How to get in the right mood to write

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If you’re anything like me, sometimes you’ll find it hard to kick-start yourself and get into writing mode. If you’re writing at home this can be even harder, because there are endless distractions around the place to help you procrastinate … housework, dog walking, grass cutting, cooking, eating, you name it.

Even if you’re in work mode and can justify business hours spent on your book, blog, article, speech or whatever because it will be a business tool, the reality is it can be hard to focus and make the best of those hours.

article about getting in the right mood to write

Peace and privacy are essential if you are to organise your thoughts. Often a quiet cubicle is the only reasonable and available choice.

While the sheer obstructions of life aren’t necessarily an issue, often I still find that the problem is not that I don’t want to start writing, but that I don’t know where to start. So, I find it hard to concentrate my efforts in a productive direction. If you have the same problem from time to time, here are a few ideas that may help you.

How to concentrate

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Why writing nonfiction books is not just about books any more

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One of the best things about the current spread of media and publication options is that the basic content from your book can be shared in many more different ways than was the case 20 or even 10 years ago. I have mentioned quite a few of these en passant in my new book but it’s worth taking another look at the main ones, so you can bear them in mind.

woman sitting on bed with flying books

Who knows to what other communication treasures your book could lead you?

Blog to book and back again
Depending on the nature of your content, a series of blog posts form a very good basis for a book. I’ve done this a couple of times now and so have a number of other authors who contribute to How To Write Better. You get the double bite at the cherry. Don’t worry that people won’t buy the book if an equivalent but spaced-out version exists on your blog, by the way. They will buy the book because the formats are very different and will be used for different purposes. [Read more…]

Not sure what to write about in your nonfiction book?

If you want to write a nonfiction book to help promote your business, charity or other activity, you may find that – to start with – you don’t have a clear idea on what content your readers would appreciate most.

In this article, adapted from my new book which will be published early November 2020, you’ll find a number of suggestions that will fire up your inspiration and help you refine your choices. Here are some ideas to be going on with (see below):

what to write a book about

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How important are grammar and spelling? Really?

Now that the mass media with its “newspeak” vocabulary has been part of our lives for several generations we really can’t afford to be pompous about spelling and grammar any more.

Even the stuffiest of academics has had to admit that stiffly formal writing is not clever; it’s boring. They may look down their noses at the language of popular websites, social media, blogs and so-on, but that’s the language nearly everyone speaks today.

article about spelling and grammarI won’t waste your time with my theories on why that has happened, but the bottom line is that English as a language has become simpler and less complex than it was 100 years ago.

And quite right, too. I’ve never understood why some people get so uppity about the fact that a language has evolved.

Well, you and I haven’t got time to mourn the relegation of Shakespearean English to the theatre, even if we want to. We’ve got work to do here and now, and these days we write as we speak.

“Writing as people speak” is not a cop out

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Swearing: would you open this book to find out more?

Please welcome once again my good friend and colleague Tsufit, from Toronto, whose emails are always interesting and this one, in particular, grabbed my attention. Swearwords are a hot topic in communications of all kinds today and Tsufit – as always – hits the nail right on the head…Sz.

Saw this book on display in a small local library. 

If you saw it on display in a library or a book store, would you open it?

cover illustration to promtoe book

Love it or hate it, one thing is for sure. [Read more…]

25 better writing tips to print and stick on your, er, wall

You may have noticed that I’ve started sharing some new/updated ‘how to write better’ tips in social media and in my email sig file.

I thought you also might like to have the first 25 here in one hit, maybe to print out and er, stick somewhere? 🙂

25 better writing tips from, you guessed it: How To Write Better

1.If you write regular blogs and plan them right, they can be turned into a great book.

2.Hate writing, but have to? Try dictating instead. Then transcribe, edit & hey presto!

3.Writing for marketing? Remember, it’s always about what’s in it for THEM, not you. [Read more…]

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