Writing roundup – 4 great topics to help you write better

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Here are the latest ‘shorty’ posts I’ve been sharing on social media recently … the first two are about books, and the last two are about writing in general. Enjoy!

writing tips

Can you tell if a book has been produced professionally? Here’s how
  1. The cover should still be readable and attractive when its image is small, e.g. on Amazon
  1. The back cover ‘blurb’ must be enticing and correct, and text on the book’s ‘spine,’ straight and centred.

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Trying to write and sweat at the same time…

If you’re working from home and do not benefit from the rewards (hopefully healthful) of working in a fully airconditioned office building, right now during COVID-19 issues anyway … have a read. I sympathise. And right at the bottom is a suggestion to take a leaf out of our Canadians’ book…

SWEET, SWEATY SUMMER

It’s 34 degrees outside
Perfect for dear old Dubai
But western Bedfordshire’s not quite
So suited to such temps that high.

I open all my windows up
Expecting cooler air to share
Oh, “wrongeroonie” I exclaim
It’s f***ing hellish-hot out there!

funny poem about working during a heatwave with no air conditioning

As I sweat and look just ghastly, I think back to babyhood…

[Read more…]

Why you’ll fall in love with Bullet Journaling

Please welcome my friend and colleague Sarah Sibley, the founder of Got2Jot – a fashion stationery company with the most gorgeous designs of all kinds, both for personal and some business uses. Sarah is a huge fan of Bullet Journaling – a highly personalised type of ordinary journaling . I asked her to tell us about it … and why she fell in love with it. Now I’m falling in love with it, too…over to Sarah:

article about bullet journaliing by sarah sibley on how to write better with suzan st maurI came across Bullet Journaling about three years ago. Attending trade shows and working in the stationery industry gave me a chance to find out more and see what this craze from the US was all about.

Since then I’ve been hooked. It is a simple system for those who still love putting pen to paper but are looking to be more organised in their lives.

We know that writing things down helps to offload some of that stress so that you can clear your mind and look at things more objectively. But sometimes writing lists and more lists can make things worse, as it can be overwhelming. [Read more…]

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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A fumbler’s guide to live online video chats and meetings

How are you doing with your Zoom / MS Teams / Facebook Lives / Facetime and various other incarnations of live video on the internet, especially now that there are very few – if any – ways to communicate with our clients / customers, colleagues, friends and family otherwise?

The Zoom meeting … our new normal?

A while back I wrote about, and asked my learned colleagues to share their advice on, how to perform on online video as you’ll find from this incredibly comprehensive guide here. And that was before the coronavirus stopped us talking F2F.

But today, as we cope with the most recent restraints … let’s take another look at how we are communicating now. Speaking as a prime techno-fumbler myself and a beginner at this talk-and-chew-gum-at-the-same-time online video lark, I sympathise with other beginners starting out … especially as so many friends and colleagues are becoming online TV superstars…

Some tips about live online video that I’ve discovered the hard way

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How to boost your nonfiction book with a PR campaign

Please welcome expert PR coach Laura Perkes of PR With Perkes – sharing her advice on the best ways to get publicity for a new nonfiction book. Over to Laura … 

Now that the hard work of writing the book is over it’s time for the fun to begin, to elevate your expertise and create a successful launch that will not only boost sales of your book but will inspire people to make the life-changing decisions to take them from stuck to unstuck.

As you know, words are incredibly powerful.

[Read more…]

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