Roughly two years ago I decided to stop using WordPress for my websites. I've written about that elsewhere so I won't start all that again now. In that time I've decided to use Joomla and I've been learning, cursing, figuring out how to do just that. I had help along the way, a lot from Tim, the Joomla Man, Davis.

Word Grrls has been more or less offline since 2018. I had been getting to the stretching point on burning out. So, it has taken longer to get my site back up again. Also, I may never move all the old posts over from the old site. I have found a way that works, but leaves image files a mess. At that point, when I would have to go back and fix broken image links, I began to wonder if it was worthwhile having all that old content. Some of it is good. Some of it is outdated, or not all that interesting, or just something I posted because I was sticking to a posting schedule and needed something to post. I don't think I did that too often. Usually, I had posting ideas saved for times I needed them. Or, I could post several ahead, using the posting schedule. That helped.

I think the best plan is to take some of my old posts and refresh them while not relying on them. This way I can give myself a fresh start, again. I've been writing this site for writers, word enthusiasts, and creative people since 1998, in one format or another. I began on Blogger. It evolved into an email list and then a newsletter, called InkSplatters. Then I wrote for an online network, HerPlanet and my site was HerCorner. It's all gone now. I wrote for other sites and somwhere along the way I bought the domain for Word Grrls.com. Grrls was something popular at the time, now I doubt anyone hears it and knows what it is. So, I picked something that turned out to be a fad. But, I wouldn't like most of the other names I can think of either, so it's a name and at least has some history tagging along with it.

This is my post for today. Just finished (unless I catch something else) setting up the site again and fixing all the little details.

If you were ever here before, Welcome Back. Welcome, in general.

Originally published to my account on HubPages in 2014.

Call us web writers, web publishers (if you have your own site or blog), content writers or which ever phrase you choose - we all need to know some basic stuff about writing and publishing for the web. We should all have standard elements which make us authorities as someone who writes online. I looked at what businesses are looking for in hiring content writers and thought I'd share what I found.

What Ideas do you Have?

Before anyone hires a content writer they should find out what ideas the writer has for their topic. Not just that you have ideas, but where the ideas are going and are they on track for what the site/ blog wants? Do you have a sense of what the site is about, the style they like and the direction they want to grow in? Do you know who they are and can you fit in with them? Do you have enough of the right ideas?

Do you use a Style Guide?

Have you ever had a style guide? Do you know what a style guide is?

A style guide for writers is a collection of how-to notes, like a writing guideline about how to use the right words for the right things. It is used by newspapers as a reference.

Style guides were written for individual newspapers as a guide to keeping consistent and accurate standards with all their reporters when it comes to things like grammar, punctuation, titles, abbreviations, measurements, technical terms, forms of address, spelling, and so many other big and small things which come up in writing.

At some point, the Associated Press became the accepted style guide for all the newspapers, press, in the US. In Canada we have our own style guide which (last time I checked) originated with the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Peter Grant (no link because it disappeared) had a page of Great Science Fiction Quotes in his blog. I can't pick just one as a favourite. Here are some:

“There’s no real objection to escapism, in the right places… We all want to escape occasionally. But science fiction is often very far from escapism, in fact you might say that science fiction is escape into reality… It’s a fiction which does concern itself with real issues: the origin of man; our future. In fact I can’t think of any form of literature which is more concerned with real issues, reality.” – Arthur C Clarke

“Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?”

“Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.” – Isaac Asimov

 

“Experience comes from doing, not from being told. Experiment and discover. Seek and find. It is not machinations of others that compel us to do so; it is our need to know. It is, in the end, the way we learn.” – Terry Brooks, The Talismans of Shannara

 

“A neat and orderly living space is the sign of a dangerously sick mind.” – Mercedes Lackey, The Black Gryphon

 

“Reality is the part that refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.” – Phillip K. Dick

I used to post daily. That is a grinding schedule to keep at times. But, it is good too. If you can do it, you find your writing stamina and discipline.

One important thing to have - a list or some kind of collection of ideas.

I get ideas while making coffee, taking the bus, often at not the best times to write them down. A lot of ideas are lost. But, if you can write them down on some scrappy bit of paper and then add them to a collection you keep. It can be online. If you have a website running on a CMS (content management system/ software) you can start a post about your idea and just leave it unpublished. This also lets you sort them as an idea folder and within that folder you can sort them by topic. Or by date, if that works better for you. Figure it out with some trial and error. On a site you can shuffle posts around and they won't get lost like little pieces of paper you scribbled on while you were still wet from the shower.

You might go a little grand and make a folder, a physical file or portfolio, of ideas. This gives you the added option to decorate it. You can create your own blank zine and fill it with your ideas, all written in longhand. Keep up your penmanship!

There is a likely some kind of application (app) on your mobile phone. I don't use mobile/ cell phones so I don't have more to add about that.

What other formats could you use? If you consider where you are or what you are doing when you get your ideas, that would be something to consider. I keep pen and paper in the TV room so I can jot down anything that comes along when I'm out there. You never know when a commercial might spark something.