How To write like it is your job

Woman Writing ; How To write like it is your job

Woman Writing

How to Write Like It Is Your Job

Many new writers come in the field with the mindset of “writing when inspiration strikes” or “writing what you understand.” Such myths deceive writers into thinking writing is not a job. Well, to build a career as a writer, you need to learn how to write like it is your job. A good starting point is doing away with away such myths.

On the other hand, what about others more experienced in writing? What fallacies and myths of the literary lifestyle can prevent you from writing like it is a job?  Writing is not just a Job, it is also a business, and should such have a strategy and business plan to ensure career and personal success.  It is vital for writing professionals to know the distinction of how essential a “job” is and the writing market to successfully write to it.  Learning how to write any job successfully requires some level of seriousness same as you would if you worked for a company. Since it is your career and your life the only one who can design and control your career path is you. Below are tips to help you get your act straight and not miss deadlines.

  • Set a regular schedule
  • Have a designated workspace
  • Blocking productivity disruptions
  • Focus on one writing task at a time
  • Use the writing pyramid to keep your focus
  • Build a subject area of expertise
  • Build a reference library
  • Build customized job aids and checklists
  • Leverage Productivity Tools

 Set A Regular Work Schedule

Writing is a good venture, and it requires the “more seriousness” treatment associated with 9-5 jobs and who just gets to work 8 hours a day, every day. Creating a regular schedule would help you avoid slogging through tasks as you progress with your writing life. If you have committed to a deadline, then you are accountable to any client as any businessman would. As writers, we need the mindset of a business person in keeping a consistent schedule and dedication accomplishing a sufficient volume and quality of work each day.  Writing is a service-oriented venture whether writing a novel, short story or a freelance article, and you are 100% in control.

Have A Designated Workspace

Like all other entrepreneurial professionals, you too can benefit from that flexibility. Being creative while writing can be an enjoyable as well as daunting. A Key success factor for writers is having a Designated Workspace, not that you need to live it, but you need a place to be organized, focused, and from which to take a mental take, if need be.  We all have our individual preference and as such need a workspace that meets out taste and keeps the mind active. Although we all have some sick days, having a Designated Workspace created to meet your writing needs will significantly facilitate your writing “job.”  Your Designated Workspace should have fun in it, to recharge your batteries….All work and no play makes….

Blocking Productivity Disruptions

Blocking disruptions can be a challenge, there is nothing worse than having your work interrupted, when you’re inspired, to go pull something off the shelf or help someone with something just because your physically available. It’s important that everyone understand when your focus work hours exist, another reason to keep a consistent schedule, and that you are in fact working even though you may not be sitting in a company office. Sometimes with family members, this can be difficult and may take some creativity when planning your scheduling and to let people know when you should not be disrupted. It can be as simple as a sign on the door or it may take a little training. It may also mean that your home office location, a suit you’re working from home might need to be slightly geographically isolated. For example, if you have a property in a shed using shed detached from the house is a home office might be a good idea.

Blocking disruptions also mean taking care of your own behaviors. Things like watching television, loud music, or too many trips to the pantry can be just as disruptive as other people unexpectedly asking you for help.

The main point is when you’re working, you are working, so, you and others need to respect your office hours whether you’re physically in the office, setting up a local Starbucks, or sitting at the patio table.

Focus on One Writing Task At A Time

Multi-tasking is a productivity myth, especially, where creative thinking is required. Writing is both an art and business. Indeed, some writers prefer to be freelance writers, while others elect to suffer for their art. But it is best to proactively schedule and concentrate on one job at a time, altering your mindset and research to suit the work, and assuming to the appropriate writing style and tone.  Also, if you have done the appropriate research in preparation when you sit down to do the actual writing, your work will flow better because you’re prepared both from a research and gathered references perspective, and from a mental state of mind. With a little practice and some honing of your skills, you may find that your writing speed increases, not to mention the quality of your writing will improve.

Use the Writing Pyramid to Keep Your Focus

This part is correct and ultimately makes sense; especially, if you want to become an excellent writer.  Using the writing pyramid, provide structure and organization to help you write efficiently and effectively.  Leveraging the writing pyramid will expedite the writing process and helps to keep you from meandering or becoming lost in your writing. Additionally, using the writing pyramid is that excellent job aid for fleshing out your outline quickly and efficiently. In time, the writing pyramid approach will become second nature and the practice of getting your main points down early in your writing and expanding upon them can be done with little or no focus thought.

Build A Subject Area of Expertise

Writing comes easily to any truly gifted writer. For some, it may take years to discover and build a subject area of expertise.  While most writers at some point in their careers will need to write outside their area of expertise, building an area of expertise is essential. There are number reasons that having an area of expertise is important among them are:

  • your articles will be more accurate and sound more confident as you know what you’re talking about
  • your writing will be more efficient and require less research in areas where you already have knowledge
  • with some care and planning, you will assemble a set of authoritative references and how to organize them for the way you write.

Build A Reference Library

Building a reference library whether physical books and references or electronic ones is essential for any writer. No one can know anything unless you can afford to run out the library every time you need to do some research accumulating and authoritative set of references is a serious productivity enhancer.

While it’s important to keep your references up-to-date, and this will depend an awful lot on your area of expertise, having some older references can also be useful. Some of my most interesting references and my most useful are over 100 years old. I find it some of the older references provide some perspective and insight that many modern writings do not contain.

Keeping your references organized in a way that makes sense to you is also very important. If you want to be frustrated just, try to find something that you know you own but can’t find. Personally, I find that frustration of hunting for resources completely distracting and causes me to lose my focus.  For this reason, I gather my references in advance and I put them in the project carts. Sometimes this is because of having done some research and gathered in my materials together as I did so, and other times it simply a matter of going to the section of my library about a subject.

However, a word of caution, do not gather so much that it just becomes clutter on the shelves or that you find when you move or travel the cost of having all those references causes you to have to dispose of the books in some manner.  When traveling, having e-book versions of your references can be very helpful, but most times I prefer the real paper copy.

Additionally, I love the public library and I find it perfectly useful for doing research, gathering references, and borrowing them the library for a short period. If you happen to be traveling and have some free time, often, it pays to visit the public library in the local city or town. You can find treasures and those of the libraries might not be available in your local libraries. Also, public libraries are generally an excellent quiet place to work

Build Customized Job Aids and Checklists

Job aids help you to work faster, more consistently, and more accurately. Job aids can come in several forms and here are just a few:

Templates

  • templates can be used in a lot of places depending on what your writing pattern is. It can be as simple as a template title page or that blog pattern you used consistently.

Checklists

  • checklists can be created to help with a few purposes. For example, quality items unique to you, such as commonly misused words, common spelling issues, or standard formatting checks and other quality items.

How To Instructions

  • how to instructions can be helpful to make sure that you’ve accurately completed all the steps in a process or to ensure that you’ve completed all the steps in the correct order. But keep them simple and bare-bones

Leverage Productivity Tools

productivity tools abound in our modern workplace suited a significant number of them are free or low cost, but you choose the few that work best for the way you write and do business. Some areas where productivity tools commonly come into play are:

  • project management and scheduling tools,
  • social media communication/publishing tools (e.g. Twitter or Pinterest),
  • photo and infographics editing tools,
  • email marketing tools,
  • and, perhaps the most common, word editors, grammar checking, and publishing tools; including speech to text tools.

Conclusion

if you’re going to earn a living as a writer, you need to work on a regular schedule and produce a consistent amount of writing each day. To be successful as a writer, especially if you want to earn a living as a writer, you need to accumulate a body of work and to hone your skills. So, treating your writing career, like a career at any other company, will do much to ensure your success.

Related References

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My Writing Approach

Writer's Table

Writer’s Table

In a recent comment for one of my blogs, I was asked what my writing approach was and I honestly don’t think I had previously described the way I write.  So here goes.

My approach is straightforward and very old school. My biggest problem is time to do the writing.  My three current blogs ( I have had others) are hobbies for me. I have a day (and then some) job as a Tech consultant.

The Steps of My Writing Process

Basically, I follow this pattern when writing blog articles and books:

Capture Writing Ideas

  •  I capture my ideas as I have them and write one or two short line as for a frame of reference.

Organize and Schedule Articles

  • Then, Organize my writing according to when I want to write them, with some lead time, of course.

Outline Article

  • I outline my header levels/titles
  • I never write without an outline, even the small stuff. Outlining has become second-nature for me.

Gather Materials and Research

  • I gather my article research materials and load my project cart shelf with books, printed articles, and USB stick with electric materials
  • Go throw the research material and bookmark any import and relevant information, which I may use.

Note: I don’t always do this step if it is something I know very well or which I have just done.

Draft Article Content

  •  I write without editing or spell checking until I run out of information.
  • Add relevant research, if any is being used.

Edit Article

  • I edit, spellcheck and format article content
  • Apply SEO Optimization for Article body

Add Article Graphics

  • Go get my pictures and graphics to flesh it out. This usually means taking them from my own photo repository, it sometimes means, taking additional pictures.
  • Add and Size graphics
  • Perform SEO optimization on graphics properties and description.

Keyword Optimization

  • I check my base keyword lists and add additional words appropriate to the content.

Add Categories

  • I choose my categories; paying attent to the hierarchy, so, I don’t miss any parent-child relationships.
  • Double check for Long keyword combinations, which may be appropriate.

Choose Social Network Publication Channels

  • choose the social network site, if any, I think it should be published to.

Add Related References

  • Add internal and, if appropriate, external reference links to other articles

Related References

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The Chili Pepper: A Home Gardener’s Guide

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers

Chili peppers bring flare to the typical garden as well as on the plate. It brings a spectacular addition of flash and color to the garden – as well as heat to the palette. In this guidebook, Chili Peppers gives a closer look at the abundant species of chili peppers. Descriptions of the illustrious history of the chili pepper which swept like a heat-wave across the world by the Portuguese Empire and had taken root in the local cuisines. Chili Peppers goes on to rank the common species of chili peppers and their packing heat into three sections – sweet, medium and hot peppers and their distinctive tastes.

You can buy chili peppers in the market no problem, but there is nothing more satisfying than cooking with something lovingly home-grown.

Chili Peppers advises gardeners to look at their gardens and evaluate the soil, water, mulch to efficiently plant your peppers that will thrive in your garden as well giving good advice on tending to them against diseases and ‘unwanted guests.’  Handling peppers is a heated business (literally), and precautions must be made when chopping, cooking and eating them. Chili Peppers recommends the best measures to take when cooking and consuming chili peppers (especially if you’ve been brave!) After the fruits of your labor are ready for harvesting, Chili Peppers provides several tips and tricks to store your chili peppers for full packing flavor.

The Chili Pepper: A Home Gardener’s Guide Kindle Edition

The Chili Pepper: A Home Gardener’s Guide Paperback Edition

 

 

 

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Empowered

Empowered

Empowered

Power is one of the most sought-after, yet all too often misunderstood, aspects of the human condition. Everyone strives for greater power, be it in business, love or life in general. We all vie for the next advantage or seek to improve our own circumstances. This is a normal facet of humanity and should be treated as such. Power is, by itself and its definition, ambiguous – neither good or evil. It just is, yet its importance cannot be overstated. Personal power is the force that creates business titans and top managers, star athletes and household names. Yet cultivating the kind of Personal Power that galvanizes the mundane into the extraordinary means looking beyond the accepted concepts of Power to the underpinnings of what personal power really is, and what it isn’t.

Personal Power is not a position of authority or the ability to influence. Instead, Personal Power lies in the capacity, ability, and willingness to act – regardless of the environment. This book breaks down the barriers, so many of us face when we try to manifest our own personal power, explaining the roadblocks in our way and how to move past them.

From understanding the many forms of power to utilizing what you have and learning skills that can take you farther, this book is both a guide and a map, one that will help you unleash your potential by finding, and cultivating, the Personal Power within.

Empowered Kindle Edition

Empowered (Paperback)

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The Marketing Value of a Good Book Cover

Front Book Cover

Front Book Cover

An author may invest all the time, effort and fortune for writing, editing and publishing a book, but leaves very little for the cover design forgetting that the cover is the reader’s first impression of the book. For well-known authors, their books may sell themselves since the author has over time established trust on his content on the part of most readers. But for a new writer, you need to create that first impression with your book cover. One of the best gifts to give yourself as an author is a time to find a professional cover designer who understands designs and who can get your story and the message you need to impact on your potential readers. There is a multitude of new books being published and, on the market, today, and this is why one of the most important factors which make a buyer pick a book from the bookshelf should also be considered.

Judging A Book By Its Cover

There has always been widespread of this popular idiom all over the world which reads “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, despite how true this might be in the realistic sense, the book industry is an ever-evolving one, and most of the readers now use the cover of a book as a deciding factor whether to buy the book.

First Impressions Matter

In the modern book industry today, first impressions matter, especially in books, where readers seem to have many options, including online ebooks. People have now resorted to the belief that “If you can’t judge a book by its cover, then someone’s not doing their job”. Currently, when people are browsing in a bookstore (either physical or online) and look at the book cover, they take some seconds to decide if it’s appealing. If so, they pick up the book, turn it over and read the back-cover copy. And if they are online (for E-book), they read the book description. But of course, you know what happens when such book cover doesn’t appeal to them, they either drop or skip the book.

The First Sales Pitch

Therefore, with the growing number of books all over the world today, giving millions of books for readers to choose from, your first “sales pitch” is the quality and visual appeal of your book cover. Interestingly, even the marketers believe a great book cover makes the book easier to sell and that is why most publishers today try to focus more on the quality of book covers.

A Balance of Art and Marketing Knowledge

Readers believe that if authors don’t dedicate time and effort to their book cover, then there will be doubt as to how much time they have put into the book itself.  So, for a book cover to have good marketing value, it must have a balance of art and marketing knowledge. It should contain a significant central image, and there should also be balancing of colors, font, and space. It must recognize the current trends and should feel fresh and contemporary.

Conclusion

The marketing impact that a good book cover would have on a book’s (whether Printed or eBook) sales cannot be over-emphasized. A compelling book cover will communicate the tone and content of your book and get more readers to buy or download it.  This, in turn, will improve your chances of making good sales for your book and attract more positive reviews and ratings which will send the right message to potential readers.

Printable PDF Version of this Article

Related References

 

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The Parts of an eBook

eBook Reader

eBook Reader

Over the years, I have learned more about eBook structure and components of an eBook. When it comes to the parts of an eBook, you need to do a little research on what readers expect from a standard eBook and how to attract the right people. For both fiction and non-fiction books, every chapter has its different header. Several other bells and whistles make an eBook standout. These parts include the use of multiple colors, fonts, sizes, etc.

Today, let’s take a look at the parts of an eBook. Precisely every eBook has an eBook structure, that is what elements we should add to an eBook. The order of the components of an eBook can vary a little for both fiction and non-fiction. Whenever you download an eBook, this is what you should see in the order of arrangement:

Book Cover

  • The Book Cover. The book cover art, like the front cover of a printed book, is placed at the very start of the eBook.

Front Matter

  • First Page. If your eBook is not a compilation, the product description should be on the very first page. That is the back-jacket copy. Why? It is merely because readers nowadays quickly forget about what most downloaded eBooks contain. Reminding your avid readers why they paid for the eBook on the First Page makes it easier for them to recollect. It also aids in figuring out what next to read. It is similar to picking a book from your library and reading the inner flap or back copy.
  • Title page. The title page comprises of the author(s) name.
  • Copyright page. Although, among the vital components of an eBook contained within in the front matter, Booklovers skip these parts of an eBook as it covers sample space.
  • Hyperlinked table of contents. This link goes directly to the significant parts of an eBook, especially the ones mentioned here, excluding the cover art.
  • Dedication, if any.

The Body of the Book

  • The eBook contents,  following the eBook structure of the table of contents with hyperlinked chapters/Section headers and subheaders. The Body of your book is the meaningful content of the book to your readers and constitutes the vast majority of the pages in your book.

Back Matter

  • Acknowledgements, if any. Although, amongst the vital components of an eBook included in the front matter, Booklovers skip these parts of an eBook as it covers sample space. When readers download a free sample of an eBook, they should get the significant eBook structure, not parts they would rather skip.
  • Any extras. The author afterword, or Q and A, or a small sample of the succeeding eBook in the series, etc. You should try to keep the excerpts short. Book lovers do not like the feeling of having more pages left unread, or some abrupt end with few extras left. So, avoid lengthy excerpts except you need it for the next sequel.
  • About the eBook or the author(s) bio.
  • Bibliography. If you have cited other authors, a bibliography recognizes these sources. Of course, attribute quotes are needed in the copy or with appendices. A bibliography also provides readers a list of references, if they wish to learn more about the subject.
  • Optional – Ads. Single page ads, with cover art of your other eBooks. Or, if you have writing partners, you can exchange ads with them.

Conclusion

  • And that is all for parts of an eBook. Some of the components of an eBook may appear obvious, but I do not see several authors placing their eBook description in front and a traditional front matter in back. Hyperlinks also aid the eBook structure, and this makes the eBooks easier to read, find pages and move around. So, as writers, it is time to step up and make good use of the latest technological advancement available today. 

Table of eBook Parts by Genre Category

parts of an eBook

 

Fiction

Non-Fiction

Book Cover

Required

Required

Front Matter

Required

Required

Table of contents

Optional – Table of contents present for

few fiction eBooks

Required – Table of contents present for

all non-fiction eBooks

Back Matter

Optional

Optional – Extra information like

appendices, bibliographies, and notes

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Related References

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WordPress – How To Get A Long URL to Wrap

Wordpress

WordPress

I’ve been having a challenge with a couple of my blog sites where long URLs have not been wrapping and running off the side of the page to the right out of the visual range, which has been pointed out by my site readers.   This fix was much easier than the long URL in a table problem, but Well,  I thought I would share, as well.  Hopefully, others will find it useful.

Code Update Steps

The fix requires a change to the CSS code of your site.  To make the change :

  • Navigate to Appearance > Customize > CSS and add input code
  • Add the CSS URL Wrap Code
  • Publish CSS Change

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

Appearance Navigation To Customize Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

CSS Navigation Menu

 

Empty CSS Code Screenshot before Changes

Please note that the table long URL code was added in a previous post.  So, we will be adding the new code just below the existing CSS code modifications.

Customized CSS With URL Wrap

Customized CSS With URL Wrap

CSS change code wrap a long URL on the table

a {
word-wrap: break-word;
}

Customized CSS With Long URL Wrap Code Added

Wrap code for Long URL's

Wrap code for Long URL’s

Publish CSS Changes

Publish CSS Changes

Publish CSS Changes

Related References

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