Can you write when you don't feel inspired? Or do you stall, hoping something will come along? We need to find our own inspiration or just start writing without it. If you are working on a long project it is a bit easier to pick things up and go ahead and write. It is harder when you have a project to plan and write from the beginning. You may need to stop looking for artistic inspiration and instead think of more practical inspiration. Practical inspiration is simple to find. We need to write to pay bills. We need to write to finish a project by the deadline. Everyone has this kind of inspiration but we sometimes take it for granted and don't think it is the kind of inspiration a writer should put first. This is a silly attitude. Let your own practical inspiration take over when you lack something fancier and artistic. Take a few minutes to get into your writing routine and then plug yourself in there and get to work. In the end, writers are those who write.
This is the header and details from a blog post I was reading today (October 4th, 2013). I created a screen capture of the title and details of the post, below you can see a partial image which was included with the post. So... can you find something important missing from this post? Read and look carefully. Did you notice the information in the headline about an asteroid hitting the Earth in 24 hours? Well, the first thing I wanted to know is when that 24 hours will be up. I read the post. Well, I skimmed it. I didn't find a mention of a date for the asteroid to hit the Earth. My first thought is to check the date on the post itself. After all, the post would have been written when we still had 24 hours to pack or hide, or something. Right? Well, there's the problem... this post has no date. It is an undated entry in the blog. This site does not date it's blog posts. I think this is a big mistake. Not just for the obvious reason above. But, I like to know if I'm reading an active blog. I like to see how often they post or how fresh the posts are. I also like to know how dated the information is. For instance, if you post a collection of links for WordPress plugins, I want to know that the list is fresh and the links still relevant. I also want to know if this post has been updated with new information. (Have you ever added an update to a post? You could leave a note for your readers, tell them it's an addendum. There's a fancy word for you). Anyway, I've written about the importance of using dates with blog post before so I won't rehash the whole idea. However, next time you type in something about 24 hours, make sure you give your reader the full timeline, and the due date.
We used to make zines with typed and photocopied pages. Those were the old days, before desktop publishing, computers and the whole concept of publishing on the Internet. Now, people are creating email newsletters to promote their online services and businesses. In between are the old, real newsletters which can still be created, written, planned, published and distributed to make money in the real (offline) world. Consider making money with a real newsletter, in real print (not on the Internet). Consider how many online newsletters you have actually read lately compared to the actual print newsletter which you pick up while you are out somewhere and likely read during some of your offline down time. I read the same print newsletter every month. It's distributed through the family restaurant where I like to have a leisurely breakfast out a few times a month. I watch for the latest newsletter there. It's sponsored by local businesses (it makes money by publishing their ads) and the content is light and simple. If the same content were on a website I would pass it by. But, when I'm just sitting there, enjoying a slow pace, that newsletter gets read and I enjoy it. The print newsletter is not dead, it's just a little rusty, dusty and over looked. Make money writing a print newsletter you can distribute in your local community. Once you have a basic product (the newsletter) get paid advertising to make money from it all. Open Source (Free) Graphics Editors How to Write a Christmas Newsletter
How to Start your own Babysitting Business and Write a Babysitting Resume Babysitting is a good way to make some extra money and help out a family in your community too. Babysitters can be young people or anyone with some experience who has time in the evening, on weekends and so on. You don't need to be a big brother or sister to get some experience as a babysitter. Ask at the school and local library, those are places where you can volunteer and pick up experience helping with children. You can spend an hour reading to younger children at school or library or any other place you find out about yourself. It will help if you have some first aid training but it is also good to mention you do have adult back up if you run into a problem (if you aren't already an adult yourself). Start the resume with an introduction to yourself. Give your name, age, address, how long you have lived in the area and who your references are. These would not be part of a standard resume but this is not standard. You are applying to look after someone's children so you put the first concerns they would have at the top of your resume. A young person could mention the school they are attending and a sentence about future plans. (If you turn out to be a good babysitter they will like to know how long you are going to be available in the area, or whether you will be moving on to university in the next year). Don't forget contact information: phone number and email address. List your qualifications. Do you have first aid training, have you taken lifeguard training at the local pool, did you take a babysitting course, do you have younger brothers and sisters you have taken care of, have you looked after babies (infants or toddlers), have you been babysitting for other families, are you in any groups like Brownies or Girl Guides, have you volunteered for community events and projects where you may have helped set things up or done the clean up. Take a little time to think about things you have done. Even working within the community at events is a good thing, whether or not there were children involved. List work experience, if you have it. This is also good because parents will need to know your schedule, when you are available. If you have had a regular schedule for a job in the past (or currently) you can show your reliability. List your special skills or limitations. What ages of children can you look after? If you have experience with infants, say so. If you can't babysit past midnight, let people know on your resume. Are you allergic to animals, then you won't be too eager to babysit at a house with a lot of dogs, cats, birds, etc. If you can cook, then you could mention being able to make dinner and clean up afterwards. Can you help children with their homework? Do you have something fun you like to do with the kids in between dinner and bedtime? Are you able to transport children (if needed), on the bus, or in your own vehicle with child seats? What do you need when you babysit? You may want to do homework once the kids are put to bed, so you need a place to work. You could also mention pets here, especially if you have allergies or asthma or are just uncomfortable with pets or exotic pets like a rat. If there food for making a snack for the children or yourself later in the evening? Will you need a ride home at the end of the job? How much advance notice do you need? What are your babysitting rates? Include any extra you charge for later evenings, holidays, etc. End the resume with a summary. Sum up the best assets you have written about above and give your contact information again.
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:
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