Who are you When you Write?

You know what you are writing, who you are intending it for and what you hope to achieve with it… but, do you tell readers who you are? Why is your information important, what is your point of view based on?

Writers don’t need to introduce themselves with an official introduction (though you should have an author bio somewhere). You can slip in information about who you are as you write the information. Write about how you were able to get the information. Write about your experience using the information/ product/ idea. Include yourself in what you write. Don’t keep it sterile as if a machine wrote it.

2. Who are you?Writing comes from someone. Are you writing as scientist, reporting the facts? Are you an angry op-ed writer, seeking political action? Or are you perhaps the voice of an institution, putting up an official warning sign in an official place?

Source: Seth’s Blog: Simple questions for writers

Introductions: My Wonderful Husband, My Beautiful Wife

Pay attention to how people introduce someone. I like to listen to the introductions on game shows, to hear how couples introduce their partners. Often it is some version of “My wonderful husband” and “My beautiful wife”.

Wonderful is generic, not actually saying what is wonderful about him. But, it shows an overall value of him.

Beautiful is only about how she looks. It says she is valued for her beauty. When a man introduces his wife as beautiful I wonder if either of them knows how shallow that is. Also, it’s not even a credit to her, but more a boast and credit to himself for getting a beautiful woman.

What happens to her value as she ages and isn’t so fresh and pretty? What happens if she gets into an accident and her features change? What happens as she has children and her body changes? At “that time of the month” she may not maintain her beauty with full cosmetics and she might even dress down! Women’s bodies go through more ups and downs physically so measuring her value based on how she looks is not an easy thing to live with.

How do you introduce the people in your life?

Do you avoid adjectives in introduces and just give titles and names? This makes an impersonal introduction. Not a bad thing but it doesn’t give you the chance to show someone else how you value them, or boast about them to others. A sincere introduction is a nice thing. It is a real compliment.

When actors introduce each other on TV shows, like award shows, they pretty much say the same, generic thing. “The great, the wonderful, the beautiful, the amazing…” Even with the adjective those introductions are impersonal because they lack sincerity. Part of a good introduction is about sales, telling others something good about the person being introduced. However, the lack of sincerity makes the introduction impersonal, fluff.

Write an introduction for a few of the people you know.

Stick to one word, but take time to find the right word. Will you use it next time you introduce them? It can take a little bravery or boldness to show how you feel about someone else, when you are sincere and honest. However, you could brighten up their day with a real compliment spoken for others to hear.

How to Give an Old Post New Energy

7 ways to update an old post with some new energy:

1. Revamp the title.

2. Give it a fresh introduction.

3. Use a call to action. Give people a purpose and a motive.

4. Add depth with illustrations, maybe a video (I’m not a fan of them myself), format points as a list, etc.

5. Quality control. Proofread for typos and check your links for linkrot.

6. Add more information, update the information you’ve already got.

7. Leave a fresh comment on the post, even if it means the first comment is your own.

Writing Well

Originally posted to SuiteU, part of Suite101. SuiteU is being removed from the site. I wanted to save the ecourses so this resource would not disappear.

Writing Well

By Katherine Swarts


Professional authors hear it on a regular basis: “I could write a book, too, if I had the time.” Obvious implication: writing is easy. Well, maybe writing is easy. But writing well definitely isn’t. Think back to your earliest school reports. Remember how your teacher insisted on seeing a rough draft before the final copy? And remember how you grumbled, “Why should I do all that extra work?”

Because writing is work. Authors know that. Other people tend to forget after graduating from research papers.

Okay, but you’re not an author, and you don’t care if your byline ever graces so much as a letter to the editor. So why should you bother improving your writing skills?

Because you still have to write: Friendly e-mails/Thank-you notes/Letters of complaint/Office memos/Business reports/You name it. Continue reading Writing Well

Do You Have a Posting System?

This comes from Founder Tips: Ali Luke Explains How You Can Become a Better Blogger By Becoming a Better Writer

My posting system looks like this:

  1. Come up with ideas. I try to get several at a time – I keep a list on my computer that I add to when I’ve got a few minutes to sit and brainstorm.
  2. Write an outline for the post. My outlines always have “introduction” at the start and “call to action” at the end. In the middle, I’ll have a few key points – these often become subheadings. If I’m planning a list post, I’ll brainstorm the items for the list and juggle them around to find the best order.
  3. Draft the post (following the outline). I try to do this in one sitting, so I don’t lose my train of thought. If I’m working on a really big post, though, I might do different sections on different days. When I’m drafting, I don’t worry too much about writing perfect sentences or using correct grammar: I can fix any problems in the editing stage.
  4. Edit the post. Quite often, I’ll leave a post for a few hours or even overnight so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes. I always find some things that I want to change – sentences to cut out or rewrite, for instance. This is a good chance to look out for typos, too.
  5. Publish and promote the post. It might seem a bit odd to include this in a writing system, but a big part of any sort of writing involves getting your message out to an audience. Personally, I don’t feel like my writing is complete until it has readers.

This is my system too. But I don’t put too much time into an outline. I start the draft and build the format as I go. Usually I’m working on the draft while I do the research, fact checking and formatting how the post will look.

Much Faster Writing

Seven Easy Steps to Much Faster Writing | Write to Done.

I’m having trouble dealing with distractions and interruptions. Even when I do manage around the outside interruptions there is still myself. When you get interrupted many times it seems much harder to get and keep your focus. Almost like you are just waiting, suspended, for the next interruption. This is what I’m working on.

I also like these points from the list:

Step #4: Write an Outline
One huge mistake is to leap into your piece without planning ahead. If you do that, you’re going to end up writing for a few paragraphs, then getting hopelessly stuck.
Outlining doesn’t need to be complex, especially if you’re writing something short (like a blog post). This post, for instance, started out as a title and seven subheadings. I spent less than five minutes on the outline – and it’s saved me a ton of head-scratching time.
When you write an outline:
You can spot (and fix) any obvious flaws or problems. Perhaps it becomes clear that you’re trying to tackle too much, or that your topic isn’t very well thought out.
Your subconscious immediately starts coming up with ideas for each point. Once you start to write, it’s a lot easier to get your thoughts down onto the page.
The whole project looks much more manageable. You’ve broken it down into small steps.
As you write, the outline continues to help, by keeping you motivated. You can see exactly how far you’ve come – and how far you’ve got left to go. It’s easy to keep on writing when you know you’ve only got three points left to cover.

Step #6: Start Wherever You Want
You do not need to start off by writing the introduction or Chapter One.
In fact, it’s often a good idea not to. Instead, jump in to the middle of your piece. Write the first subsection – or the third.
That way, you’ll get moving much faster … and by the time you’ve finished the bulk of your piece, you’ll have a better sense of what needs to go in the introduction. Since you have an outline (see step #4), you won’t need to worry about getting off track or writing something that doesn’t fit in.
Conversely, if you like to start at the beginning and work through to the end, that’s fine too. There’s no “right” way to do this.
What matters is that you don’t spend twenty minutes staring at a blank screen, wondering how to begin. Just get moving!

How Do you Want to Write?

When you run dry on ideas to write about try thinking of your format or style instead. Work from another direction. When writing a blog entry, a personal essay in essence, you can write it free form, traditional, human interest, pet peeve, editorial, debate or be poetic in style.

Free Form – Writing without a plan, write with the flow of your own thoughts. Edit for the sake of clarity, but try to wait until your train of thoughts have slowed down to a trickle rather than interrupting yourself.

Traditional Form – A planned essay with an opening introduction, a middle and then closing thoughts to tie it all together. If you have a lot of information this is a good format to use when writing it all up. It’s better organized and straight forward.

Human Interest Story – An approach using humour, often communicating to a specific audience in your own point of view. These are written to be entertaining more than factual.

Pet Peeve – Basically it’s a rant written into words. Describe the problem, the cause of your rant. Discuss solutions, possible or over the top ideas, then end up with a conclusion or your eventual actions taken.

Editorial – An editorial is a rant written to be taken seriously, with facts, information and a professional style. Don’t make your bias come down too heavily or too emotionally.

Debate – A chance to write about both sides of a situation or issue. Write facts and points for and against. Avoid forming a final conclusion, instead let the reader form their own opinion.

Poem – A good way to write about something you feel emotional about. Bring your feelings into words, facts are not as important as the atmosphere you create.

Looking down the list of formats you can write in, what topics come into your mind? What could you rant about as a pet peeve? What could you debate about with strong points on both sides? What are you interested in enough to share your passion with your others?

Each type of writing format works with different topics and your own feelings about the topic. Pick a style and then the topic that works for you. Just thinking about how you want to write can give you great ideas for what you want to write about.

This is the Story of How I Died

“This is the story of how I died.”

Can you come up with a more dramatic line to start a story with than that? Really. Can you?

I’m watching an older episode of Doctor Who where Rose says just that in the introduction to the episode. I know Rose goes on from the storyline and continues to appear in Doctor Who. So, in some way they are going to work all of that out in plot twists and clever dialogue. Yet, to hear that Rose is going to die… What could be more dramatic than that?

When the Ending is the Beginning

Write a short story with a beginning, a middle and an ending. Make it at least three paragraphs or one page in length. Then swap the beginning of your story with the ending. So that your first paragraph is now your last.

How does the story read now? Some things will be confusing and yet… does it work better this way? When I write an essay and look back at my rough draft, often, my conclusion is much stronger, clearer and better overall than my introduction. By switching them out and then making some adjustments I can build a stronger written piece. Try it a few times yourself.