Ten Benefits of Writing “Something” Everyday

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Writing is a part of everyday life. It is an unavoidable part of your day. From writing emails, to making shopping lists, different forms of writing make up a large part of our communication with others, as well as ourselves.

Aside from these everyday writing tasks there are many reasons to make a writing session part of your daily routine. Be it. blogging, journaling, or just some quick notes on how you feel, the benefits of writing can reach deep within your soul.

Ten Reasons You Should Write Something Everyday;

  1. Release Stress – Daily writing is a great way to release the stress that has accumulated throughout your day. Whether you are writing in a journal and confronting the stress head on, or making a joke of it on your blog, getting the words on to paper will release the stress from your mind and body helping you to relax.
  2. Produce Ideas – The more you write the more you will find to write about. Daily writing helps you to generate ideas for the future by expanding on things you have already written. This is especially useful if you are writing for profit, you can take a small piece of something you wrote at an earlier time and elaborate on it in the future, creating new content with little effort. Your mind will automatically start to produce new and exciting ideas the more often you write, knowing that those ideas will be released on to paper and sent out into the world to change and grow.
  3. Clear Your Mind – Hand in hand with releasing stress, your mind collects a large amount of clutter each day that needs to be released so that it does not weigh you down and turn into stress. Journaling, blogging, or simply writing notes about how you feel is a simple and effective way to rid you mind of this clutter so you can start each day fresh and ready to face new adventures.
  4. Confront Your Emotions – Emotions can some times be difficult to deal with, and even more hard to understand. It may sound strange but often times even we don’t truly know how we are feeling about something until we decide to face it head on and break it down bit by bit. Bottling up your emotions can be exhausting and is actually bad for your health. Writing can help you get those feelings down on paper so that you can access how you really feel about a situation. Free writing is a great exercise to help you release your feelings without thinking them through first. Sit down with a piece of paper and let your feelings flow, don’t worry about thought or form, just get it out on paper and take the time to access the words at a later time.
  5. Learn Something New – Writing requires a large amount of thought, and often entails research. Each and every word you write can teach you something new. Whether it is a new subject that you have to research for an article, a new voice for a story, or just something new about yourself, writing is a great tool for learning and should be utilized often.
  6. Get to Know Yourself – Just as writing can teach you about new subjects, it will also help you to learn about yourself. Even through writing about other topics you will find that pieces of yourself seem to turn up in your writing. If you are looking for a more direct approach to get to know yourself better opt for a journal or diary. Blogs and other writing forms are also great tools, as following your thought pattern will teach you how you think and what you feel.
  7. Escape the Chaos – Daily writing can be an easy escape from the world around you. After a long day at the office or home with the kids we are often looking for ways to unwind. Writing in a journal, or posting to your blog is a great way to get centered and enjoy some time alone. Settle in a comfortable quite area and let your mind relax, enjoy the silence and the words that you produce. Writing is an art, appreciate it.
  8. Form a Habit – Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a habit. What does this mean for you? Well if you hope to grow and succeed in your writing you must do it on a regular basis, thus if you can make it a habit for 21 days straight it will become a part of your everyday routine. It is easier to aim for success with good habits already in place.
  9. Change the Way You Think – Once you are writing and producing pieces of any form you will start to notice a change in the way that you think. There is something about having to look critically at what you have written that helps to open your mind and change the way you think.
  10. Live Your Dreams – You are here reading this because you obviously want to write. It is clearly a dream that you are hoping to make a reality… So live it. Even if you are living it little by little each day, grab your dreams and live it, in any way you can!
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Boost Your Blog Stats By Appealing To The “Info Scanner” Society of Today…

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You spend hours, maybe even days slaving away over a piece of writing. You edit, re-write, then edit again, finally producing a piece you are proud to display. You publish the piece and sit back to revel in the glory…. but no one sees your spectacular post, no one reads it, there are no re-tweets, no comments, and no one is sharing it on Facebook. You site stats resemble a ghost town, and you are obsessively checking them every hour.

Rejection of any kind can drive a writer mad, seeing a piece that you spent ample time constructing get lost in cyber space among the constant clutter of other blogs is frustrating enough to cause a writer of any level to throw in the towel, but don’t give up yet… There are some simple tips and tricks to getting your writing the attention it deserves;

Boost Your Blog Stats With These Simple Tips....

 

Provide Information Clearly and Quickly

It is a simple fact that readers are looking for information, and with people’s lives as busy as they are these days, they want it fast!

We have all ‘info scanned‘, you type a phrase into Google and begin scanning the available information. Maybe you click on a page or two, and begin to read the post, scanning for the answer you are seeking….

The fact is, that if the information your reader is looking for is not easily seen, they will move on to the next item on the list.

To help your reader easily find what they came in search of ensure that your posts are not to in-depth. If you want to produce a complex piece consider breaking it down into smaller points to cover over various posts. A reader is more likely to return for more later, than to sit down and read for a solid hour at a time. This method also provides you with easy inspiration for future posts.

Use bullets to break up your facts; because readers scan pages, using bullets will break up your writing and make it more appealing to the reader who is scanning for information. Bold headlines, numbering, and lists are also great ways to attract the eye to the information they provide. People prefer a ‘quick read’ it is best to accept this and use it to your advantage, rather than try to fight it with information overload.

Revert back to ‘essay’ mode. Back in English class we were all taught to state our point at the beginning of our piece and write our following sentences in support of our outcome. By following this basic method on your blog, or in any form of writing, you allow the reader to quickly decide if they want to engage deeper into your piece. Stating your conclusion first and breaking your writing into supporting pieces will allow the reader to scan from point to point quickly, and help them easily obtain what they came to find, it is at this point that they will decide to backtrack and read your piece in its entirety. You can not write with the expectation that your reader will engage in each and every detail the first time around, you must write with the ‘busy mind‘ in focus and ensure that all the information can be easily gathered in a short period of time.

Another way to break-up your writing and make it more appealing to the ‘info scanner’s’ eye is to use page breaks. Keeping your paragraphs to one point each and adding plenty of space between each idea is a simple way to help your reader ‘scan‘ your thoughts more easily. Keep your paragraphs short and to the point allowing the readers eyes to flow effortlessly from point to point.

Appeal to the eye with images. Using images is an obvious way of attracting readers to your content, people are drawn to images, and often look for them to tell the story. You need only look at the most popular gossip magazines to see that sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Adding caption to your images will also help generate an audience,your readers will be enticed to read further in order to get the ‘whole story’.

Attracting people to your posts in the first place is one of the biggest challenges that writers face. By using relevant ‘tags’ for your posts you will attract the right readers more easily through search engines. Be sure that you use tags that are relevant to your topic and that you use as many as you can think of, ‘the more the merrier’ when it comes to tags, as you want your post to show up in as many searches as possible.

Once you have the readers on your site your mission is to keep them there, one of the best ways to do this is by using relevant links in your writing. Linking back to your own relevant content from past posts will keep your readers on your site, and help them gather more information. Linking to past posts is an easy way to generate traffic and show your versatility, but be sure that you are only linking posts that are relevant to your current subject, though linking to a post about pigs in a post about politics may be humorous, someone reading about politics probably has no interest in ‘the basics of pig farming’.

The most basic strategy for getting your writing the attention it deserves is by being bold. Using bold text to highlight information pulls the reader’s eye to the point you want to highlight. It is a ‘tried and true’ method that is easily accomplished without much effort.

Lastly you must remember to edit your writing with an open mind. Once you have written your piece read over it with an open mind; Are you highlighting the most important information? Is it easily gathered for the ‘info scanners’ of the world? Are your readers able to quickly get the basics of your piece without having to deal with the details right off the hop? If you can not decide for yourself than have a friend read over your content and decide how informative it is, and how quickly you are providing information. Remember that most readers don’t have much time, you want to make your point clear and provide your information quickly if you want your readers to feel compelled to read deeper, always remember the ‘busy mind’ and you will attract the audience your writing deserves.

Quick Tips To Improve Your Writing Right Now!

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Every writer, big or small, wants to improve their writing. It’s part of the joy and excitement that writing entails, there is always a way to grow or improve. The most commonly given advice to anyone who hopes to develop their skills is simply to write, and write, and write, and write some more.

While this is very truthful, and useful, advice there are a few tips that can help enhance your writing right now;

  1. Get to the point – No matter what style of writing you prefer it is best to make your point clear as quickly as possible. If you can not express yourself clearly in a few words you run the risk of losing your reader along the way. This is not to say that everything you write should be a short, concise piece with minimal word usage, description is a great thing, but when you have taken the time to write seven lines of detailed description before even touching your topic, character, or position chances are your reader will either bore, or be confused, and simply give up reading. Be sure that your point is clear before you start to elaborate on it further. Remember those lessons in English class about having a topic sentence for you essay? View everything you write from the same mindset to avoid wandering off topic.
  2. Use easy-to-read paragraphs – Keeping your sentences and paragraphs to a minimum length will help the flow of reading your piece. Readers are drawn to clear, concise, easy-to-read pieces. Aim for shorter sentences that will promote speed, as well as retention, there isn’t much use in writing something easy to read without the reader retaining any of the information. Anywhere between 40-100 words is the ideal comfort level for reading.
  3. Watch your tone – We have all experienced a misunderstanding with the tone of someone’s writing. I am constantly misinterpreting the tone of my hubby’s text messages, and this can lead to confusion, and even anger at times. It is easy to forget that your readers my not be able to clearly catch the tone you are aiming for in your writing, sure you know that you are being sarcastic, humorous, or serious, but you need to ensure that you tone is clear to others. The best way to ensure this is to edit , edit, edit, and have someone else edit for you. Get a friend to read over you piece to see if they catch your tone clearly and have them express how the writing makes them ‘feel.’ A misunderstood tone can change the entire view of your writing. Take for example the sentence:
    Stop That!
    Am I angry? Teasing? Giggling playfully? Your readers won’t know unless you tell them, don’t assume that they will be able to figure out your tone on their own, make it easy for them to understand.
  4. Get Personal – This applies to anything that you write on various levels. When writing a story get close to your characters, you should know them inside and out. Create a character bio sheet and create endless amounts of information about each character so you can answer any questions that may arise. You should know your characters better than you know yourself. When writing other styles it is sometimes helpful to use personal opinions, or examples to connect with your readers. If someone is reading your piece chances are it is because they are interested in the topic you have written about, it is often helpful for the reader to see that someone else has experience with the topic they are interested in, and it helps them to connect with your writing on a more personal level. This advice goes hand in hand with the ‘write what you know’ advice writers are often given.
  5. Consider your audience – In anything that you write you must consider you target audience. You would not use big, extravagant words in a story for children, or an adult tone in a piece for teenagers, you must consider who will be reading your writing and aim to create an equal tone. This will help your audience better connect with your writing, better understand your point, and make them feel equal. One of the most amazing talents of a good writer is to be able to connect with their audience, and make them feel like they are listening to their best friend.

Consider all these factors before you begin your writing, and create an outline of the goals you wish to achieve. It is important that your readers feel your passion, and connect with your writing in order to relate to, and retain what they are reading. Planning before you write is the easiest way to ensure that you achieve simplicity, and flow in your writing, and that you reach your audience with the clarity you need to get your point across. When it comes to writing practice makes perfect so write, write, and write some more!

Until Next Time….

Write On!

The Art of Journaling

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I wanted to touch base on the subject of Journaling as many of my friends and fellow writers have been discussing this subject lately, and I have yet to discuss it here.

Journal writing can be an excellent tool for writers, as well as on a more personal level. Journals allot you a safe and private space to explore new ideas, try new things, express your thoughts, and grow as a person in general.  Journal writing is an effective tool for many different issues that we face in life, it can help you to openly express your feelings on an issue without having to worry about what others will think, or about causing offence with your opinion. Journals can also be a the perfect instrument for teens as it can help to encourage a healthy body image, positive thinking, and strengthen self-esteem, it provides them with a safe place to vent their frustrations and think about their ideas before they take any action.

If you are like me you probably had a diary when you were younger, or even a few, journaling is the same idea as the ‘diary‘  on a more ‘grown-up level and without the awkwardness of talking directly to an inanimate object. Journaling is also more geared toward an inward focus rather than a log of day-to-day activities, it is a collection of questions, answers, musings, ideas, and thoughts on whatever area you choose to explore.

When you think of journaling what comes to mind? Do you see a hardcover book? A password protected file on your computer? A private online site that you can share with others if you desire? Are you more likely to use a sketch pad and doodle your thoughts than write them in words? Whatever tool you choose, it is important that you find something you are not only comfortable writing in, but something that inspires you to write as well. Journaling is helpful for encouraging regular writing, and thus you should choose an object that you enjoy using. Some people choose bold colorful journals, others prefer to use an inconspicuous binded book, and many opt for an online journal that is password protected, but can be personalized as required. When it comes to journaling it is about personal preference rather than what is right or wrong,

Here are a few things to consider when thinking about starting a journal;

One of the greatest things about journaling is the lack of format that is required. It can be a great relief for a writer to not have to worry about grammar, or form when writing. Your journal is a ‘personal‘ space, and so worrying about proper spelling and grammar is not a necessity, unless done by choice.

You can find links online that will lead you to many different kinds of journals, and you can start a journal for almost any purpose that your mind can create. There are journals for personal growth, business ideas, writers, artists, parents, children, music, travel, cooking, etc… any passion, thought, need, or creation can be formed into a journal. The possibilities are endless, it is another one of the wonderful things about journaling, as you grow your journal can grow with you.

People choose to journal for a variety reasons, for some it is a way to find their true self, get through a rough tine, look inward and sort out their desires in life, or keep track of their personal/professional goals. For others journal writing is simply a way to keep track of their ideas, or a way to regroup and relax at the end of the day. Your Journal is what you make it for ‘you!’

When you begin your journal think of ‘why‘ you are beginning, and ‘what’ you hope to accomplish. If you stray off this original path though, don’t stress, allow your mind to take you where it wants to go. You may feel awkward at first writing your thoughts down so openly, but just allow them to flow, don’t think about what you are writing, and don’t edit. Journaling is a lot like free-writing in the sense that you want your mind to lead you to the outcome, rather than your outcome leading your mind.

You can opt to use prompts in your journal writing as many people do, (this is especially popular when you are writing a personal growth journal) or simply answer your own questions as they arise. You can choose to deal with the issues you are facing personally/professionally, or just let your mind lead the way. As I said before, the great thing about a journal is that there is no right or wrong, it is all about ‘you,’ and it is a relaxing, easy way to learn more about yourself, gather ideas, answer questions, and personally grow from within. The only rule to journaling is that you must enjoy it.

For writers that are considering journaling it can be a wonderful tool for facing your fears, creating ideas, tracking your progress, or just venting your frustrations, You may find that the freedom of writing without rules stems ideas that would otherwise not be found.

Whatever your purpose in starting a journal be sure that you choose a form that suits your needs. Don’t stress about having to write, or needing to do things a certain way, simply enjoy the experience and use it as a tool for growth. Be honest and allow your mind to release the creativity it holds within, get to know yourself, and your writing, and be open to the discoveries you may find.

 

Until next time….

Write On!

Write On! Right??

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When it comes to writing I tend to be a lot like a child. In fact, when it comes to life I tend to be a lot like a child too, but more so when it comes to writing. If I am suffering from a lack of inspiration, having a bad typing day, or can’t find the word I need to express what I am trying to say… I throw a hissy fit.

My frustration with writing when I ‘just don’t feel like it‘ is the equivalent of trying to get a two-year old to sit still when they want to play, impossible.

We are constantly told as writers that the best way to improve our writing, break through writers block, and produce good work is to write, write, and write some more… but what if you really don’t feel like writing??

Should you force yourself to write on those days when you just don’t feel like it? Should your writing be treated like your employment? e.g. even though you don’t feel like going to work, you still get up, get dressed, and go there anyway If you do treat your writing like your job, and force yourself to write, are you really going to accomplish anything anyway? How do you decide if you should force your writing, and is it really worth the stress?

How you are going to treat your writing is a decision that only you can make personally. What works for one writer, may not work for another, only you know what you do, and do not, like when it comes to your writing. For example; a friend of mine is an excellent writer, I am often in awe of the amazing work she can produce. I once asked her how she gets in her ‘writing zone‘ to which she replied ‘Music.’ My friend plays music as she writes, it inspires her and gets her creative juices flowing. Now, for me this doesn’t work at all, I require silence when I write, no music, no T.V., and especially no talking! I tend to get very moody when people try to talk to me while I write, my friends and family can attest to this, I’m sure. It is in this silence that I produce some of my best pieces, and where me and my friend differ most…

The same rule applies when you are trying to decide when you should, and should not, write. Although the advice ‘the more you write the more you will be inspired‘ is solid advice for any writer, it may not work for some people or some situations.

When I am not in the mood to write there is nothing that anyone can do or say to change that, there is no magical song, story, or place that will get my mind in the mode. I can not force myself to produce writing because it simply causes me more frustration then I am feeling in the first place. And so when I come across one of these moods I will often make an attempt to write, but the moment I feel the frustration I stop, and pick up again at a time when I am feeling more settled. If I tried to force my writing I would simply get upset, I would pick apart anything that I produced, and I would become unhappy with myself, my writing, and my life in general… as I said I am a bit like a child when it comes to writing.

If you find that writing is frustrating you but you still ‘want ‘ to write, or ‘have‘ to write there are a few tips that may help to calm your mind and get you in to writing mode;

  • Read what others have written – When you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with writing it can often help to have a peak at what others have been writing. Doing this may help to spark your creativity, or give you another outlook on the topic you are writing about yourself. I have generated a number of ideas simply by reading other people’s blogs, just be careful not to steal ideas, and be sure to give credit where it is due.
  • Have some fun – On days when I am being a little to serious about my writing I sometimes take time to write something that is a little less significant. Take a few minutes to pound out a children’s poem, a funny story, or a humorous blog post. Have fun with your writing and laugh at yourself a little bit. It will help you relax and may inspire some lighter ideas for later.
  • Take a break – You may ‘want‘ to write, you may ‘have‘ to write, but sometimes no matter what you do, you are just not going to be able to write. When you find that everything your writing is frustrating you, or you are over editing, simply stop writing and take a break. Have a coffee, or take a walk and come back to the piece later, by then you will hopefully have calmed down and will be able to look at your writing from a fresh point of view.
  • Talk about it – You may be able to generate ideas, or expand the one you already have by talking to other writers. Try joining a writing group in your area, or online, or just call up your closest friend and vent your frustration. Some of the best advice can come from someone with no experience in writing, they may be able to provide a different view that you never even considered. As with any problem we face in life, talking about it often helps to defuse the issue and come to a resolution.
  • Never give up – Choose to walk away from a piece of writing that is causing you stress does not mean you have to give up on it, or writing in general. Every writer has a piece of writing, or an idea that is sitting on the back burner just waiting to be released. Come back to the piece from time to time and have another shot at it, you may find that over time you have generated bits and pieces that can be fit together to make a whole and the piece is completed almost magically. No matter what you choose to do never give up on a good idea, take a break and come back when the time is right.

It is your choice personally how you approach writing, but it is important to remember that you started writing because you enjoyed doing it. If something is frustrating you, making you angry, or causing you to get upset it is sometimes best to step away from the situation until you can view it from another angle. Most importantly, have fun with your writing, your readers will sense your frustration, and you will drive yourself crazy trying to achieve perfection, of you are not having fun find something else to entertain you for the moment and come back to your piece when the passion returns, and it will don’t worry. As with anything in life, even writing can sometimes become routine, and even your mind can get bored, be sure to provide yourself with challenges as well as rewards to keep your mind, and your soul, happy.

Until next time….

Write On!


Time to Become a Writer…

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Every writer, parent, and person, would probably agree, that it would be a wonderful world if we were all equipped with the ability to make time stand still. It seems that there are never enough hours in the day to complete the tasks on our To-Do list, let alone those items that tend to pile up on your list of ‘Writing To-Do’s’. With the time it takes to complete your daily chores, work related tasks, and family/personal responsibilities, finding the time to sit down and write can be futile, and often gets pushed to the back burner of our priorities without much thought. Since most of us do not have the luxury of a universal remote that grants us the ability to pause reality, and sit down in silence, we as writers must make the time available if we wish to succeed in our field. Time management is a valuable skill that separates the ‘hobby’ writer from the serious one; though no one will ever be able to say they ‘ more than enough’ time to write out every idea that comes to mind, there are some simple tips in time management that will help you create  more of the time you need in order to take your writing to the next level;

  • Stick to a schedule. Most people have some sort of day planner, and if you don’t you should purchase one immediately. Whether you carry around a big black book, write your responsibilities on your calendar, or enter them into your iPhone, scheduling time to write is a great way to incorporate writing into your daily life. When something is written on our schedule we are less likely to renounce it; so pull out that calendar and pencil in some writing time. Even if you can only manage small blocks of time here and there, taking that time to write on a regular basis will help you to create a habit, and be a more ‘productive’ writer.
  • Spread the word. Tell your friends, family, neighbors, strangers, and pets that you plan to start writing regularly. This concept works the same way for any goal you plan to tackle, as with losing weight, or quitting smoking, when you involve other people you are less likely to slip up because; a) other people are likely to inquire about your progress, to which you will feel obligated to provide a response and b) it is a lot harder to provide pathetic excuses to other people than it is to tell them to yourself. In a sense it will force you to write, and the fact is that the more you write the better.
  • Clock your creativity. For some people the most creative time of day comes at the crack of dawn, for others the wheels in their head start turning late at night when the stars are out, and the world is silent. Whatever time of day best sparks your creative peak, pick that time of day to write. If this means that you have to leave the house, or find a friend to help you with the children, then so be it, enlist the help you need to get the job done when the inspiration is available. Though I often advise people that the key to successful writing begins with quantity rather than quality, and you should at least make an attempt to write even if you don’t feel like it, those moments that you do feel inspired should be captured.
  • Put an end to procrastination. The main reason for work not being completed is procrastination, especially when it comes to writing. We all find reasons to avoid sitting down to write. Blame it on work, the kids, or the pile of dishes. Perhaps it is the fact that you haven’t slept in 7 years, or that the 12 loads of laundry beside the washer and driving you mad… You can come up with excuses until the cows come home… The fact is that; the kids, the chaos, and the laundry will still be there later, but a good idea can disappear into thin air in a moment. In order to be effective in your writing you must learn to put an end to procrastination. Don’t make excuses, don’t spend an hour checking your emails before deciding that it is too late to start writing now, don’t say ‘I’ll do it later’ anymore, you must write if you want to be a writer. So stop procrastinating, sit down, and just do it!

No matter what your schedule, or situation, if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you need to take writing seriously. Often people are uncomfortable accepting, and admitting, that they are ‘writers‘. Perhaps it is the unrealistic perception that society has about writers. People sometimes believe that anyone who calls himself a ‘writer’ sits at home, plays on the computer, and lives an easy life…. Well get over it! People are always going to think that way, someone is always going to giggle when you say ‘I’m a writer’, if you let their outlook affect your writing you are never going to become the writer you long to be. So instead of making excuses, push your priorities around and make writing a part of your daily life… Just as you would change you habits for your children’s happiness, change your habits for your own happiness. Practice your time management skills, and become the most effective writer you can be.

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