Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finding Inspiration in Summer at the 2015 Alcona Writer's Retreat

Michigan in summer is a rich harvest for writer's. Dense forests, glistening waters and a sweetness that crests each day with the rising and setting of the sun, provide inspiration for anyone seeking their muse. If you want to find a bit of community for your creativity, you might consider the Alcona Writer's Retreat in Northern, Michigan...

 "Wayne State University Press and Inspiration Alcona, a nonprofit arts group, will host the first annual Alcona Writers Retreat June 4-7 in northeast Michigan. Three prominent Michigan authors will teach memoir, poetry and fiction writing at Lost Lake Woods Club’s lodge on a small, quiet lake at the edge of the forest. Anne-Marie Oomen, author of several memoirs and a book of poetry, will teach memoir writing. Kathleen McGookey, author of four books of poetry, will teach poetry in verse and in prose. John Smolens, author of 10 critically acclaimed novels, will teach fiction. All levels of experience are welcome, including those who want to start writing. Learn more at"


Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.-Jorge Luis Borges


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Writer is a Dreamer

Are you looking for some deeper truth in your writing? Try recording your dreams and crafting them into stories. Dreams remove us from the mundane. Time and place become fluid and the self dissolves into a myriad of symbols that our conscious mind often cannot see. Through the recording of our dreams, we shine light into our writing and we also illuminate the darkness within ourselves. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Voices of the Middle West Festival: Ann Arbor

If you're looking for some writing inspiration, mark your calendar for the Voices of the Middle West Festival held on the campus of the University of Michigan on Saturday March 21st, 2015. The festival brings together a variety of Midwest authors and writers including U of M faculty, students and additional writers and press. The festival will be headlined by award winning author and poet Stuart Dybek.

Voices of the Middle West Festival

Location: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Date: March 21st, 2015

Time: Begins at 10 am

Cost: FREE

For more information visit

Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure. Emotion is easily transferred from the writer to the reader. -Joseph Joubert

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert TED Talk

This TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert is fabulously inspiring and it reminds us to recognize the divine energy at work in our lives.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yoga and Creative Writing Workshop in Traverse City

For you Michigan Writers who reside in the beautiful Traverse City area of North Michigan, I am offering a workshop that integrates yoga and creative writing. We will meet for five weeks with the intention of tapping into your authentic voice. This is not a critique workshop, but rather an opportunity to dig deeper and release your words and stories in a spontaneous way.

Peaceful Prose:
A Yoga and Creative Writing Workshop

Join author and yoga teacher Jacki Erickson in a five-week workshop integrating yoga and creative writing.

We will explore postures, chakras, breath-work and meditation with an emphasis on discovering our authentic voice. Writing exercises, prompts and journaling will offer a structure to share our insights and hone our craft.

Who Should Attend? This workshop is designed for anyone who wants to spark their creativity and dive deeper into the practice of yoga and writing. Beginning writers and those new to practicing yoga are encouraged to attend.

Location: Shanti School of Yoga, 2074 West South Airport Road, Traverse City, MI

Dates and Time: Five Fridays February 20, 2015- March 20, 2015 from 4pm-5:30pm.

Cost: $125

Please Bring: A yoga mat, journal, writing utensil and an open mind.

Contact me at

Jacki Erickson (J.R. Erickson) is the author of Ula: Born of Shadows; a fantasy novel series published by Bluewood Publishing in 2012. The release of her second novel Sorciere is expected in 2015. Jacki has been writing most of her life and has published articles and short stories in a variety of publications.
Jacki is a 300-HR certified yoga teacher through Hilltop Yoga in Lansing, Michigan. She currently teaches at Shanti School of Yoga in Traverse City.

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Michigan Writing Events

Connect with other writers, workshop your material, improve your technique and simply delve a little deeper into the writing life with these 2015 Writing Events in Michigan.

A Rally of Writers (Lansing Writer's Conference): April 2015

Rochester Writer's Spring Conference: April 2015

Interlochen Writer's Retreat: June 2015

Bear River Writer's Retreat: June 2015

Glen Lake Writer's Retreat: June 2015

8th Annual Rochester Writer's Conference: October 2015

You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.
Stephen King

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Make a Living as a Freelance Writer

Making a career out of freelance writing is a labor of love. Many writers aspire to one day support themselves entirely with writing, but instead discover that they must work at the local coffee shop or spend their most productive hours answering phones to make ends meet. I get it. I've been there and still regularly occupy that space. Life is a dynamic process and freelance writing is especially thus. It's ever changing.One month, you might have five clients that you're working with and the next, you're checking your email every hour, hoping for a small editing gig. What I've learned more than anything else in the freelance business is that I am responsible for my business. If I'm not generating it, there won't be any.

My partner in crime is a musician and he is a great example of how to be successful in the freelance business. Every day, he works to create his business. He goes to jam sessions to network with other musicians, he regularly stops by music studios to offer his services as a music teacher and he composes almost every single night. I'm often envious of his amazing focus and determination in his chosen field of creativity.

If you're struggling to make writing your full time career, consider some of the tips and resources below to help jump start your June business.

Advice for Freelancers 

  • Talk About Your Business: I recently started a new editing project for an attorney. She called me because she knew that I was a freelancer and she couldn't find anyone in her area that she trusted with confidential documents. Her business came as a result of conversations that I'd had with her more than two years ago. The more you tell people about what you do, the more likely your name is going to come up when someone needs writing or editing services. So allow the modesty to fall away for a bit and tell everyone that you meet for a week that you offer writing and editing or other freelance services, pass out business cards and remind your friends and family that any clients they send your way are greatly appreciated. 
  • Practice What You Preach: I must admit that I often fail in this capacity. When I work with clients, I spend a lot of time optimizing their content, building a social media platform and finding ways to make their business relevant on the internet. Why do I do this? Because that's how their future clients and customers will find them. This is equally, if not more so, important for a freelance writer. Utilize the internet to find new clients and to let people know that you exist. I recommend Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and any other sites that can advertise your area of expertise. 
  • Do Stellar Work: Every client is a connection to future clients. When you create content that someone loves or optimize a website so that your client's business improves, other people will hear about it. It's an overused statement that actions speak louder than words, but it's extremely relevant in the freelance business. You can talk a great game, but if you provide mediocre service, you will lose a lot of word-of-mouth business. 
Writer's Resources

  • MediaBistro: This is a great site for connecting with other writers, finding freelance jobs and finding informative articles about writing, publishing and more. 
  • NAIWE National Association of Independent Writers and Editors: Though this organization is not free, it is still a great resource for writers. As a member of NAIWE, you receieve a hosted WordPress blog that appears in the associations blogroll in addition to professional level support. 
  • All Indie Writers: Freelance writing jobs, writer's forum and writer's markets. 
  • Writer's Market Directory: An online directory of paying writer's markets.