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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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…]

Writing for business in the third-age: old? No, new.

People in the “third-age” who are running businesses are not old f*rts. In fact many of them are new entrepreneurs.

When I go home to Canada every summer I work a lot with my good friend and colleague Trudy Van Buskirk – a stalwart women-in-business coach and networker, founder of a number of online and offline business networking groups in Toronto. And just to make the challenge a bit more interesting she also a) is the wrong side of 60 and b) has disabilities.

Writing for business for third-age entrepreneurs on HTWB

Thanks to the internet it’s very easy for anyone of any age to keep bang up to date with their chosen business or industry.

What has struck me over the last few years of leading blogging and business writing workshops for Trudy and her clients are the high levels of energy, enthusiasm, business acumen, hunger for further learning and downright grit that all of these people pour into their businesses. [Read more…]

Do these common grammar mistakes still catch you with your pants down?

It’s amazing to think that it’s 6 years since I wrote this eBook and despite the fact that only a few thousand of you (well, quite a few thousand) have bought a copy, many of my lovely readers are still getting sh*t like this soooo wrong.

Common grammar mistakes: why do we still make them?

HTWB grammar Mar 17In a word – well, a few words – it’s because the English language has mental health issues. Ergo, it’s nuts. There are so many exceptions to rules in English that it’s hardly worth studying the actual rules.

All the same, for those mere 1.5 billion people who speak English as a first or other language, we need to get the basics right as far as is humanly possible. Here, now, are some excerpts from my earlier writings, distilled down into the main areas where we still screw up… [Read more…]

Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

Having had a fierce hatred for voice recognition software for years, I was finally calmed down by the charming and erudite Neil Sleight at a business networking do recently. He told me to stop spitting fur and feathers about it because today, there is voice recognition software that actually works. I asked Neil to tell us more. Here he is… 

Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

All you need to do is to dictate your work and as you speak, you will see your words appear in your document on the screen in front of you.

If you regularly create documents using Microsoft Word or send and receive emails, you may have considered using voice recognition software, or may even have tried it in the past.

If this is so, you may have found that it wasn’t transcribing your speech accurately and was more trouble than it was worth.

However all this has now changed dramatically … [Read more…]

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

If you have teenage relatives you’ll probably know that they clam up like, er, clams, when you tell them why writing matters. Mainly they regard “proper” writing as a pain in the posterior. What’s wrong with leaving apostrophes out? Using the latest Instagram jargon? Speaking and writing in hip terms everyone who’s anyone in rap, metal and other such contemporary cultures knows and appreciates?

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

When you apply for a job, most of the CVs/résumés on the recruiter’s desk will have mistakes in them. If yours doesn’t, it will stay at the top of the pile. Then, guess what?

As you’d expect, with my own son (poor kid) I hammered the need for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax into his head before he could walk. These days I’m a little more gentle with teens, but the metaphorical slap-in-yer-face still works. Read on … [Read more…]

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