Weekend Roundup: #Writer’s #Platform Challenge – Self Definition and Setting Goals

Writer’s Platform Challenge

Day 1: Define Yourself

The first task is as critical as it is difficult with reference to establishing a platform. You must know who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer. I followed the questionnaire Mr. Brewer shared. The last question was the hardest. Here are my responses:

Name (as used in byline): Maxie Steer

Position(s): Poet, Fiction Writer, Blogger, Educator

Skill(s): proofreading, editing, creative writing (poetry and fiction), blogging, public speaking, teaching.


Social media platforms: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Blogger.


Accomplishments: Third place in the Royal Palm Literary Awards’ Unpublished Poetry category in 2012; Top 25 Poem in April 2012 Poem A Day Challenge; Finalist in November 2011 Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge; Top 50 Poem in April 2011 Poem A Day Challenge.

Interests: Writing, family, faith, fantasy football, business, public speaking, reading, technology, candy.


In one sentence, who am I? Maxie Steer is a Christian, business student, poet, fiction writer, and sporadic blogger using her skills to help others realize their goals and to glorify God.



Day 2: Setting Goals

Goal setting is an important building block in the writer’s platform because it defines where you are headed in your journey. It is great to have these in your mind, but writing them down makes them more concrete.

Short Term Goals (goals to be completed in the next six months)

  1. Complete both the Writer’s Platform and Chapbook Challenge
  2. Restart editorial schedule on the blog
  3. Increase blog readership by 100%
  4. Enter poems into RPLA competition
  5. Submit work to 3 literary magazines

Long Term Goals (goals to be completed before kicking the bucket)

  1. Publish a chapbook
  2. Publish a full length poetry collection
  3. Publish a novel
  4. Write a devotional book
  5. Win a literary competition


Do you find it hard to define yourself in one sentence? Would you consider this sentence a mission statement?

What are some of your mid-term goals (things you can accomplish before the year ends, but not within 6 months)?


Due to modem issues at the house, this post is delayed. Forgive me as I try to catch up with the updates 😉






Editing a Poetry Manuscript and #NovPAD Challenge Recap

It is December already!

The last November Poem-A-Day (NovPAD) update was from week two and here we are, four days post-challenge. My absence is justified by my upcoming graduation, but despite the last semester’s push, I can say that I’ve written 31 poem drafts (yay!). Now it’s the hard part–editing these scraps into real poems and assembling 10-20 of them into a cohesive chapbook.

I chose “Complete Circle” as the theme for the chapbook and, to be honest, some of my poems will have to work really hard to resemble anything rounded, but that’s why we edit. There is still a mystery to this editing-and-assembling process because there is no right way to do it, but I’ll share a few tips I’ve encountered.

Editing the poems:

  • Print them out.
  • Forget the prompt that began the draft. You are no longer obligated to satisfy the daily starter.
  • Trim the fat. Use stronger words and aim for clarity.
  • Revise when your mind is sharpest. Don’t revise when you are exhausted or feeling destructive.

Ordering the poems:

  • I believe a book of poems needs to be deliberate, created and crafted. It’s not just your best poems in whatever order, there should be reasons for the order, reasons for the poems chosen, reasons for each part of your book.” –Kelli Russell Agodon (Compiling a Poetry Manuscript: Part 1 & Part 2)
  • “Robert Frost said something to the effect that if a book has twenty-five poems in it, the collection itself must be the twenty-sixth.” –Diane Lockward (The Twenty-Sixth Poem)
  • Ordering requires seeing each poem from a distance, so that all its sides are visible; it also requires seeing the manuscript as a whole, so that you can decide how each poem and its parts might connect with others in a series.” –April Ossmann (Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript)

Oh, poetic wisdom! I’ll be revisiting this page and soliciting your help throughout the process. Thanks to everyone for your support during the month-long challenge.


Have any advice to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.


If you receive this message by email, remember, you can reply to the post by emailing me at maxiesteer@gmail.com, not by hitting “Reply.” Thanks!


November Poem-a-Day Week 2 Update: Poetic Tools

In my non-poetic life, I have been writing the final paper for my Capstone course. Being immersed in academia has helped me to look forward to writing a poem a day. Before October, I’d never say that. School work drained me and had no creative desire, but the difference this time around is that I am more motivated, I have more free time, and I have cooler tools.

Last week, we talked about themes, and today we’re gonna talk tech tools for writing poetry.

Google drive folder for the chapbook challenge

Google Drive
I have been writing most of my poems online using either my laptop, iPhone, or iPad. I’ll start with an idea when I read the prompt in the morning and then pick it up as I am lounging (procrastinating) later in the day. If I started using a local word processor, I would have to email the file to myself. If I wanted to take it in my travel notebook when I head out to do errands, I’d have to copy it down.
Google Drive is a great solution because once it is written there, I can access the poem on all my devices–and on any internet connected device. It also helps to organize the drafts.

Rhyme Dictionaries
I don’t write rhymed poetry often anymore, but it is always fun to toss an internal rhyme into the mix. I used this tool most recently when I was looking for an option to match “resolve” at the end of a stanza. RhymeZone organizes results by syllables or letters. rhymer allows you to categorize your search by type of rhyme. Use at your discretion.

Werdsmith App (for iPhone or iPad)
Ever want to scribble down an idea for a poem subject, story, or scene buy you aren’t near your journal or computer? If you have an iPhone, this is a good way to keep masterpiece-starters all in on place. The coolest thing about this app is its ability to track a word-count goal. I am using the 4K word-mark words as a target for my potential chapbook and it’s helping me to discern how lengthy the poems are, or the upcoming ones should be.

Interested in the November Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge? Click the link for the guidelines.
Here is my Day 8 poem (Write a poem to a dead poet):

What apps or tools do you use that help you write, organize, and prepare your poetry or other writing?