Tag Archives: Writing Tips

Blog Roller

What I’m reading around the blogosphere today:

Write it Sideways: 23 Websites that Make Your Writing Stronger

The Book Designer: Fair Use, The Rights of Personality, and Unintended Consequences

Real Simple: 16 New Etiquette Rules for the Tech Age

Psych Central: Are Depressed Poets Still Creative?

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Breaking into Freelancing; The Basic Questions Answered

I’d like to thank Christina Katz for posting answers to these questions that I think most freelancers have asked themselves at some point when attempting to break into the field.

If you are just attempting to start writing on a freelance basis then these answers will help you; and if you’re already an established freelancer then perhaps you can pass this post on to a beginner who would benefit.

Thanks Christina!

Click here to be taken to Christina’s site.

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5 Ways to Create An Engaging Writing Style. Guest Blogger: Laura Cross

I know that “guest blogger day” on this year’s blogathon isn’t for a couple more weeks, but I wanted to share this post that Laura Cross graciously gave me permission to feature on my blog.

Without further adieu, today’s post comes from fellow freelancer Laura Cross. I follow Laura’s blogs daily and I enjoy the way she always has good tips for writers. I hope my readers will enjoy Laura’s tips for creating an engaging writing style.

FIVE WAYS TO CREATE AN ENGAGING WRITING STYLE

In writing, “style” is the way you deliver your message – it’s the words you choose, the tone you use, and the way you structure sentences. Many successful practical-nonfiction books deliver their messages in a clear, concise, friendly, warm, and encouraging manner. Here are five ways to achieve a winning writing style:

1. Use Conversational Style
Write as if you were speaking to a good friend. Use informal, personal, casual words that create a comfortable trust and connect with the reader. Incorporate personal stories, anecdotes, and humor when appropriate.

2. Avoid Judgmental Language
A reader wants an author who understands and sympathizes with her problem – whether the reader needs to learn how to manage money, be a better parent, market her business, or lose 20 pounds. Avoid using judgmental stigmatizing language. Focus on what the reader can do to make good choices and improve her situation.

3. Be Reassuring and Positive
How-to and self-help readers often lack confidence. They may feel insecure about their ability to achieve the desired results. Keep your writing upbeat and optimistic. Reassure your readers that by using your program, techniques, instructions, method, or information they can reach their goals. Let them know it’s easy and many others “just like them” have achieved success. Always be supportive and create a sense of hope.

4. Address the Reader Directly
Personalize your sentences. Whenever possible, address the reader as “you.” Readers searching for answers and solutions to their problems want to hear about themselves – they want you to speak to “them” directly.

5. Keep It Simple
Clear and concise writing is the most effective. Keep your sentences short and simple – use words the average person can easily understand. Avoid technical terms when possible and always define words that may be new to the reader.

YOUR TURN: What are some of the techniques you use to create an engaging writing style?

Laura Cross is an author, screenwriter, ghostwriter, freelance book editor, and writing coach specializing in nonfiction books and script adaptation (book-to-film projects). She writes two popular blogs, http://www.NonfictionInk.com and http://www.AboutAScreenplay.com, and teaches online writing workshops http://www.ScenarioWritingStudio.com/workshops. Her latest book is The Complete Guide To Hiring A Literary Agent: Everything You Need To Know To Become Successfully Published.

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May Blogathon Begins!

This is it folks! The May 2010 Blogathon has officially kicked off starting today.

I’m so excited to be a part of this growing phenomenon for the second year in a row. I see nothing but great things in all of the participators’ future for ourselves and our blogs.

Being disciplined to write on your blog daily isn’t an easy task by any means. It takes planning and dedication to keep up with the demand of your readers. It’s not as simple as just posting daily, it’s also very important to keep your readers engaged and interested in your content so that they want to continue coming back to your blog.

I’ve been dutifully planning out my posts so that my readers and followers will be both engaged and entertained whilst reading and commenting on my blog. I’ve put work and thought into this years blogathon, rather than last year where I saw it as a “getting my feet wet” event for myself. I was new to the blogosphere and to blogging daily and I wrote whatever came to mind that day. Not this year, I’ve been a good little writer…planning where I wanted this year’s blogathon to take me.

I hope that you will come along with me on this journey and not only learn from my blog but also enjoy it enough that you want to recommend it to others and use the information supplied here to help yourself in your own writing journey.

Good luck to all the other bloggers participating. I can’t wait to read what’s on everyone else’s mind this month.

Please leave your comments below, I love hearing from my readers.

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Writers Should Write Daily

In my daily internet surfing routine, I often come across a variety of other blogs that stress the importance of writing daily if you want to call yourself a “writer”. However, I’m not sure that all of us writers really grasp that point.

Consider daily writing as an emotional catharsis. You have an idea, or something is bothering you, even a small notion of something that interests you is important in your world. I say your because what you may think is important to you may not seem so important to others, but it is important nonetheless, and thus requires writing down. Writing it (whatever it may be) down can help to declutter your mind. It could be something as strong as your feelings while going through a divorce, or perhaps it’s something as small as writing out your grocery list.

As I’ve stated in prior posts on this blog, I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go. Sometimes it’s a big three subject notebook, other times it’s a pocket-sized Moleskine. Regardless of its size, I always have something to record what’s in my head.

This daily writing not only cleanses my thoughts, but it also keeps my muse alive. I’m nourishing her by feeding into my impulses and keeping her hydrated by allowing the ink to flow from my pen. She thanks me by continually giving me ideas to write on.

I feel it’s also important to write everything down since distractions are everywhere. One minute I’m thinking I need to visit a particular site to read more on a writer’s conference that I know is coming up soon, and the next I’m wondering which right hand turn I’m to take. I’ve learned, mostly through trial and error, that if I think it…I need to write it…or I’ll most certainly forget it.

I encourage you to write daily. Be it a ten page narrative, a short story, a poem, even your “to-do” list…write it down. And when your muse seems hungry for ink, give in – pick a quiet spot and let all your thoughts flow. For all we know, our daily writings could be the next big novel or the next Pulitzer Prize winner.

Good luck writers and please, share your muse stories with us. We learn best when it’s from each other.

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Forgetting Children in Cars

question markSo here I am, perusing the web with my coffee in hand, and I start my day with this post from momlogic “Baby dies in hot car.”

Fantastic way to start my morning…not.

For starters, can parents please tell me how you forget your children in the car? Anyone?

I’m a mom, I travel with my son in the car daily, and I have never even come close to forgetting him anywhere I am, let alone in a car.

It’s such a preposterous act that I simply don’t understand it. You go through all the trouble of strapping your children in a car, then you find a parking space, get out, and lock your car up without taking out the human being you strapped in ten minutes earlier? I can’t…I just cannot comprehend the absentmindedness of parents some times.

There is no excuse, as far as I’m concerned, for leaving your children in a car. Period.

Please do share your thoughts and opinions on such a weighty topic.

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The Presence of a Parent

A parent's presenceYour children need your presence more than your presents.  ~Jesse Jackson

 

Ain’t that the truth, huh?

Parents know how important it is to be a dominant presence within your child’s life, but sometimes I’m convinced they don’t understand it. 

Speaking from my own experiences, I am a stay at home mother to my son. I only have one child and therefore I’m sure that it’s much easier for me to give 100% of myself to my child than say – a mother with three or four kids – or even two. But I can’t speak for those moms, because I’m not one. I have only one human being who longs for my attention and my presence. The only thing he asks of me is “mommy play.” My son, at three, has no idea if we’re rich or poor, and he doesn’t care. If he only had one toy to play with, and a mommy who sat on the floor with him all day and played with him, he’d be happy. 

Parents tend to replace their presence with presents. You know who you are. You think that buying your child that Big Wheel will replace all the long hours that you put in at the office. Newsflash: it won’t. From birth until old age, kids need their parents. Not just to feed, shelter, and comfort them, but to be there for them and be parents to them. To sit on the floor and play Matchbox cars or Barbies means more to your children than any toy you could buy them.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming to be an expert on child rearing, and here’s another newsflash for you: no one is. Every child is different, and every parent is different. You parent exactly like your parents did, if you had a good upbringing. Or, if you had a horrible childhood, you parent completely different, hoping to give your children a better life. Either way, you’re a product of your environment. 

For me, I choose to shower my son with my presence. I spend hours each day playing with him, coloring, cooking, playing cars, or kicking a ball around. Your children want you around, never forget that. Make your child your priority instead of your job, or whatever it is that may take precedence over your parenting. I know, for some, it’s easier said than done if you’re the sole money maker. Regardless, your children are only their age once, you will never get back today. And your children will never forget that you weren’t there when they just wanted your attention, or to spend some alone time with you.

I chose to make myself a stay at home mom because I never wanted to miss a moment with my son. I think he literally grows before my eyes. To think that just three years ago I brought him home from the hospital, it seems like yesterday to me. I’m glad that I don’t have to put long hours in at the office and miss out on my sons first anything. My company means more to my son that any Transformer action figure I could buy him. Presence versus presents, they sound exactly alike, but carry an entire world of difference to your children.

Please share your thoughts and opinions. We learn best when it’s from each other.

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