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LIZ PURCELL - Page 3 of 81 - freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Francisco State University

A Writer’s Day Off – What Are the Benefits?

I write every day. For hours, I sit at my computer, cranking out pages for work in progress or planning my next book. If I am unable to fit writing into my day I can get discouraged and even anxious. Writing is more than my chosen occupation, it is my passion.

But every writer needs a break now and then, and I took a day off last week. Some friends of mine were going on a cook’s tour. I love to cook so I signed up for the tour and it was marvelous.

Famous writers know when they need a break. Neal Justin writes about Garrison Keillor’s plans in a Minneapolis “Star-Tribune” article, “Keillor is Taking a Break from his Weekly Column.” After writing his column for five years straight, Keillor is taking a hiatus to finish a screen play and start a novel. No information was available on whether or not Keillor would return to his column.

According to a Writinghood website article, “Sometimes a Writer has to Take a Break,” we need to call time out to avoid burnout. But some writers are afraid to take a break because they think they may lose momentum, the article notes. “The big fear here is that a break of one day will lead to a break of two days, which eventually could lead to a break of a week or a month or forever.”

The kind of break you take is important. I chose a one-day break, yet my writer’s mind was on alert, and the break had significant benefits. First, I was able to savor fall in Minnesota. The hills were a riot of color, a collage of pink maples, golden birches, and red oaks. The changing colors were more than stunning; they fueled my soul.

Writers need to be good listeners and I listened carefully to the conversation on the bus and during lunch. One person, originally from New York state, said people didn’t understand her slang and used the word “titch” as an example. Originally from Long Island, new York, I didn’t understand “titch” either. As I listened to conversation I filed forgotten and new words in my mind.

New writing ideas came to mind on the trip. Some women talked about the difficulties of coping with kids’ schedules. Others talked about the poor quality of meat and produce in local markets. And others talked about volunteerism and how it seems to be diminishing. Each of these topics could be an article or a key point in a book.

Taking a day off from writing revived my energy. Social interaction, seeing new things, smelling new smells, as in the spice shop, got my creative juices flowing. If you haven’t had a break from writing in a while, I urge you to do it. Taking care of your physical and mental health is as important as taking care of your creativeness. So I’m going to “play hookey” more often. Taking a day off helped me get back to work.

copyright 2010 by Harriet Hodgson

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Source by Harriet Hodgson

What is SEO Article Writing? – SEO Copywriting Explained

Many freelancers have questions about what is SEO; what is SEO copywriting; what is SEO writing. This article explains – in detail – what this is. And, how to make money from it as a freelance writer.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for the phrase “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization is all about doing specific things to your website to drive more traffic to it so that you can increase online sales – and traffic.

What are some of these “things?”

There are many, but here we will discuss what it is as it applies to freelance writers. And, this means writing text in a certain way so that web surfers (ie, internet users) can land on a particular site.

What is SEO As It Relates to Freelance Writers?

What freelance writers need to be concerned with is keywords. What are keywords? Keywords are the words and phrases that web surfers type in when they search for things online.

For example, let’s say you were interested in starting a foreclosure cleanup business. You may not know anything about it other than foreclosures are hot in the news right now and you are interested in starting this kind of company.

So, you log onto your favorite search engine, (eg, Google, Yahoo! MSN, etc.) and type in the keywords “foreclosure cleaning business” or “foreclosure cleaning” or “foreclosure cleanup” or some other relevant keyword phrase.

Note: When you type words into a search engine to find something on the internet, the words you type in are called a keyword (one word) or a keyword phrase (two or more words with commas in between).

How Businesses Get to the Top of Search Engine Results

When you type in these words and hit “ENTER”, a bunch of sites pop up and you start to surf (ie, click on the results) and start investigating the sites to see if they have the information you need.

The sites that pop up are the results that search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, et al think are the most relevant to the keyword phrase (aka search phrase) you typed in. Companies pay a lot of money to be among the first two or three pages in the results that search engines return.

Why SEO Copywriters are So In Demand and How They Make Their Money

One of the ways they get to pop up in the first two or three pages of results is to have relevant text that contains the proper keyword phrases. And, this is where you as an SEO copywriter can make a lot of money. You write the text that their site needs to pop up high in search engine results.

Many times, companies will simply give you a bunch of keyword phrases and let you write what you want — as long as it’s a certain length (usually 300-500 words).

There are many freelance writers – hundreds of thousands, if not a few million. BUT, only a tiny minority know what SEO is and how to write this type of copy. And, this is why they’re so in demand.

SEO copywriters have an in-demand skill. And, as more and more companies move larger portions of their advertising budgets to internet marketing, there is an even greater demand for their skills.

In the SearcheEngineWatch article, The SEO Copywriter: Wordsmithing the Web, William Flaiz, underscores the importance of an SEO copywriter. He writes:

“The role of the agency SEO copywriter is unique because…. Suddenly, the writer must optimize press releases, craft articles for social news, monitor social network communications, and develop wiki content…. a strong SEO copywriter is adaptable and capable of internalizing a lot of new information extremely quickly. These unique individuals have fast become the backbone of many SEO engagements. If content is king, then they [SEO copywriters] are the kingmakers.”

And this is why SEO copywriters can charge a premium for their services. If you’re looking for a way to start or maximize your income as an online freelance writer, then SEO copywriting is they way to go.

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Source by Yuwanda Black

Freelance Writing Online – Your Own Online Writing Business

When it comes to the Internet: Content is King. To put it another way: the websites that deliver the up-to-date and relevant content to their visitors also tend to be the most popular. If those same websites have a commercial aspect to them – which is most of them; then the popularity of the site goes on to equate with increased income for the website owner. This has created a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to do freelance writing online, as it affords them the opportunity to set up their own online writing business.

The explosive growth of the Internet and the subsequent growth of Internet related commerce has created an unprecedented demand for written content. Now the fact of the matter is that is rare for webmasters to go about each day and create this content themselves as they simply don’t have the time. What you will find is that they tend to outsource the creation of this content to others and are more than happy to pay for it.

Can you see where this is going? If Webmasters are happy to pay for outsourced content then there is an obvious opportunity for freelance writers to create that content and get paid for it. Not only is there a demand for freelance writing online but some specific online markets have sprung up that allow freelance writers to present their wares. Webmasters know to go to these markets to secure outsourced content – so it really streamlines the process of selling your writing skills.

In addition to this, the constantly evolving nature of the Internet means that new avenues are continually springing up – all of which have a need for new content. If it’s not website owners that need sales copy, then it’ll be bloggers who need fresh content for their blog readers. And if it’s not blog owners that need content, then it’ll be article directories looking for more content so that webmasters keep coming back to them. And on and on it goes. If there’s one thing the Internet is not: it is static. Opportunities abound wherever you look and freelance content creation is one of the biggest of them.

Two of the biggest and most popular online auction sites are Elance.com and Guru.com. Webmasters know that they can go to these central resources, create a job description, and then have freelance writers bid to do that work. It works like a dutch auction with the lowest bidder usually, though not always, winning the bid and securing the work. Of course once you’ve done good work for someone once, they may opt to bypass the bidding process the next time around and work with you directly.

The beauty about selling your freelance writing skills to these agencies is that not only do they provide an efficient marketplace for you to sell your skills but they also act as a governing body to ensure that your invoice is paid within 30 days or sooner. People that do pay you late on these sites tend to get kicked off. In that respect it is very similar to the eBay auction system except that you are dealing with writing services instead of “shipped goods.”

If you’re a writer looking to make an income by writing online then it behoves you to make yourself visible where the buyers of content all go to shop. Elance.com and Guru.com are the best places to start.

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Source by Scott Salter

Maradona Vs Pele – A Perennial Rivalry

Maradona’s career as the Argentina national coach has been nothing less than a roller coaster ride from the time he took charge.

The team struggled through the qualification phase, and in the process, Maradona crossed swords with Argentine journalists. When the team eventually qualified, Maradona gave the scribes a juicy piece of his mind.

To be fair to the newsmen, Diego has invited attention with his unconventional style of coaching. As many as 88 players have turned out for the Argentina team in the 12 months leading up to the Cup. And had the team failed to qualify for the tournament, the scribes could have been expected to go for Maradona’s jugular, on that score alone.

Whatever else he may be called, Maradona is never boring. He goes through a complete range of emotions before your eyes, laughing one moment and losing his temper the next. One of the spectacles TV viewers must have looked forward to whenever Argentina played at this World cup, was the sight of Maradona emoting from the sidelines.

When Argentina had beaten Nigeria and were about to take on South Korea, Maradona decided to stake everything on his team winning the World Cup. With the conviction of a man who already had the World Cup securely locked in his cupboard, Maradona decided to settle scores with Pele and Platini who had questioned his coaching skills.

He said Pele belonged to a museum, and sought to reduce Platini’s credibility by drawing attention to the fact that he was a Frenchman, and by inference, a know-it-all.

At a news conference, he reiterated his faith in Messi, emphasising how far ahead of everyone else the Argentine star was. He also talked about the depth of his team, with many players awaiting their turns to shine. While conceding that South Korea was a good team, Maradona drew attention to the fact that they did not have a Messi.

This news conference happened in the distant past. After that day, much water has flowed, under the proverbial bridge, with Argentina getting past the South Korean hurdle, topping the group, and beating Mexico in the round of 16 match, to get to the quarter-final.

As it transpired, that was Argentina and Maradona’s last stop on the World Cup train. Germany, today, smashed the Argentine dream, with a brutal 4-0 win.

What goes round comes round. Who must go to the museum now, Pele might well ask Maradona…

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Source by Suresh Iyer

Producing a Perfect Press Release Example

For many people, producing a press release example can be difficult, simply because they don’t know the rules of formatting to make it look professional. They don’t know what they should be including and what they should be leaving out. They are all too aware that doing things incorrectly can lead to journalists not taking what they have to say seriously. If you are in that position, don’t worry, because it is relatively straightforward to make sure that you include all the elements that you should.

The words ‘Press Release for immediate release’ should go right at the top of your work, to make it clear to the reader what you have sent. Some people just go with ‘Media Release’ and that is equally valid, but you need to be sure that you make it clear from the start what you are trying to do.

The ‘for immediate release’ part can vary, depending on the exact timing that you want. You might, and possibly should, consider trying to connect your announcement to major holidays, or sporting events, or anything else that you can think of that is likely to be bigger news than what you have to say. It gives those in the media all the more reason to run the story you are suggesting.

Of course, to run it, they will need to contact you for more details, so make it easy for them to do. Put your contact details at the top of the page where they are easy to find, and make sure that they are accurate. Most people in the media are rushed off their feet in the lead up to publication, so if they can’t find you, they will probably just abandon your story.

What is the story? What is the heart of it? What is the point that is going to grab the attention of a journalist’s readers and make them want to read on? To show that you have thought about those questions, it is helpful to provide a compelling headline. Make it one that the journalist can’t ignore, not just an announcement about your business.

If you succeed in catching the journalist’s attention with your headline, you need to give them more. It doesn’t need to be much more, though. You aren’t providing the whole story as it might run. Instead, you are providing the key pieces of information, possibly in bullet points, along with a brief summary of the story and some nice quotes from an expert (you). The aim is to get the journalist sufficiently interested to want to talk to you further.

When you are done, show that you are. Put ‘####’ at the foot of your release to show that there isn’t more to follow it. Then restate your contact details. You want to make it as easy as humanly possible for the now interested representative of the media to talk to you.

These points won’t, in themselves, guarantee that interest. You need a great story idea for that. They will, however, ensure that your press release example gets taken seriously.

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Source by Kate Engler

Enid Blyton a Great Children’s Books Writer From England and Writing of "Children of Green Meadows"

Enid Blyton is a famous children’s writer who endeared herself to growing children with almost 600 books. She also created a series of books on a set of characters like the Famous Five and the Secret Seven. Her novels always focused on children as the main characters who solved many crimes and mysteries, much before the Police could do. Enid Blyton was born in 1897 and died in 1968 of Alzheimer’s disease.

Enid Blyton and Writing of “Children of Green Meadows”

Enid Blyton also loved animals and this love found itself translated into a number of books. One of the more famous books is “Children at Green Meadows”. In the novel, Green Meadows is a large rambling house in a dilapidated condition, as the owners do not have enough money to repair it. The parents want to sell it, but granny who owns the house is dead set against it.

The Story

The Marshal family that resides in this dilapidated structure has 3 children named Francis, Claire and Sam. The father is confined to a wheelchair and looked after by his loving wife. He had suffered an injury during Hitler’s war. The children have no animals as pets but love animals and would love to have a few. The story picks up when a large apartment complex comes up near their house. This complex has a rule that no pets are allowed. Enid now weaves a lovely tale as the people coming to live in the apartment complex have pets and as they can’t keep them in the apartment complex, the children volunteer to keep them.

The children with support from granny soon build up a mini menagerie. The beauty of the book lies in the way Enid brings out the golden heart of the family, who will not accept any cash to keep the animals, but the owners find ways to compensate the kids and the Marshall household. This makes for a heartwarming story that is sure to touch the chords of a child as well as an adult.

The message Enid sends out is that good children will have good coming their way. This novel is not as famous as the other books of Enid Blyton like the famous five series and the secret seven series, but in its own way, it’s a lovely touching tale that engages the reader from start to finish. The book abounds in sentimentalism and a reader is sure to feel a lump in his throat.

Enid Blyton: Personal Life

Enid Blyton was born in 1897 and died in 1968. As a child, she was greatly attached to her father and it was a traumatic experience for her when he left the family to live and sleep with another woman. This probably affected her badly. Though she was married she started having a string of love affairs. She divorced her first husband and in 1943 married a second time to a man named Darrell Waters. She took the unprecedented step of changing the surname of her two daughters from her first marriage to Waters. Her husband died in 1967 and Enid died a year later. on 28 November 1968, aged 71. She was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium where her ashes remain till date..

Enid Blyton as a Writer

Enid Blyton writes simple prose that endears itself to young children. The language is simple and the sentences well crafted for young boys and girls. The book has some lovely descriptions which show the love of children for animals. Out of nearly 600 books written by Enid Blyton, this book has a niche of its own and reveals what a master craftswoman, Enid Blyton was. Who could relate a simple tale and infuse it with life? The fact that she wrote over 600 books is testimony to her prodigious talent

Controversies

No review of Enid Blyton’s books is complete without reference to the controversies surrounding her writings. Many times her books were banned in public libraries as she made comments that were racist like referring to a Negro “as a black with soot”. From 1995 onwards her books have been reissued after editing

Where do we place Enid Blyton now in the 21st century? The fact remains that her books have sold over 600 million copies and from 2000 to 2010 she was still listed in the top ten selling author list, having sold books worth £31.2m in the UK alone.

Her book “The Magic Faraway Book” was voted no 66 in the BBC Big Read rankings. In 2008 she was awarded the title of Britain’s best-loved author by Costa Book Awards.

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Source by Madan G Singh

Online Freelance Writing Jobs – 3 Best Tips In Finding Jobs Online

There are a lot of online jobs available on the Internet and one of them is freelance writing and because of technology finding jobs online has never been easy. With just a few clicks from your mouse you are able to search a lot of websites that posts available jobs positions such as writer for magazines needed, articles or content writers and so on.

In looking for jobs online you should have the knowledge where to look. Here are 3 best useful tips that can help you in your mission and that is looking for a writing job online.

Sign-up to as many online writing sites as you can. To look for writing websites online you can use Google or your favourite search engine to look up the Internet and get many results. Some of these websites that promotes writing jobs offers free membership and some you have to pay annually to be a member. I suggest you start with the free membership. Doing so allows you to receive updates and newsletters if there are job openings for writers through your e-mail.

Apply to as many job-sites as you can online. There are many job-sites that provide and posts a lot of different job vacancies for writers and other available positions. If you search the Web you will find many online where you can post your resume. This way many employers will be able to see you portfolio and increase your chances of being hired.

Lastly, you need to create an award-winning resume that can catch the attention of employers online. You might be wondering how you can create great resume. There are actually many books or e-books that can guide you in creating your resume fast and easy. If you search the Internet you will be able to find a lot of resume builders that can help you create an award-winning resume. Remember that having great resume gives you added points when applying for a job.

These are three tips that can help you in you in finding a writing job fast and convenient. The above ideas can lead you to the right track and with patience and determination you will be able to get the job you always wanted.

A freelance writing job online is a great way to enhance your career as a writer. This is the kind of job that allows you to earn, learn and have the convenience of staying at home while working. Writing jobs online is a good way to earn a nice salary and have a better future.

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Source by K Celis

Take the Time to Write Your Own Poem or Rhyme – Poetry Is Soothing to the Soul, Write a Poem Today

******Writing has always been a way of self- expression. The artist, who is scribing by choice, gained knowledge and introspection the way that the written word is meant to be multidimensional and have multi- purpose abilities. The purpose for written words is not always distinct or seen on the surface. The Hebrew language is written in what appears to be pictures forming words and language. How creative is that?

Words are a world all their own. They offer powerful emotive energy waiting to be released into the open by an eager writer desirous of reaching a captive audience.* Poetry more than just reaches the attention of the masses, it also categorizes or classes the soulful tone of the poet’s willingness to be open, colorfully expressive and emotionally exposed.

Writers are actually revealing small droplets of water from an ocean full of verbiage that they download from their own mind, for themselves first, and then for the rest of the world to read. The poet, who is also the first person to read his poetry, wants to feel illuminated, excited or engaged by the vibration of word expression. The interpretation or the meaning of the poetry or prose is the way he uses to gain understanding and empathy in his craft. Knowing how rhyming words make sense when put together correctly, help calm a tender-hearted person to be better equipped for processing life’s events and challenges more readily.

Life is clearly an expression of events taking place and the need arises for analyzing events or penning rhyming words. Understanding how your mind processes challenging or wonderful events,is accomplished through the power of words. They are then formed into thoughts and shared by the intuitive connection the writer/poet has to his own ability to decipher thoughts through poetic release. He was able to capture understanding from his very heart and through the emotive energy of words and share his understanding with you through rhymes and word synergy.

Rhyming words are joyfully shared by the writer to the reader, or to a captive audience of students or peers. Poets are the type of people that may be more quiet that other artists, lighthearted or nature lovers at best! Most of the poets that I have met became writers after years of working through painful memories. Thoughts or memories of sorrow or sadness may be perceived very intensely causing a need to be further processed through mental questioning. Further understanding of daily events need more review and introspection and need to be released and serve a better purpose. Herein comes the writer to release pain through putting pen to paper by penning a winning war through writing release, writing words that liberate a poet’s disdain and pain.

Pain cannot go unchallenged, you cannot allow pain and hurtful memories to go away without challenging yourself to recycle your pain into something greater than pain. Pain needs to work as a service to assist you, it is to be used as a service/learning and teaching opportunity to humanity, at least in some way.

Scribing and rhyming is a need to share comfort, deliver messages of hope and wellness, or garner a pain-relieving verse. It is to be shared openly with another human being who may be suffering in the same way as the poet did.

I remember as a child that reading was always a great escape to engage people, places, cultures and events that were far removed from my humble beginnings. The initial discovery of poetry is usually done at a very young age. Children have a great capacity to retain information that they find amusing, enlightening or entertaining. Finding comfort in books or rhyming verses- on- tape was always a great way that I found to escape to a place of joyful solitude and connect closer to Divine guidance and peaceful introspection.

Rhyming, at least for me, is a way of gaining and giving simple, subtle or powerful messages with deep thought, especially during time spent in nature. It has also been a serene sense of comfort,a craft. It has been a keen way to speak and write without having the need to be too direct all the time. As a kid, I would write for hours and keep myself occupied while on a long family driving trip or when my parents needed quiet time.

Things of course change as an adult, though the desire to read and write poetry will always be so ingratiating and satisfying for as long as I can think of things to write about. Rhyming, if done in a natural way, is soothing and effortless. You may enjoy writing more when you are happy or content and easily want to scribe about what resonates with your own personal life-style, opinion or passion.

Rhyming and poetry is meant to be of service to humanity or to be an audible form of entertainment, aid another’s life journey, or to engage another person with rhyming words that have meaning. Give or write a rhyming verse to anyone who needs a mental reboot or diversion at best. I believe that poems write themselves and require human vessels to care enough to write down the words that are pouring out of their own heart and hidden thoughts.

Writers also known as poetry writers, are given the task of releasing the subliminal messages and thoughts from their own thoughts, mind and body and then delivered through their voice first. They must in good conscience, do this until the time and date of their expiration arrives. All of us have an expiration date, a time when we are done living our lives, on the earthly plane, and ready to do more work on the other side. The hour of our death arises when our time on earth has been met with satisfaction and atonement; then it’s time to meet your fate. Will we be looking down at you, or will we be looking up at you? It’s never too late to change your fate and rectify your life, or do more good deeds in the time that you are alive and have an unspoken sole/soul purpose to fulfill.

Poetry is one of the first forms of writing that catches the minds attention; filled with words that rhyme and offer simple, subtle or powerful messages.

*** I enjoy learning from you and from others offering me knowledge continuously!~

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Source by Lorie Ann Jermoune

The Ultimate Guide to Writer’s Block

Let’s do something fun and pick apart a common experience: writer’s block. Whether you’re a writer or not, you probably know the struggle of trying to think of what comes next.

It could be as grand as an artist stopping halfway through a masterpiece.

Or as simple as having ten chores to get through and not knowing where to start.

What happens when you’re disconnected from your thoughts like this? What causes it?

And what can you do to overcome it?

(Note: This article focuses on literal writer’s block – the inability to write. But you can adapt the principles to whenever you’re feeling stuck.)

What is writer’s block, really?

I used the word “disconnected” above. That’s what writer’s block feels like – being disconnected from a place, state or emotion where writing flows easily. As I write this, I have relevant thoughts about writing that smoothly translate into words on my screen.

It’s nice, easy and effortless.

In this way, writing well is a form of flow state. As Csikszentmihalyi describes it, you enter the flow state when the task you’re doing is just difficult enough to stretch your skills. This absolutely applies to writing – at least, for writing worth reading.

Anything too easy or too hard to write is going to turn to garbage on the page.

In Stealing Fire, Kotler and Wheal describe altered states of consciousness as states where you lose awareness of yourself, you lose all sense of time, it feels effortless to continue in the task and there’s an intensity (or “richness”) to the experience. Again, this applies perfectly to writing.

So your best writing happens in the flow state or during an altered state of consciousness.

Which means writer’s block is when you can’t get into the flow.

And you’re too conscious to write.

Would anyone challenge that definition? That’s exactly what it feels like to me. It’s like you can’t fully switch off and just write.

Disconnected from writing by your own thinking.

Emotions don’t (always) cause writer’s block – here’s what does

There’s a theory that writer’s block comes from negative emotions. If you’re upset from a fight with your best friend, anxious about writing well or insecure about your skills, it can keep you from writing.

That all makes sense and resolving emotions can help.

However, this is far from the only cause. Even with a clear head and calm emotions, you can struggle to string a sentence together, let alone an essay.

You can be an amazing writer and still run into this obstacle. After all, it’s called “writer’s block” – it assumes you’re a writer in the name.

If a lack of skills or confidence isn’t causing it, then what could be?

Chances are that you’re stifling yourself with your own rules and strategies.

Think about what I said about the flow state and altered states of consciousness. If anything is going to disconnect you from these, it’s the wrong sort of conscious thinking.

Writing is an unconscious activity. When you move your arm, you set an intention – you don’t consciously fire each muscle in precise sequence. Likewise, when you write, you don’t consciously choose each word – you set an intention and the words pour out.

If you try to consciously interfere – whether with your arm or your words – it all goes haywire.

If you have writer’s block, then your writing rules and strategies are making you far too conscious.

Here’s how:

Common thought errors that create writer’s block

If you want to write, then you need to follow rules and strategies. If nothing else, you need enough grammar and spelling to get your point across. Without any strategy, your paragraphs will tumble at random from one to the next.

Writing is like problem-solving – you can dive in and start flailing about, or you can approach it with the right thoughts.

But if you’re stuck, you’re probably doing one of the following:

• Following rigid rules instead of guidelines,

• Using the wrong guidelines,

• Adopting way, way, way too many guidelines,

• Bringing broken perspectives to your writing,

• Chiselling your strategies in stone,

• Making your strategies complex,

• Ignoring feedback and information.



Following rigid rules instead of guidelines

How long does it take you to write your opening paragraph?

Do you spend ten minutes on it?

An hour?

More?

That’s strange, given it’s only a few sentences. The only way it would take more than 30 seconds is if you are overthinking it.

I can hear some of you objecting already. The first paragraph is the most important! It has to capture attention! It has to say something new! It has to…

Has to, has to, has to.

It doesn’t have to do anything. Generally speaking, the first paragraph should capture attention. It should say something new. But there’s no law that says so.

If a rule is holding you back, abandon it. After all, there are only guidelines. You can even broke grammar and speeling if it makes a point.

Using the wrong guidelines

Some people say an email has to be between 300 and 800 words long. It doesn’t.

Some people say you need to make three arguments in an essay. You don’t.

Some people say a sales letter must include a money-back guarantee. They’re wrong.

These can be useful guidelines… or they can cripple you. Let’s say you’re writing emails for children with ADHD – 300 words is too long. What about to Oxonian professors – 800 words is too short.

No guideline applies in every context or all the time. That’s why they’re called guidelines.

If following a guideline weakens your writing, your brain will rebel and shut down the process. Follow the wrong ones and it’s a recipe for writer’s block.

Adopting way, way, way too many guidelines

Let’s take a simple example:

Guideline 1: Brevity is the soul of wit.

Guideline 2: Add details, anecdotes and more information than the reader can use.

Both are good guidelines. I’ve used both – separately and together – to create pretty cool pieces of writing.

The problem is they contradict each other. And that’s just with two guidelines. If you have dozens, it’ll be even worse.

It’ll be so bad you can’t write and follow them all. You think of a sentence, it grinds up against a guideline, so you toss it. Different sentence, different guideline. On and on it goes…

By the end, you’ve done a lot of thinking but not much writing – which is a great definition of writer’s block.

Bringing broken perspectives to your writing

Here’s one I see often: technical people learn to think in technical ways, then stumble into the trap of not being able to write.

For lawyers, every word has a precise meaning. You can’t be loose with your words. So when you sit down to write, eg, a short story, you struggle.

For scientists, jargon is your lifeblood. Detailed, tightly structured, jargon-rich documents earn you kudos and your paycheck. When you sit down to write, you choke on your own story.

Not only technical people bring their perspectives to writing. Some poets are awful storytellers – they just can’t get to the point. Probably most professions have a paradigm that helps the day job but kills good writing.

Chiselling your plans in stone

It pays to plan your writing before you begin. Even with a simple email, you have an outcome in mind. Everything you add to it has to align with that purpose.

What doesn’t pay is following your plan like it’s divine wisdom.

When writing this, I had a plan – a vague outline of what I’d say. How close does the final article resemble the first one? Maybe 50%, maybe not at all. The plan was enough to get me started and keep me focused. Everything else were just suggestions.

Making your strategies complex

A piece of writing flows from one concept to the next. It should have a core idea that the writing reinforces. This is why having a strategy helps.

But there’s no justifying a pointlessly complicated contraption.

Complexity constrains you. A vague plan is much, much better than one that ties you down.

Writing is all about entering the flow. If you can’t, it might be because you’ve overprescribed what that “flow” should look like.

I’ve never written anything that didn’t surprise me. There’s only so much you can plan.

Ignoring feedback and information

I started writing this by jotting down some thoughts on writer’s block. I then decided to flesh this out with some research – surely someone has done the science behind it for me.

Many people have. And within minutes of reading the research, I completely scrapped my plan. I rewrote the bones of it then, as mentioned above, I threw away most of the bones.

People say, “keep your audience in mind when you write”. Excellent advice, but it only helps if you know your audience. Imagining what you think they might be like just keeps you in mind.

Research feeds your writing. It also prunes it.

Destroy writer’s block with these rules and strategies

Everything above is how you can go wrong. If you want to do this right, all you need is to do the opposite:

• Soften any rules you have into guidelines. “Write how people speak” is less useful than “aim to write how people speak”.

• Be highly selective of any rules you keep. Keep them small in number and never let them impede your writing. “While at your desk, write – write anything” is a respectable rule to have because it compels you to write.

• Give no loyalty to your guidelines. If a guideline usually serves you well but is impeding you now, abandon it now.

• Good strategies are closer to philosophies than tactics. You’re not invading a nation; you’re writing. Keep your strategy loose and broad.

• Your strategy should be flexible. If it serves your writing, it should twist itself into pretzels.

• If your strategy doesn’t serve your purpose, it cannot be a good strategy. Abandon it with haste.

• Seek information before you write. Seek feedback as or after you write.

(Yes, some of these rules contradict each other – especially the first two. They’re allowed to because they’re not rules, they’re guidelines.)

And if this doesn’t work, consider that writing has three phases:

1) Brainstorming ideas, researching facts and choosing topics,

2) Writing, and

3) Editing

Don’t edit while you’re writing. Don’t research while you’re writing. Write when you’re writing and let nothing stop you.

One final thought:

Sometimes writer’s block is what you need. Maybe your ideas aren’t ripe yet. Perhaps you’re not a machine that outputs words like a factory outputs widgets. Be kind to yourself and take the time. If you try all of the above and still struggle, consider rethinking everything you were planning to write.

Your unconscious might be telling you there’s a better way.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by William T Batten

Concrete Radius Cutting

Concrete radius cutting for decorative purposes is an option that is available to homeowners, and when done properly, can transform a backyard into a more inviting space. Special care in regards to planing and layout can turn dull uninviting backyard, into your own backyard paradise.

Quite often, I am contacted by homeowners who feel their backyard has too much concrete, and would like to have some portion removed for the creation of additional planter space. Usually, they have some rectangle configuration in mind, and after discussing with them what they would like to achieve, I will mention that they’re not limited to straight line concrete cutting, and that we can do concrete radius cutting configuration as well.

Most often they are taken back that concrete radius cutting is even an option, and that we can come up an unlimited amount of different configurations. Concrete radius cutting done properly, can really dress up, soften, and give a backyard a much more natural inviting space.

We start this process first, by stating with the layout. We take a hose, lay it on the concrete and shape it into the desired configuration. After we get the shape and look were after, we then take a pencil and scribe out the radius we just created with the hose. After the pencil mark is scribed out, we take clear lacquer and spray it over the pencil line to keep it from washing away when we do the concrete radius cutting.

Next, I’ll take a handheld demo saw and start making very shallow cuts following the radius pencil line that was just put down. The key is to make very shallow passes, around 3/4 or less per pass. Whatever concrete radius cuts that are to drastic, we’ll leave for the next step. Anything that is not able to be cut with the demo saw, I use a small electric hand grinder with a 4” concrete blade. This small blade allows you more flexibility for the extreme curve cuts. I finish any cuts that can’t be made with the demo saw, with this 4” electric hand grinder. Keep in mind, that you will only be able to cut a max depth of 1 1/2 inches. After all the concrete radius cutting is done, I will take out the big flat saw machine, (walk behind machine) and start cutting one or two inches away from all the radius cuts, cutting down all the way through the concrete slab in a straight line fashion. By cutting behind the radius cuts all the way through the slab, relieves pressure and allows for the demolition of the concrete to begin. Cutting through the slab is probable the most important step, because, it allows for total separation between the slab that is coming out and the concrete that is staying.

Air jack hammers are used for demolition of the concrete slab. We’ll start breaking out the slab with the large air jack hammers; usually, starting towards the center, and continuing to work outwards towards the finished radius cuts. As we get close to the concrete radius cuts, we’ll switch over to the smaller handheld chipping hammers. This is where we take our time, and slowly chip away the remainder; keeping in mind that these cuts are most likely not cut all the way through. So a little extra time here is critical, as to not chip or break the finished edge.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by John J Scarano

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