Move Words Around Like Pieces of a Puzzle

4. Move words, sentences, paragraphs around the page like pieces of a puzzle. The beauty of writing on a computer is that you can move words and groups of words effortlessly. Just reminding yourself of that tends to make it easier to find your writing flow. If you get your mind set that the words will be seen by the audience exactly as they flow onto the page, it can be paralyzing.

For those overwhelmed by the amount of ideas banging around in their head, jot the ideas down, one by one, in a loose cross between thought-notes and an organizational outline. Then, you can slowly work your way down your list, flushing out concepts into sentences and paragraphs without worrying that you might forget something critical.

via 8 Writing Strategies for People Who Say They Can’t Write |

Magazine Writing

Originally part of the Suite101 University ecourses offered for free. This content is being removed by Suite101. I wanted to keep it active and useful for myself and others.

Magazine Writing

By Lisa-Anne Sanderson



If you’ve always had an ambition to write, freelance writing for magazines is an excellent place to start. Writing non-fiction articles can be a fun and lucrative hobby, or an interesting way to earn a living. The rise of technology provides writers with the freedom to work at home, another big advantage. The Internet is a wonderful way of doing research, and emails and faxes provide the convenience of being able to send articles straight from home, although some magazine editors still require them to be posted. Continue reading Magazine Writing

What I Learned About Doodling from Scrapbookers

Mainly this is about lettering, how to create fun, fanciful and pretty letters. These can be used to illustrate quotations. Or add a unique touch to other creative work you are doing. Think outside the box. Just get the basics and take off with your own imagination and favourite things.

  • Start by drawing your letters as usual, in your own hand drawn print. Use a soft pencil (#2 or mechanical pencil) which you can easily erase if you also use a white eraser. These should be easy to find in any kind of art or craft supply shop.
  • Outline your letters with a fine black liner pen. Don’t try to make them perfect but do think of your original letter as the centre point so that your new letters will be in the right place while becoming fuller in size. Once you have outlined the letters you will need to carefully erase the original letters you drew with the soft pencil. Use thicker paper if you find the paper you are using is ripping too easily.
  • Add life to your letters with crayons, coloured pencils or markers. Draw thick and thin lines, polka dots, diamond shapes, whatever you prefer or get the idea to try. When you colour the letters in pick your favourite colours. Outline some of the shapes you drew inside the letters, give them extra focus and it’s a way to get more colour in your design. Experiment and discover what styles and colours you like best.
  • Now shadowing… the rule I discovered is “outside right and inside left”. So you will be adding shadow to the outside of letters on the right side and to the inside of letters on the left side. Do it for awhile so you get the feel for it. Try different thick and thin shadows, see which you like best for your own style of lettering.
  • Decorate your letters with a little extra touch. Add shapes to the whitespace around your letters. Or, draw a frame around some letters and then decorate the frame with more shapes and colours.
  • Add a whole illustration around your letters. Maybe a cityscape, a sandcastle, a garden, something that just appeals to you or seems to suit the words you used. Whenever you need some inspiration or a general drawing guide for an object try to search for it on Google. In the Google Images section you will see a setting “Any type” which gives you the choice of clip art and line drawing. Either of those will give you illustrations instead of photographic images. Study how someone else drew the cityscape (for example) and then you will be able to use that as a guide for your own illustration.

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!

Could you be a Copywriter?

The following comes from a real job posting for a copywriter. It gives a lot of detail about the job and what they are expecting. Could you get this job? Or, are there some areas you could brush up on?

Position Outline:

Responsible for writing advertising copy for all English language print advertising in Canada.


Writing effective advertising for company flyers, inserts, newspaper ads, point of-purchase signage, brochures, and other special projects.

Proofread copy proofs prior to sending out for printing and/or uploading to the website.

Assist creative department in initiating/refining ad layouts.

Work internally with product managers to develop accurate and effective advertising products.

Ensure campaigns and promotions are in alignment with overall corporate brand image, strategies, market demographics, and partnerships.

Ensure all offers and advertising claims are in alignment with applicable advertising laws at both federal and provincial levels.

Specialized skills are needed to write and conceptualize ideas for all forms of printed advertising, radio and interactive media


The successful candidate must have at least 3 to 5 years working experience coupled with a College or University degree in Advertising, Marketing or English.

Must be familiar with current Canadian advertising and credit laws and regulations.

Strong organizational and time management skills are required.

Being able to work on multiple projects within tight deadlines in a detail driven environment is crucial.

A proficiency in both PC and Mac operating systems is essential while having knowledge in Promotion Manager is considered an asset.

Writer/ Editor for the TV News?

Everyone has their dream job, usually more than one. I don’t know if mine would be to write the news. It’s a picky thing, requiring perfection, fact checking and someone who really involves themselves with current events. That’s not quite me. But, for someone, writing for the TV news would be a dream job come true.

Here is a real job posting from CanWest Global. Do you have what they want? Could you round out your skills and become the perfect fit?

The Global Winnipeg News Department is seeking a full time Writer/Editor to participate in the daily production of our news and information programming. The successful candidate will be a proven journalist with demonstrable writing and technical skills. He/she will work in a competitive news environment with a motivated team whose newscasts are targeted at viewers in the 25-54 demographic.

The successful candidate will be an experienced journalist with demonstrable skills
Diploma/degree in journalism or similar relevant education
Prior reporting and editing experience an asset
Effective writing skills for both broadcast and online content and a proven ability to meet editing and on-air deadlines
Able to work co-operatively in a large team environment.
Exemplary work ethic and punctuality
Proficiency with MS Word/Excel/Outlook is a requirement.
Experience in new media platforms and posting website content is a requirement

The following is a paraphrase of requirements and primary functions and does not outline all of the duties and responsibilities for this position:

The ability to research and continually develop original and creative story ideas and local contacts.
Edit content and prepare online elements in a non-linear environment.
Edit content and reporter stories for broadcast daily in a non-linear environment.
Write web copy and elements for newscasts with the highest degree of competence, clarity, and accuracy.
Coordinate online content and website maintenance in cooperation with online team.
Strong organizational skills to facilitate daily production coordination
Assignments will include days, evenings and weekends as required.

The Fun and Frustration of Book Writing

You wouldn’t know it by standing over my shoulder any time but I am trying to write a book. It’s not easy. I already have the general idea for the story, the characters, and even the time to work on it. The problem is converting what made a good short story into a long story. I am a great short story or article writer. I’m not so successful at going the distance though.

I’ve read various good ideas for getting past this. Basically, they suggest making a plan, an outline, storyboard, whatever you choose to call it. Then filling in the spaces between. Someone else who knows me suggested I just think of it as a lot of short stories that fit together. This almost works for me. It would work I’m sure if I just settled down and did it. I wander off or go blank each time I’m here, ready to start.

I’m going to have to let myself be imperfect and go from there. Kind of nice to admit you’re flawed, much less pressure. Yet I still need to get to work on writing that book. Maybe I will do my own personal NaNoWriMo, or something along those lines.