Do you suffer from written message meltdown?

Now that every online platform and their German Shepherd has a messaging facility, do you ever find it hard to remember who’s messaged you where?

Of course, I’m a boring old goat who now uses the excuse of advancing years to cover up the fact I’ve been a scatterbrain since birth. But come on …. really?

article about messaging

What really banboozles me is trying to remember who messaged me, on what platform.

Here are the main messaging platforms I use…

Facebook / Messenger
LinkedIn
Twitter
WhatsApp
Instagram
IPhone
Texts

And then there are many more, as you know. Far too many to register here.

What bamboozles my increasingly deep-fried brain is not how to use the platforms – oh, no. [Read more…]

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

[Read more…]

Studying English at Uni? Grab these hot writing tips from a graduate!

by Yasmin Mattocks

Anyone out there lucky enough to be starting university life as an English undergraduate?

As a recent English literature graduate, I am now looking back fondly on my 3 years, realising that there were some very important things that had I known, would have helped me from the start.

writing tips for English undergraduates

Getting behind on your reading is not a position you want to be in.

It is likely that you’re a competent writer if you’re going on to study English at university, but the leap from A-level to university can be daunting. Firstly, getting out of the Point, Context, Quotation, Analysis mindset can be a struggle, and then where are you supposed to go from there?

Worry no more: I’m here to pass on some top tips for studying English at university. [Read more…]

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…]

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.

[Read more…]

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…]

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