Poetry

What Makes a “Good” Poem

A couple months back…

After posting my winners of the End of Summer Poetry Contest, I was speaking with another blogger who asked me,

“What makes a poem good?”

Only five words long, five simple words in fact, and yet this is an extremely, insanely complex question according to most poetry “experts.” Two summers ago, I took a poetry-focused graduate college class. During this course, I was assigned and read several articles on what makes “good poetry.” These articles dealt with questions such as:

  • Should poetry be a specific form?
  • Should it rhyme?
  • Should it have certain syllables per line?
  • Should it have a certain amount of lines or stanzas?
  • Is free verse (perhaps the most popular form of poetry) a form of poetry at all?

There are literally hundreds of thousands of questions and opinions circling poetry, particularly on what makes quality poetry. Just type in “What makes poetry good?” and before you know it, you will be sucked down the rabbit hole.

So, before you fall down too deep into that vortex of confusing judgments, I’m going to offer my opinion and break it down into five simple statements:

Good Poetry:

  1. Can be in any form! Every form was invented and new forms can still be invented by involving old forms.
  2. Should use creative (but not obnoxious) diction. Figurative Language is fun!
  3. Should emotionally appeal or relate to the reader.
  4. Can captivate your readers with a story or imagery
  5. Should “Mic Drop” last line; leave your reader with something memorable!

Now, I realize that my opinion is just one of many, so take it or leave it but remember that poetry is always evolving.

What do you think of my five rules?

What would you add or take away from my list?

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Blogmas 2018, Contests

Annual Blogmas Contest Closes TODAY

Hey Everyone! Just a reminder that the last date to participate in the Blogmas Contest is on December 20th!

(That’s TODAY!)

I’m looking forward to going through everyone’s posts again and picking my favorite!

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Please be sure to read all the rules on the original post: Annual Blogmas Contest.Only those who have followed every rule will be considered.

Participating in Blogmas has been so much fun and I’ve probably spent way too much time online, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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Happy Blogmas Everyone!

Have you read an amazing Blogmas post lately? Nominate it in the comments or encourage that blogger to submit it themselves! But you better hurry, time is running out!

Blogmas 2018

Annual Blogmas Contest!

Yep, I might be insane.

I might not have thought this through.

I have 102 things to do!

But no matter, I want to hear from you!

The Annual Blogmas Contest Starts Today!

 May the best Blogmas Blogger win!

How to enter:

  • Create a blogmas post! Your post must be all about Christmas, see my previous post on “How To Blogmas”
  • Once you have created and published your post, drop your link to that post below in the comments. ALSO, this is important, do NOT just drop the link by itself (it will go directly to my spam), so you must also leave a one-line summary of your blogmas post 😀
  • Check out at least two other blogmas posts and comment beneath their links so I can see that you did so (#community)
  • You can only drop ONE LINK, so if you want to wait until Dec 25th to choose that is alright.
  • Must be subscribed (following) to my page to keep up with contest announcements
  • DECEMBER 20th is the LAST DAY TO DROP YOUR LINK FOR THE CONTEST!

 

Prizes:

  • Holiday Spirit! No really, by posting and reading blogmas posts, you should definitely feel some holiday spirit!
  • I will publish my top three favorite Blogmas posts on my Blog Site. The top blogmas post winner will also be accompanied by a short author bio and link back to the winner of course. I have nearly 2,000 followers so this will be good exposure for your blog!
  • A fun time! Christmas is a happy time and hopefully, through this contest you can meet other bloggers and other bloggers can meet you! I can’t wait to read all the amazing Blogmas posts!

 

Merry Blogmas Everyone!

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Blogs / Life

The Best Advice I Ever Received

When I was younger, my mother gave me the best advice I have ever received and I have tried to stick to it all my life. Often times, when I was scared of asking a question, my mother would say:

“Ask anyway. The worst thing they can do is say no.”

Now, when my mother said this, she wasn’t talking about writing, or blogging, or publishing, or anything like that. And yet, her words of wisdom apply to almost everything I do in my writing career.

Am I scared of getting feedback? Of course, I am! People can be mean.

But I ask for outside opinions anyway.

The worst thing they can do is say they don’t like it (not everyone will).

Am I scared of submitting my work to publishing houses? Of course!

But I ask for their response anyway.

They worst they can say is “no thank you.”

Am I terrified of being shut down? You bet!

But I still put myself and my work out there.

Just because the publishing world is hard, and the writing world can be mean, I cannot be afraid to ask. I cannot be afraid to follow my dreams. The worst thing anyone can tell me is “no” and yes, that “no” may suck when I receive it. In fact, I know it does! I have received my fair share of rejection letters and criticism telling me “no,” I’m not good enough or “no,” I don’t deserve to be published. But guess what?

“No,” is just a word.

A no from one publisher (or more), a no from a reviewer (or more), is not the end! Accept their “no” and move on!  Don’t let the fear of hearing no, stop you from ever trying!

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What question or dream are you giving up because you’re afraid to hear “no”?

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

One Year Blogging Anniversary

I received my official notice from WordPress yesterday that I have been blogging on WordPress for over a year now!

I can’t believe that it has been a year already! I feel like it was only months ago that I started to consider blogging and then when I first posted by blog post, I thought, this would never work. That first month was so rough and so uncertain, but now, a year out, it was so worth it!

I have posted over 250 blog posts! I have gained 1,800 followers! And more importantly, I have found an incredible writing/blogging community here on WordPress that is irreplaceable! The friendships I have formed here have encouraged my growth as a writer and I am so glad for that decision I made a year ago to embark on this journey.

Blogs / Life

Please Pardon . . .

Please Pardon my temporary absences for the next two Tuesdays.

As you all know, it was my intention to challenge myself with maintaining my five posts per week goal. However, as I have been working two jobs every day this month and I recently heard back from the publishers, I’ve decided I that I need to take off one day a week.

On this day off, I will be:

  • Catching up with my grading,
  • Creating lesson plans, and
  • (More importantly) Revising my book, The Agency Games, which is due back to the publishers at the end of the month.

Please wish me luck as I take the next next weel by the horns!

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Challenge Yourself

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about blog scheduling, more specifically, how often you should post a week.

I know, I know, I’ve already freaked out half of you and the other half of you are staring at the screen like this:

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Blog scheduling, meaning how often you post on your blog (not to be confused with scheduling your posts ahead of time–which you should do), is going to be different for every individual. Some bloggers post every single day. *Hats off to them*

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Some bloggers, like me, only post on the week days. Other bloggers only post 3 times a week, some only post once and so on and so forth. Like I said before, blog scheduling is different for every blogger. However, there are some consistencies that every blogger should keep in mind.

  1. If you want to grow your blog, you need to be posting at least once a week. If we only see you once a month, odds are, we won’t remember you all that well. (This may not be true for all circumstances but it’s a general rule).
  2. If you want to maintain followers, you need to be reading and commenting on other blogs the same amount (if not more) than when you are posting your own content.
  3. Lastly, (and what today’s blog is really about), you need to challenge yourself with your scheduling goals.

Blogging is hard, I know, trust me, I completely understand that. I’m getting close to approaching my one year blogging anniversary and some days, I feel burnt out too. However, if you don’t push through it, your blog will suffer for it.

While it is wise to set realistic blogging goals, it is unwise to “settle” in your goals. For instance, if you work two jobs and you’re in school or a parent, it might be a tad unrealistic to say that you are going to blog every single day. So I would suggest that you to set a realistic goal, but not a “settling” goal. What do I mean by a “settling” goal?

Story Time! I am heading back into the busiest season of the year for me and I have thought long and hard about my blogging schedule in the next coming months. I considered reducing my weekly posts to only 3 times a week so that I could lighten my load here on WordPress. However, if I was being honest with myself, I knew that I could do the 5 weekly posts, it would just require a little extra effort. For me, my unrealistic goal for a blogging schedule would be 7 weekly posts, my realistic/challenging goal would be 5 weekly posts, and my “settling” goal would be 3- weekly posts.

So, instead of settling, I am going to challenge myself to keep writing and publishing 5 weekly posts. In the successful world of blogging, we have to be realistic yes, but I think we also need to challenge ourselves and see what we are made of.

So today, I encourage you to take a look at your blogging schedule. Are you being unrealistic, realistic/challenging, or are you just settling?

What do you think? Should we challenge ourselves in our weekly blogging schedule?

Happy Blogging Everyone!

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©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Stop the Hate; Moderate

If you’ve been blogging for over a couple of months, odds are you’ve had your fair share of less-than-appreciated comments left on your posts. These odd comments most likely consist of either spam or hateful messages. I have been blogging for about 10 months now and I have received both.

  • For three weeks straight, I received over 200 spam messages from fake accounts with the same repeat comment.
  • At least once a week, a blogger will simply drop a link back to their blog in my comments without anything else. (Please don’t do this, guys, it really does not make anyone want to follow you.)
  • Occasionally, I receive comments from other bloggers who are less than happy with my personal views or blogging posts.

Whenever you are online, it is inevitable that you will run into a spam monster, a troll, or a hater. So, how should you deal with it?

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Manually Approve Your Comments Each and Every Time

Ever since I began my blog, I have set up my account so that I had to approve each and every comment that gets posted on my blog. While WordPress does their best to filter out obvious spam, they cannot grab every nasty comment. Therefore, by insuring that I have to view and approve every comment, I become my own filter. Yes, it is extra work, but in my experience, it is completely worth it.

If you are interested in protecting your blog from spammers, trolls, and haters, set up your blog to manually approve your comments:

  • On the left side menu bar, go all the way down to settings.
  • Once that page pops up, click on the third option on the top bar called discussion.
  • Scroll down until you see the section that says “Before a comment appears”
  • Make sure that both of those options are clicked to on.

 

So, how about it? Do you manually approve your comments? How have you dealt with spam or hate in the past? Leave a comment below.

Happy Blogging!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

blogging tips

Blogging Tip: Mental Health & Blogging Statistics

A blog is a lot like a person and just like us, blogs go through their own hills and valleys. That’s right, I’m talking about your stats.

Have you ever noticed how your stats seem to climb crazy high some days and other days, there is barely a distinguishable stump? Here is my advice to bloggers:

Don’t Obsess Over Your Stats.

A lot of bloggers measure their success based on how many people viewed, liked, commented on, or reblogged their posts. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is awesome and encouraging but if you base the success of your blog on the success of your stats you are going to fail.

Yes, good stats often reflect a good blog, but over-analyzing them can lead to self-doubt, a sense of never being good enough, and inability to post due to a fear that it will not garner enough of a reaction.

Stats are good for information but not as a goal.

Instead, use realistic goals for your blog and determine your purpose. Ask yourself:

  • What is the purpose of my blog?
  • What do I want to achieve through my blog?
  • What part about blogging do I enjoy the most?

Instead of focusing on stats, focus on these three things instead for a healthier blogging experience!

Happy Writing Everyone!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Blogs / Life

Weekend Blog Party *Hosted by KaylaAnn* (August)

As some of you might remember, my first Blog Party was a total smash! I really enjoyed meeting new bloggers and I know you guys did too!

So, I thought, let’s do it again!Image result for party gif

 For those of you who are not aware what a blog party is let me break it down. Generally speaking, a blog party is an online gathering for bloggers of all kinds to meet and engage with one another.

Here are some simple rules:

  1. First off, everyone is welcome to participate in this Blog Party (even if you do not currently follow me, although I would LOVE it if you did!) -> If you are a new follower of my blog, say hi and let me know so that I remember to drop by your blog and check you out.
  2. Leave a Comment! Say hi and tell us who you are and what your blog is about. Feel free to leave a link connecting back to your blog’s home page or to your favorite or most recent blog post! (Post this only once please.)
  3. Mix and Mingle! This is where the party begins. I am blessed to have over 1,000 followers and this is a great opportunity for many of my friends to meet each other. You guys are amazing and I think a lot of you would enjoy meeting and following one another.
  4. Remember, you never have to follow anyone just because they follow you. However, it is good manners to always return a page visit for a page visit. Did someone stop by your blog, like or leave a comment? Do the same for them! It only takes a minute.
  5. Don’t forget to REBLOG! Spread the fun by encouraging your own followers to join in the party! This is the best way to attract new bloggers by spreading the word.

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Have Fun Everyone!

I look forward to mingling with our imaginary cocktails in the comments!

This Blog Party will be held and moderated exclusively Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so don’t miss out!

alcohol, alcoholic, bar