editing (line editing for spelling and grammar only). Look for e-publishing as well as traditional product offerings inclusive in the package. Additional costs include: high-pixel image for the front cover, content editing (highly recommended!), and promotional materials. Consider everything that will go into the making of your book and create a project plan that includes registration of your own URL and website construction and maintenance.
In a highly competitive market, Indie writers need to find platforms to showcase their talent. Demonstrating the quality of your work and your passion for the project are absolutely necessary.
Dymoke, Sue (2003). Drafting and assessing poetry: A guide for teachers. Chapter 2: Drafting poetry. Paul Chapman Publishing: London.
This article was first published at Author Essentials on March 18th, 2013.
Ginger Jorgental is the author of Puzzle Pieces, a collection of eidetic poetry. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and at the Writers’ Dash. Available to purchase at Friesen Press and Amazon (US) and (UK).
Ginger lives in Midwestern Canada and is currently working on her MBA. She has been writing for as long as she can remember in real life and considers Second Life® a great place to find community, meet people with similar interests and keep writing honest and fun.