How did Shakespeare deal with writer’s block?

There is, perhaps, no better-known playwright in the whole world than William Shakespeare–and we bet he’s had his off days, too. In this humorous take on Shakespeare and the dreaded writer’s block, filmmaker Anna Cohen gives us a sneak peek of how he must have come up with the tragic, heartbreaking scenes behind Romeo & Juliet.

There is, perhaps, no better-known playwright in the whole world than William Shakespeare–and we bet he’s had his off days, too. In this humorous take on Shakespeare and the dreaded writer’s block, filmmaker Anna Cohen gives us a sneak peek of how he must have come up with the tragic, heartbreaking scenes behind Romeo & Juliet.

 

Thanks to BrainPickings.org for curating this great post!

5 ways to use your passions to fuel a freelance writing career

This is a sidebar to “How to use your passions to jumpstart a freelance writing career.” Click on the link to view the rest of the article.

 

  1. When travelling, be observant and take notes detailing your experiences and other details that might be useful to other travellers. Read travel magazines like Travelife to sharpen your travel writing skills, and don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas to an editor. Just make sure to feature angles that have not yet been used in other articles.
  2. Use your appetite to sniff out the newest foodie haunts, and write online reviews ahead of everyone else. ClicktheCity.com features the latest in dining, entertainment, arts and culture, and lifestyle—and they could use your insights for their website. Again, just make sure that you’re writing something totally new and fresh and has not yet been previously published.
  3. Start a blog to develop writing practice and discipline. While there’s nothing better than getting approval from an editor and being published in a credible publication, blogging can help you develop your skills, get a feel of the audience’s needs and wants, and learn important editorial disciplines that will make you more marketable to publications out there. Read award-winning travel blogs like OurAwesomePlanet.com and WhenInManila.com to get an idea of how it’s done.
  4. Be social media-savvy and get an opportunity to freelance for advertisers and media firms that contract social media managers for their respective brands. Who would have thought that Facebooking and tweeting could be such lucrative activities?
  5. Develop an expertise out of your own hobbies and interests, and become a credible authority on the subject. The more credible you are, the more attractive you will be to editors and brands that need subject matter experts and advocates for their respective features or brand campaigns. Who knows just how far your passions can take you?

 

* * *

All of these elements are integrated into JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER 4.0, a two-day workshop designed to prepare participants for a freelance writing career through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and talks by guest speakers from the industry. The next workshop will run from April 30 to May 1, 2011, 10AM to 6PM at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

Testimonials from past participants show the following statements:

“Thank you for creating Writer’s Block Philippines. I’m proud to belong to a community of writers who have passion for and respect the craft. The workshop is excellent. It would be nice to have monthly meetings for follow-up.”

“Writing the pitch was really practical Also, the opportunities and advice were very structured and practical.”

“The workshop gave me a lot of information on how to really start a career as a freelance writer.”

“You guys did a great job team-teaching. You are great at conveying your enthusiasm. And it was a valuable experience. Thank you.”

 

Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0 is supported by PowerbooksTravelife Magazine,ClicktheCity.comNiveaMiLi, and WheninManila.com. For more information, please contact Writer’s Block Philippines at (0927) 850.8280 or writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Online reservations and payments are also accepted through www.writersblockphilippines.com. For fresh updates on Writer’s Block Philippines events, follow WBP on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writersblock.ph) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/writersblockph)

How to use your passions to jumpstart a freelance writing career

For Nikka Sarthou, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, the perfect life consists of frequent travels and the opportunity to write about her trips. Whether she is watching the French Open in Roland Garros, Paris; taking a heritage tour in Taal, Batangas; or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Nikka travels with notebook and pen in tow, always ready for inspiration to strike. She is also a foodie and enjoys going around town sampling the latest food trends and the newest restaurants and then reviewing these for various online and print publications.

For Nikka Sarthou, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer, the perfect life consists of frequent travels and the opportunity to write about her trips. Whether she is watching the French Open in Roland Garros, Paris; taking a heritage tour in Taal, Batangas; or whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro, Nikka travels with notebook and pen in tow, always ready for inspiration to strike. She is also a foodie and enjoys going around town sampling the latest food trends and the newest restaurants and then reviewing these for various online and print publications.

Although Nikka began her career working full-time in a publishing house, she eventually embarked on a freelance career to have the flexibility to pursue her passions while making a comfortable living. She is now Contributing Editor for Smile, Cebu Pacific’s inflight magazine, as well as content manager for the travel website OfficiallyPhilippines.com.

“Schools do not really teach its students how to go about freelance writing. I had to learn the ropes myself,” she points out. “It took me some time before I was able to have a sustainable freelance writing career, and now I’m enjoying its benefits. Since I’m now a full-time freelance writer, I get to be my own boss and marry my two other passions, which are writing and travelling.”

Ana Santos, on the other hand, embarked on a freelance writing career in a roundabout way, having been in the banking industry for nine years before finally leaving her post as Assistant Vice President of a multinational financial institution to do what she really loves to do: write and support the women’s reproductive health movement. Since taking on the plunge to write full-time and create the website www.sexandsensibilities.com in 2010, Ana has been invited to numerous speaking engagements and media appearances and has also been featured in Cosmo’s feature on Women Warriors  in the November 2010 issue. Ana is also a foreign correspondent for the United Nations, as well as Associate Editor of Illustrado, a Dubai-based lifestyle magazine for Filipinos.

For her, even the perks of a bank executive—including the designated parking slot—don’t compare to the fulfilment she feels when she is able to write in support of a cause that she is truly passionate about.  However, she is quick to point out that her mix of marketing, PR, and hard-core corporate skills are useful in building her personal brand as a freelance writer.

“The marketing skills I picked up during my banking days come in handy now that I manage my own ‘by-line’ which we at Writer’s Block Philippines, liken to managing your own corporation. Thinking of writing as a career rather than a ‘gig’ or ‘sideline’ is the key to making it a sustainable passion.”

Niña Terol-Zialcita, meanwhile, fuses advocacy, travel and arts & culture in her writing, shifting easily from political writing and consulting to writing and editing travel features—sometimes in the span of a few hours. With a career that has spanned working for a telco, a non-profit consulting firm, the Philippine Senate, and a national electoral campaign, Niña finds a way to fuse her various skills and balance her many interests through freelancing.

She shares: “For someone like me who enjoys exploring many different fields and expressing myself across different disciplines, I find that freelancing has given me the opportunity to widen my network and horizons, and enhance my competencies. Writing also immerses me in the creative sphere, balancing my cutthroat political-corporate sensibilities with my need for softer artistic outlets. Even while holding a full-time Senate post, I enjoyed writing and editing for lifestyle and travel publications.”

At present, Niña is a political and corporate communications consultant while being a book author and editor-in-chief of asianTraveler Magazine.

Writer's Block Philippines
Writer's Block Philippines: Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, Nina Terol-Zialcita

All three ladies are also co-founders of Writer’s Block Philippines, an organization dedicated to helping writers and communicators sharpen their skills and find profitable, sustainable opportunities in writing. When they are not busy with their respective editorial and consulting engagements, the three conduct writing workshops to share tried-and-tested tips for breaking into the competitive world of freelance writing.

“There was a large gap in the market that we wanted to fill,” shares Ana. “While attending Maven Secrets, a course taught by Anton Diaz on professional blogging and Internet marketing, we realized that there are not enough  courses that teach people how to write and communicate better.”

Nikka adds: “We also saw throughout our respective careers that there are many opportunities for freelance writing that can fit people’s varied interests. Our courses aim to teach participants how to break into freelance writing through various channels, such as print, mobile, online, and social media.”

“More importantly, we teach our participants how to not only get published but also how to build their respective brands and how to sustain a profitable career in freelancing. This isn’t about one-shot deals but about building a life that you want out of the things that matter most to you,” reveals  Niña.

All of these elements are integrated into JUMPSTART YOUR FREELANCE WRITING CAREER 4.0, a two-day workshop designed to prepare participants for a freelance writing career through a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises, and talks by guest speakers from the industry. The next workshop will run from April 30 to May 1, 2011, 10AM to 6PM at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

Testimonials from past participants show the following statements:

“Thank you for creating Writer’s Block Philippines. I’m proud to belong to a community of writers who have passion for and respect the craft. The workshop is excellent. It would be nice to have monthly meetings for follow-up.”

“Writing the pitch was really practical Also, the opportunities and advice were very structured and practical.”

“The workshop gave me a lot of information on how to really start a career as a freelance writer.”

“You guys did a great job team-teaching. You are great at conveying your enthusiasm. And it was a valuable experience. Thank you.”

Indeed, Writer’s Block Philippines and its founders have proven that it is possible to build an enjoyable and profitable career in the pursuit of one’s passions. All it takes is an acute awareness of one’s gifts and talents, an openness to keep learning, and the courage to take the inevitable leap of faith.

 

Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career 4.0 is supported by Powerbooks, Travelife Magazine, ClicktheCity.com, Nivea, MiLi, and WheninManila.com. For more information, please contact Writer’s Block Philippines at (0927) 850.8280 or writersblock.ph@gmail.com. Online reservations and payments are also accepted through www.writersblockphilippines.com. For fresh updates on Writer’s Block Philippines events, follow WBP on Facebook (www.facebook.com/writersblock.ph) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/writersblockph)

 

Time For An Upgrade!

People on-the-go need gadgets that are offer a lot of convenience and versatility, one of which is the iPad that provides these and more.

With the onset of the handy iPad, MiLi releases upgraded versions of two of its universal power chargers. The charging current for the second generation Universal Charger and Pocketpal has been increased to 2.1A from the original 1A. Traveling iPad owners can now enjoy full and effective charging of their device, whether they are taking a road trip or visiting a foreign country.

The Universal Charger 2 is the same sought-after MiLi charger that comes with the standard four worldwide AC wall adapters and a car adapter. Dual USB ports saves time by allowing simultaneous charging of two devices. Compatibility still extends to most mobile devices. Retails at P1,890.

 

Likewise, the Pocketpal 2 maintains the same adorable, handy aesthetic as its first generation counterpart, but now in more fun colors! At 2.1A, it can charge just about any mobile device via a USB port, plus the iPad. Retails at P860.

For more information, visit the official website (miliphi.com) or Facebook page (facebook.com/MiLiPhilippines).

*Writer’s Block Philippines members get 10% discount on all MiLi mobile power solution products




Man Asian Literary Prize shortlist announced

Man Asian Literary Prize shortlist announced

Authors from India, China and Japan swept the shortlist for Asia’s top literary prize on Tuesday, with a debut novelist and Nobel Prize winner among those vying for the $30,000 award.

Manu Joseph grabbed one of five shortlisted spots for The Man Asian Literary Prize with his debut “Serious Men”, while Japanese author Kenzaburo Oe, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, was also among the finalists for “The Changeling”.

The story tells of one man’s search to find out why his brother-in-law killed himself.

In a videoconference from Britain on Tuesday “Brick Lane” author Monica Ali, one of the award’s judges, called Joseph’s story set in the slums of Mumbai “seriously funny” and “ingenious”, while praising Oe for his “rich and complex work”.

Acclaimed Chinese author Bi Feiyu’s “Three Sisters”, a portrait of contemporary Chinese culture, “The Thing About Thugs” by Tabish Khair and Japanese writer Yoko Ogawa’s “Hotel Iris” rounded out the five finalists.

Ogawa’s novel is set in a crumbling seaside hotel and follows a quiet, 17-year-old girl who finds herself drawn to a middle-aged man who has been kicked out of a room with a prostitute.

The winner will be announced at a dinner in Hong Kong next month.
Ali said she and her fellow judges, Harvard academic Homi K.
Bhabha and award-winning writer Hsu-Ming Teo, agreed on a shortlist that highlights Asia’s “thriving” literary scene.

“(The books) were judged purely on literary excellence,” Ali added.
“That was the only criteria we used.”

All the shortlisted titles touched on the human experience “in language that was beautifully honed”, Ali said.

The prize, which is limited to Asian authors, was founded in 2007 and shares the same sponsor as the Man Booker Prize, among the world’s top literary awards.

Professor David Parker, the Asian award’s chairman, said he was aiming eventually to put it in the same league as the Booker prize, and “to give Asian authors the same kind of recognition”.

The judges were tasked with choosing the shortlist from a selection of 10 books.

The longlist, announced in December, included six titles by Indian authors, two by Japanese writers and one each from China and the Philippines, which were whittled down from 54 titles from 14 Asian countries.

The longlist included “Way To Go” by Indian author Upamanyu Chatterjee, a tale about an 85-year-old man who goes missing, “Dahanu Road” by Anosh Irani, “Monkey-man” by Usha K.R. and “Tiger Hills” by Sarita Mandanna.

“Below the Crying Mountain” by Filipina writer Criselda Yabes, another longlisted title, was set during the Moro rebellion that broke out in Sulu, in the Philippines, in the 1970s.

Read original post at ABS-CBN News

Writing Tip of the Day

Ideas For Revising Your Writing by Ralph Fletcher

Many young writers think of revision as all hard work and drudgery. But revision is more than just a way to fix a broken piece of writing. It’s also a way to honor a good piece and make it even better. Here
are some ideas to experiment with:

* Change the beginning: experiment with different kinds of leads. You might try sound effects, or an    intriguing first sentence.

* Change the ending: maybe a circular ending, for example, or a surprise ending might work best for your writing.

* Add a section. Have you left out something important?

* Remove/delete a part.  A piece of writing is like a rose bush–it grows healthier after you prune the unnecessary parts.

Talk SASsy to me

The founders of Writer’s Block Philippines are all women with super-charged professional and social lives. This week, join Writer’s Block Philippines co-founder Ana Santos as she empowers women through yet another sexy and sassy event for her website and advocacy, SexandSensibilities.com

Talk SASsy to me

A fabulous girl power session on men, relationships and positive sexuality with US-trained relationship coach Aileen Santos and Sex and Sensibilities.com Editorial Director, Ana Santos.

Feb 9, 2011, Wednesday, 6:30PM

Bo’s Coffee, Glorietta 5, Makati

Call or text 0927.850.8280 to reserve a slot.

Registration Fee of P100 covers coffee and a light snack. All proceeds of this talk will go to the H.E.R.O (Help Educate and Rear Orphans of soldiers killed in action) Foundation.

This event is supported by PhCare, Myra and Swish.


The “Talk SASsy to me” series of girl power talks is a trademark campaign of Sex and Sensibilities.com

Be a member of Writer’s Block Philippines and get exclusive deals and information for writers!

A group for writers, by writers.

Now you can mingle and talk shop with fellow writers at Writer’s Block Philippines’ (WBP) membership group. Open to writers of all sorts, the aim of this membership group is to establish a venue for writers to associate with people who share the same passion for the written word.

SIGN-UP and become a member now! The Php 1,500 membership fee is valid for one year and comes with the following benefits:

  • A personalized membership card with free shipping within Metro Manila
  • A 10% discount on Writer’s Block Workshops or the early bird rate, whichever is lower
  • Complimentary passes to selected events (*on a first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Exclusive discounts from our membership partners:
    • 10% off on selected treatments and services in Studio Zen
    • 10% off on universal adaptors and other cool gadgets for the mobile lifestyle from MiLi Philippines
    • 10% off on accessories for Apple products from OPT
    • 10% off on food purchases at Peanut Butter Company, except for peanut butter jars
    • Plus more deals and treats coming soon!
  • Exclusive access to specific website content
  • Subscription to our e-group to get the latest updates on WBP’s activities, and more

To register, FILL OUT THIS ONLINE FORM and deposit the payment to our bank account. Please email us after and don’t forget to attach a copy of your deposit slip and indicate the bank branch so we can process your membership application as soon as possible.

Account name: Writer’s Block Training Services

Account number: BPI Savings Account 1759 0377 11

You may also use the Paypal button on the right sidebar.

For more details on membership benefits, or to sign on as a membership partner, please email writersblock.ph@gmail.com or call (0927) 850 8280.