How to Achieve Word Impact

How to Achieve Word Impact

(Another post among many which Suite101 has deleted from their content. I had linked to this on Creative Writing Inspiration and decided to save it on my own site when I found it among the carnage).

Nov 22, 2011  Karen Newcomb

Three word power secrets that add impact in communication
Writing too often simply sits on the printed page and does nothing. This is because there is a tremendous difference between the potential impact words have and the actual impact they create in a piece of writing.

How many times have you received something written from another person which you had trouble understanding and which you finally stopped reading because you just lost interest? In addition, how many times have you written a letter expecting immediate action and received almost no response. The fact is that written communication often falls flat. This applies to articles, books, query letters, right down to memos in an office. Think about how advertisers use this formula to grab your attention.

The basic word power formula consists of three things:

Keep it simple
Get your reader’s attention
Talk directly to your reader
Keep It Simple

This is a basic rule that should be applied at all times. One of the main problems is that people often use too many words to say what they’re trying to say, and the writing itself is too complicated.

You can greatly improve your writing if you look at everything you write and ask: Is this the simplest way I can say it and still include everything I want to say? If it isn’t, rewrite it.

Here are some examples of complicated sentences and how they can be made simple.

 

Complicated

We would be very happy if after thinking it over you would reply.

Simple

Please reply.

Complicated

I got the right address when my first letter was returned with another address which I see is correct.

Simple

I got the right address from the envelope when my first letter was returned.

Complicated

Your suggestions will indeed be discussed during the next Publications Committee meeting.

Simple

We will discuss your suggestions at the next Publications committee meeting.

Get Your Reader’s Attention

Much writing simply starts without giving the reader any reason to read on. As a result, the first couple of sentences get read then the writing is put down. You should always do something at the beginning of each piece of writing to attract attention. In the beginning, you can improve your writing tremendously if you remember that reader will always read on if you offer him some future promise. How? By changing the sentence around so the reader feels you are offering him something he can use.

Here are a couple of examples:

Poor Beginning

This summer at King Memorial Library we had a Creative Writer’s Workshop.

Attention Getting Beginning

Let me tell you about the Creative Writer’s Workshop we had at King Memorial Library.

Poor Beginning

Paris is lovely in the spring.

Attention Getting Beginning

I’d like to share Paris in the spring with you.

Poor Beginning

The high school carnival was a success and we got marvelous response in our call for donations and help for the Country Store…and a lot of people helped in phoning and in putting in a lot of long hours…thanks a lot.

Attention Getting Beginning

Thank you very much for helping to make our school carnival a tremendous success. This was due to…

Talk Directly to Your Reader
Of course not every type of writing will allow you to talk directly to your reader, but where you can, you’ll increase your written effectiveness 100 percent. In fiction writing you talk directly to your reader through viewpoint, in non-fiction and article writing you simply insert the word “you.”

Some examples:

Indirect

Special thanks to those people who helped us.

Talking to Your Reader

A special thank you for helping us.

Indirect

Those who use this method will find out how to lose five pounds easily.

Talking to Your Reader

Using this method you can easily lose five pounds.

Indirect

There are probably many people who would like girls chasing them.

Talking to Your Reader

Would you like girls chasing you?

There are many types of writing in which you can’t talk to your reader. But when you can it will improve both the communication and response many times.

Copyright Karen Newcomb. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.
Read more at Suite101: How to Achieve Word Impact | Suite101.com http://web.archive.org/web/20120128063313/http://karen-newcomb.suite101.com/how-to-achieve-word-impact-a397272#ixzz2JoRrCICP

How to Keep from Getting Bored with Your Diary

diaryIf you’ve been keeping a journal. or diary, for awhile it can become a little stale just talking to yourself, the same monologue. Here are some ways to perk your journal writing back up and make it something you can look forward to again.

Start with a diary you like. Shop for a pretty or interesting blank book or make a cover (and even pages) of your own. Or, you might use an online diary and begin on a site like Open Diary, LiveJournal or Blogger.

If you really want to write every day, do it. Keeping a writing schedule is a great way to boost your creativity and discipline yourself to write.

If you don’t want to be a disciplined writer versus a creative writer then don’t push yourself to write ever day.

Whether you write daily or not, don’t always write a long post. Give yourself quick days so you don’t feel chained to your diary. Then, when you have something to say and really do want to write about your feelings, thoughts, ideas and happenings in your life, do so. Give yourself all the space you want to explore your own self.

Have fun with your journal. Draw in it, sketch, stick souvenirs or stickers inside the pages, Turn each fresh page into something uniquely you and don’t be too timid about trying something new. This is your diary, your journal, all the rules are your own to set, or even ignore when you choose to.

Be emotional. In life we are told to be nice, not to be too sensitive and not to get so angry. However, in your diary you can vent, you can pour out sadness, grief, envy, anger, bitterness, jealousy, loneliness, hopeless feelings – any and all feelings can leak out from your fingers, into your pen or your keyboard and onto the fresh white page. This is your place to be emotional and not be judged or told what you should feel.

Always remember this is your adventure on paper. Write it your way.

Don’t always write in the same place or at the same time. Take your diary on the road. Go out to the coffee shop, the mall food court, anywhere you can find a decent place to write. Don’t always look for quiet and solitude. There’s something kind of special, romantic and even mysterious about being a writer right out there where everyone can see you.

You don’t have to use your best penmanship. As long as you can understand our own grammar, spelling and punctuation, that’s all that really matters. (Maybe some day your diary will become a big, best seller) but right now it’s all just your own message in a bottle to yourself. Make mistakes, get messy and don’t go back and fix everything.

If you write with paper and pen take some time to try a few different kinds of pens. Experiment with ink colours, thick or thin nibs and different kind of grips on the pen itself. It’s really nice to have a pen that completely suits your writing style.

Write with pencil if you find yourself wanting to sketch or go back and fix your spelling.

Not everything in your diary has to come from your own brain. If you come across a quote by someone else stick it in the pages too. Write about why you like it, what was special about it for you.

Inspiration, Prompts and Articles for Diary Writers

Diary Groups and Projects

 

Writing Help and Creative Writing Inspiration

ASCII art computerI seem to have too many ideas. I’m missing the focus and time I need to get them all from my brain and onto the page (or the virtual/ digital page). I make notes for myself with ideas as I get them. I try to use a notebook rather than bits of paper which end up misplaced, but the notebook isn’t always right there when I need it.

I don’t understand writers who have a lack of ideas. To me it seems there is an endless stream and the real problem is keeping tack of the ideas, organizing and finding storage for all the notes, magazine clippings, and so on. I have even begun to use my digital camera as a quick note taking tool. So my hard drive is just as cluttered. I’m considering a hand-held scanner, just dash out the note and then scan it in for later. This would give me a back up plan for the bits of paper notes.

How do I get ideas? Such a short and simple question when the answer is massive.

Here are some of the ways and places I get ideas:

  • Read the newspaper, a magazine.
  • Study a religion other than your own.
  • Watch/ listen to a talk show.
  • Volunteer to edit someone else, be constructive.
  • Watch a documentary.
  • Read the dictionary until you find a word you don’t know.
  • Look at books in the library, outdated ones too.
  • Talk to people at the coffee shop, grocery store, bus stop…
  • Attend some kind of local group, event or workshop.
  • Go to the bookstore and see what’s new in your niche/ genre.
  • Talk to yourself.
  • Draw something – it doesn’t matter whether you think you can draw or not.
  • Go shopping, look at new inventions in hairbrushes, mouse traps…
  • Take a walk outside.
  • Listen to music and then read the lyrics.
  • Take your laptop on a road trip.
  • Photograph your family. Get as many together as you can.
  • Try creating something in text art.
  • Read the newspaper classifieds.
  • Go to the local thrift store and buy yourself a new coffee mug.
  • Talk to a teenager. They really aren’t that scary.
  • Read about fashion or something else you don’t care about much.
  • Read an opinion that does not agree with your own.
  • Brainstorm about life. What is the meaning of life?
  • Send a postcard or a real, full letter to someone.
  • Try something new in papercrafts: paper flowers, paper cutting, paper folding…
  • Take a lawnchair or a blanket outside and watch the sky, the clouds.
  • Get a hot shower with a soap and shampoo you love to smell.
  • Take the bus all across the town or city you live in.
  • Buy a new pen and some blank paper.
  • Read one of the classic books you never read for school.
  • Do an online personality quiz, just for fun.
  • Read a few blogs by people you don’t know, leave a comment or three.
  • What’s the most boring thing you can think of? Do it.

In the end, it isn’t about where or how you find ideas. The real way to get ideas is to keep your mind open looking for them. Don’t become close minded, too literal, too judgmental or sure you’re so right about everything. It’s when you are open to new things that you are able to find them. You see things you might not have noticed or ignored because they weren’t flashing a neon sign telling you “this is your idea!”.

If you have writer’s block, distract yourself. Get away from that heavy focus and all the pressure. Once you release your mind, give it new roads to travel, the block will weaken and you can shake it off.

Take the seed of an idea and grow it. Look for more information, look at it from another perspective, combine it with other ideas to make something new and interesting. Be open to them and ideas will just come to you, trust me, ideas are everywhere!

Lost My Writing Passion

Refresh your energy for writing your same old blogging project.

I have lost count of my freelance writing years but I know I started writing online in 1998, or 1997 if you count the personal online diary. Over this time I have had many highs and lows. There have been periods where I lost my passion, or the enthusiasm wore thin. It’s normal.

There will always be great energy and passion for a new project. As time goes on and you explore the ideas you wanted to explore the energy slows down and you begin to sink into the project. It’s not that you stop caring but you start using a different energy. You find yourself using a staying power sort of energy.

It’s a great time to refresh your enthusiasm. You might find something new, you might be impulsive and make a change or you might close down the project. If you really want to. But, that’s a shame when there are other options.

Look for inspiration in sites for writers.

Seven Ways to Love Blogging Again

You can find a new side interest, generate new ideas, combine ideas and so on until you have given your self a revamped project to work with. For instance a fashion blogger could write about lingerie instead of trying to fill the niche for all women’s fashion. Or, the same fashion blogger could include pet fashion which matches or compliments their owner’s fashion choices.

Change something of the administration and inner workings of your blog/ site. Try something other than Blogger or WordPress. (Did you even know there are other choices?)

Add a new element. Try building a web directory with your links instead of leaving them in the standard blogroll. Try Link Library, a free plugin which works with WordPress. There are other ways to create a directory of links but this is the best of those I have experimented with. Of course you can use the tags, labels and categories with your blog to create a directory within each post.

A web directory isn’t for everyone. Your strong point may be social networking and being social in general. Start doing more with Twitter, Facebook and look for forums and online groups in your niche or a related topic. Be social, get outside your box and bring new ideas and perspective back when you start writing your blog again.

Try a new blogging/ writing format. Become a content curator – link to great content you find in your niche, write enough to explain why you are linking to it and don’t forget to give credit to the original writer. This could even be a weekly thing, like a round up post. List links and posts you’ve read during the week as a weekend (or which ever day you choose) blog post.

Learn a new skill. Start drawing your own images to add as illustrations for your posts. Or try another art form like your own digital photos, ASCII art and all kinds of alter art such as collage. Anything you can turn into an image file and add to your blog will work.

Take a break, temporarily. Don’t write for a week, not even a list of post ideas. Hold out on yourself. This gives your passion time to rebuild.

My own experience as a lost, blocked and downtrodden writer.

I’ve been writing my current, main blog since 2004. It began as part of another site, now gone. I kept it going on my own. Having a schedule helps me with self-discipline. Though I was making weekly posts at first, I stepped up and went daily a couple of years ago. The schedule is good, the discipline is good too but… having a tighter posting schedule accelerates burnout.

So, in the years I’ve been publishing, editing and writing online I have had writer’s block and burnout more than a handful of times. I pull myself out each time. I will this time too. One or more of the ideas I’ve written about above worked for me. After all, I’m still here, writing, editing and publishing online.

Write a Novel in 30 Days

Writing Novels

Free eCourse from SuteU.

By Sara McGrath

Introduction

You can complete a novel of at least 50,000 words within thirty days while receiving the guidance through this course. You’ll learn to write for quantity and quality while you steadily increase your word count, advance your story, and give your characters, plot, and theme the added impact they need to catch the eye of an agent or editor.

 

Lesson 1: You Can Write A Novel in Thirty Days

You can write a novel of at least 50,000 words in thirty days even if you have a day job, a social life, and a toddler. I know this because I have all three. In this first lesson, I’ll discuss being a writer, scheduling your writing time, finding inspiration, and staying motivated. Then we’ll start writing.

Read more

Get Some Inspiration from Jeannie in a Bottle

Jeannie in a Bottle writes posts with a unique slant:

How to Hunt for Ghosts at the Office During your Downtime

 How to Perform an Exorcism in your Spare Time

10 Signs you are Living in a Haunted House

A Bumbling Idiot’s Guide to Ghost Hunting

How to Battle the Closet Monster

Let’s Put an End to Zombie Prejudice

This is just a list of her posts with a paranormal slant. There are 270 posts, written in 16 months, on her HubPages account. That’s prolific!

Rules of a Creator’s Life from CreativeSomething.net

If you can’t see the image file for any reason, it says:

Rules of a Creator’s Life

2011/ 12 Edition

  1. Do more than what you’re told to do.
  2. Try new things.
  3. Teach others about what you know.
  4. Make work into play.
  5. Take breaks.
  6. Work when others are resting.
  7. Always be creating.
  8. Make your own inspiration.
  9. Love what you do, or leave.

Via CreativeSomething.net

Inspirational Writing

Originally part of the Suite101 University ecourses offered for free. This content is being removed by Suite101 and I wanted to preserve some of it so others could take the course and for myself to remember the information.

Inspirational Writing

By Sara Quest

Introduction

 

Inspirational publications like “Chicken Soup for the Soul” reveal today’s demand for writers of everyday miracles. Yes, people like you who want to tug hearts are in demand! The original Chicken Soup book expanded to become a series of approximately sixty titles, including ones like “Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul” and “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul.” All titles combined sold over 75 million copies.

What you are not aware of is, the Chicken authors were once writers with unfathomable dreams. They wanted to share the numerous stories of everyday people like you who inspired them during their motivational speaking careers. And like you, they knew struggle: not one publisher of the one hundred twenty three they approached wanted that original “Chicken Soup” book! But their stories found the way to the right publisher.

The inspirational market is NOW awaiting YOUR contribution!

Read more

Not the Standard in Goal Getting

On the HubPages Answer section someone asked how you keep/ reach goals you set, what helps you to get there. I thought about it a bit and then wrote:

I don’t tell anyone else about my goal. That goes against popular opinion. But, once I tell someone I have to listen to their advice, their nagging, etc. That is almost a guarantee that I will end up giving up and forgetting the whole thing. It doesn’t matter that they mean well. My family tend to analyze and pick on everything, looking for every least negative thing. They don’t understand how discouraging that is.

Not everyone has people who are negative or overhelpful in this way. But, I do. You have to learn what your support network is like and deal with the reality. So many of the guides to personal inspiration, etc are about generic people. Or, ideal people and stereotypical situations. Take all the advice you read with the understanding that your life may differ.

Think about your own family and friends, do you have the typical sort of support where you have people who act like the people the self-help guides write about? Or, do you deal with real people who don’t always give you the kind of help you’d really like?

What would you say the the most difficult person – the one who thinks everything you do is nonsense, or not practical, etc? Keep whatever you write and don’t do anything with it – don’t give in to the temptation to tell them what you really think. Not until you’ve had some time to reconsider. But, it’s good for you to know and understand how even people with good intentions won’t always give you the kind of help and support you would like.