Writing and relaxing can be the same thing.. Who is Heather Matthews?
To start off, writing has played a vital role in our mode of communication today.
From communication in offices, schools or in other formal setups; we embrace majority of our communication made up with texts and writing. The ability to effectively exchange ideas, collaborate and work as a team and to be able to understand instructions and communicate our responses accordingly will require the act of effective writing.
What is the final definition of writing?
Writing is an art; which needs to be approached with tact and skillfulness in order for communication to be effective.
To become a successful writer, one needs to learn and embrace basic writing elements; which are required to make communication effective. It can be challenging for a beginner. But through practice, experience can easily be gained and eventually one can be deemed a good writer.
“And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name”.
– William Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
A little info about this site’s history
This site was initially established in 2008 and operated through to mid 2013 by Heather Matthews who has authored several romance books which includes: The Secret of the Emerald Sea, Carolina, Below the Sapphire and The Scullery Maid.
She is a freelance writer and a blogger who has successfully written for several magazines and several sites.
“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write”.
– Somerset Maugham
The site is about elaborate content and guidelines to help any aspiring writer gather the skills and insights required to become a better writer. You will benefit by knowing the elements required for effective writing as well as several platforms to use for publication.
Other things you may learn
Also you will learn of the best writing approaches; which are used in this digital age and other details. They will help you improve greatly on your writing.
As a writer you are considered a creator because you bring ideas, thoughts and hints into life. One of common tasks for paid writers is writing about weight loss, a very popular topic.
Writing weight loss blog articles for clients demands a lot of creativity and sharp research skills. The article that you’re writing needs to be informative with a twist of humor to make it fun.
When a client approaches you, they might give you a hint in the form of instructions on what they expect it to turn out as. It is up to you as a writer to determine exactly what they want and create it in writing. Some are not clear on their expectations. But it is your duty as the chosen writer to hand pick the little information given and base your article on it. In this case, you need to read in between the lines to determine the basis of your article.
Commonly Requested Weight Loss Topics :
- When are you considered over weight
- Introduce weight loss programs
- What are the 3 Steps to effective weight loss
- The Do’s and Dont’s of weight loss
- How to lose weight Safely
- How to lose weight and keep it off permanently
Some clients may give specific topics; such as the ones above as a guide. In this case you, as the writer, will be expected to write the article within the topic and not to deviate into other topics unless they closely relate to it. You will be required to do extensive research on the topic given and offer as much information as you can.
In some other cases, the client may require you to write generally about weight loss. You will be needed you to touch on all areas that pertain to the topic that are useful for the reader. You will also need to know how to organize the information gathered in such a way that it makes sense.
What to Consider When Writing Weight Loss Articles :
1. The reader/audience
The topic of weight loss might be diverse. But you can narrow it down depending on the audience that it is intended for. The client might inform you of whom the article is meant for. This will guide you in terms of tone. You will know whether to be strict and to the point, to be lenient while delivering the message or where to put emphasis on for instance risks involved when the reader doesn’t venture in a weight loss program.
2. How to Deliver the Information
Sometimes the client will dictate the tone that they want the article to be in; professional or friendly. For a friendly article, you need to make it seem like you’re having a one-on-one conversation with the reader. A professional article simply requires you to state the facts and drive straight to the point.
In some cases the client will not be specific. But may give hints, for instance by mentioning that the article is meant for a professional audience. This means that you need it to be precise and straight to the point.
3. What the Article is Wanted For
As a writer, sometimes you may be required to back up your facts. This is usually through studies and research conducted by reliable scientists and researchers on it. Ensure that everything you put down is accurate and factual otherwise the authenticity of your work will be questioned.
A good writer is always willing and ready to offer additional information that are likely to please the reader as well as the client. You can put this extra information towards the end on the ‘tips’ section. Ensure that the information on this section is personally aimed at helping the reader or making the topic more clearer.
There are other requirements such as; spacing the paragraphs, breaking the points using headings and subheadings, proper abbreviations, exquisite grammar and punctuation.
However, it isn’t all rosy for writers when dealing with clients. Most are easy to work with. But there is a selected few that are hard to please. An encounter with an expressive client will make your work easy as they basically guide your hand, thoughts and research.
Clients who do not offer adequate instruction make your work difficult
This is because you cannot tell what they exactly want. You can ask them beforehand to be more detailed on their expectations or write the article as a sample and ask them if it is what they expect.
Writing blog articles on weight loss is diverse and there are some instances whereby the client may request you to write the article based on a personal story. You may write it based on your own personal experience to connect to the reader or totally put your creativity skills to task and make something up. The article becomes even more engaging when you incorporate humor to make the experience fun while still delivering the message.
Here’s an example;
I weigh almost 200 pounds. I know, i’m a little hippo. But not for too long. However, I have lost 50 pounds in the past 8 weeks and I’d like to share the secret with you. Nonetheless, I haven’t always been a chubby girl. I was just an ordinary kid up until i went to high school. For some reason, I imagined that boarding school would be a smart choice for me. In my self sabotaging mind, I equated boarding school to freedom. Oh how I wish i’d go back in time to slap myself back to reality. A slap that would earn us a spot in the Guinness Book of World records.
Boarding school depressed me.
Teachers there was more strict than my parents and meal times were always a scramble. By the time I was graduating, it appeared as if I’d swallowed the skinnier version of myself. During the holidays, I would empty my parent’s fridge and sit around trying to catch my breath there after. That weight has been a pain ever since. All this started with that particular life destroying decision. That decision that makes me want to invent a time machine.
This article is purposely meant for people who are struggling with weight. People who have tried every diet and trick in the book without success. However, I choose to write this because I can relate. I have been there. Scratch that, I am there though showing some really good signs of progress.
There are several known ways of losing weight
We tend to fail in each and every attempt because we want the easiest way out. Trust me, it’s never worked on anybody. Look at it this way, it took years to pile on the weight so expect it to take even longer to go away.
First of all, you’ve got to take a trip down the memory lane. Think of all the unhealthy choices that you’ve been making and purpose to take a different route. Our lifestyle choices highly contribute to weight gain so I decided to be using the stairs instead of the elevator. Be that as it may, I walk short distances for instance to the local grocery store, park and church instead to driving there. I got rid of all my junk stash that I’d tactfully hidden all around my house, car and office. All of it. When I succeeded, I knew that I was ready for the next step. Diet and exercise.
When I first duck walked to the gym
I then expected to find some fellow baby hippos that I had already purposed to spend half the time whining about how hard process is. Surprisingly, everybody there was very determined and not as out of shape as I was. Getting accustomed to the aerobics moves was a huge challenge.
As others were moving left, I was heavily shifting my weight to the right. I’d have been mistaken for a sumo wrestler. However, this didn’t take long. A few sessions later, I was in tune with the rest. The instructor was lenient on me. I started out with mild work outs and advanced gradually to more sweat breaking techniques.
The weight lifting, sit ups, planks, leg lifts and crunches were a night mare. Every time I would make a gravity defying move, undeniably loud farts would escape and everyone would literally roll on the floor laughing. They just kept coming no matter how hard i tried to contain them. Lets just thank the good Lord that it wasn’t the smelly ones otherwise i’d be banned for good. This went on for a little while. But then I blended in perfectly.
I met my nutritionist right before I joined the gym
Nevertheless, I had my first appointment on the same day that I joined the gym. I love food. The tastier the better. But I also know that this little fact is the reason why I am in the current predicament. The nutritionist was so informed and professional. She guided me with so much optimism and hope. So much that I was determined not to let her or myself down. She drew up a menu for me; which included lots of snacks in between main meals.
However, she made the transition as easy as possible for me to stick to. The wings, fries and shakes were now replaced with fruits, nuts and cholesterol free vegetables. I also learnt to incorporate lots of water in my diet. Not only did it make me feel fuller hence eating less. But also helped to flush out toxins and replenished my skin. My skin is definitely supple now than it ever was before.
Believe me when I say that the struggle is tough
There are times when I almost hear my old friends (fries and wings) calling out to me. Although, I do my best to ignore. The first few weeks of exercise were really difficult. It almost felt like my trainer had a grudge towards me. Who was he; An Ex? A neighbor that I ran over their dog and drove off? That quiet kid in kindergarten I stole cookies from? He pushed me so hard. But looking at the scale and mirror now, I feel absolutely grateful that he does. Two piece bikini, here I come.
Basic Understanding of Fiction Writing
For any writer, having the author name on a publication is a dream come true. Actually, to do so is an easy ride. But when it comes to work of fiction, having your name on the book’s cover is the beginning of a long and tough journey.
Getting your work of fiction out to the masses can be a daunting and painstaking work. It requires efforts to strategize, write and market yourself and your work. That’s just the beginning, you will also need to get a share of the market and remain relevant if you want the books that you publish to be generally accepted and rake in tons of cash.
Usually, there is no clear method of getting an audience to read and approve your work. This forms the basis of numerous failures so fiction writers. The input of time and resources to promote your work of fiction or yourself may at most time yield to a loss on investment. Creating a fan base of readers is not a one-time investment. It takes months or years of patience and efforts to build a base of devoted readers.
So how does a beginner approach such a situation?
Be relevant to your audience
Writers since the time of King Solomon have known that the key to getting an audience for their publication is to create a connection between the written content and the leaders. The material that you pen down must be addressed in a manner that the readers receive it in awe and after reading, they are left longing for more.
When you create fiction content; which depicts high levels of creativity and the plot set-up and character development match the time settings of your content, then readers will be willing and ready to read, share and wait for the next publication. By time setting I mean that your fiction content should adhere to the periodical time appropriate on the plot.
For instance, if you create content about ancient civilization, you will mess up if you include the use of smartphones by your characters.
Hypothetically marketing your name is easier today than it was 20 years ago. In this digital age, people are so tech-savvy in that you could reach out to millions of potential leaders worldwide with just a click on the button while in the comfort of your bed.
You need to embrace internet and web-based platforms to market yourself.
Create a website or blog
Make it content rich with captivating posts and multimedia. Let the content be user-friendly and interactive to the visitors of your blog and make it shareable on various social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, Pinterest etc.
Create active social media profiles and fan pages
Schedule regular posts to share with your fans or followers. This should be done regularly and with tact to promote interactivity and generate feedback from your audience. When you’ve get a sizeable number active of fans, pitch them your fiction work.
Jot down what you will be sharing with them on social media should be related to your fiction work. The profiles should be integrated with your blog/site and they should both correlate. Let them promote each other so as to increase the number of your audience.
Work with other writers
Other fiction writers can help promote your work especially through their websites/blogs or through social media and email lists/newsletters, work with them in a mutual relationship whereby you promote their work and they do the same to you.
Embrace Amazon fiction publishing platform
Amazon kindle is a publishing platform for publishing fiction work launched in 2013. By taking advantages of this program, you stand a chance of getting your book across millions of potential leaders easily unlike in the traditional set-up of selling hard copies.
Other Promotional Methods Include :
- Creating an email list.
- Creating a newsletter publication.
- Marketing your name and fiction work on book expositions.
- Creating a book giveaway.
Most writers feel discouraged to write for other people because at the end, their skills or artistry won’t be recognized upon publication. If you are such a writer, you might be treading on a path to failure. Writing for other people could be a gateway to your success in writing.
Why you need to ghostwrite?
Ghostwriting basically means writing for another person who will eventually assume full rights of the piece of work upon publication. In this instance, the person is recognized as the author of the content.
Many writers are absorbed by the overwhelming desire to have their names on each publication they create to the extent of undermining ghost writing or co-authoring. In essence, every aspiring writer wants to have a byline on their piece of work. It is very gratifying if you can fill a bookshelf with books bearing your names on their covers. Dedicating a book to your spouse, children, friend or mentor is every writers dream. This restrains writers from ghostwriting.
Benefits of Ghostwriting
Basically, in any market, promotion and awareness of the product is determines the success the product will enjoy. Let nobody convince you that quality is all that matters. This also applies to writing. You may have a great book or content. But if you fail to market it to your audience, nobody will know about it and you might end up with only a few copies sold; which means less money.
In most scenarios, aspiring writers who obsess about authoring their books or publications only may fail at marketing them accordingly, thus make less money and end up shunning down writing as unprofitable. Unless you want to write one book or content and then spend several weeks, may be months marketing it; which may be uneconomical at the end. If you are an aspiring writer, its vital that you consider ghost writing or co-authoring. The reason for this is that you will spend time writing while your client will do the marketing.
The returns to such an arrangement
This will be absolutely profitable to you and boost your writing motivation. Such an arrangement is more beneficial especially considering the fact that not all writers are good marketers. Therefore when you have someone who does the marketing as you concentrate on your writing, you have ample time and resources to write more content and also hone your writing skills.
E.g. a celebrity will be willing to part with handsome amounts of money if you can write a publication for them. The publication may set them as the authors and bring all the glory to their expertise. But the pay off will match your efforts.
Writing as a team.
Most writers are tucked in some lonely study room while writing. When you ghostwrite or co-author, you get the opportunity to work as a team and in collaboration with other authors. You may, for instance work with a lead author on a book and you benefit on the insight, knowledge and methodology such as writer uses.
Also when you work as a team in ghost-writing you get the chance to benefit from different writing skills, marketing techniques for your skills, you learn how to develop an effective schedule to complete a writing project successfully and how to set appropriate fees for clients. You are also at advantage to learn how to write different genres and learn about different subjects.
Understanding your role.
To succeed in ghostwriting, you need to understand your role in the piece of work. Even if you don’t get credit for the publication, you are being paid to make the content appealing as the clients deem possible. Therefore you need match the standards that the writer requires. You may need to do research, conduct interviews and gather all materials relevant to the publication.
Then you will need to write in a structure and voice that depicts your client’s voice. By understanding all this, you will be able to produce content; which your clients finds it suitable and will be willing to pay for.
In marketing, to be successful in your campaigns, in terms of brand awareness and profitability, you have got to sell something; which the buyer needs. Some sort of satisfaction must be derived from your product by the end user. Basically, the product you are selling must provide a solution to the buyer’s problem.
This is not different to writing a book that readers will be ready and willing to open their wallets and purchase. They’ll be willing to buy a book; which has some value. If you are writing an information book; it must be of good quality to provide them with useful information about the subject/topic while it maintaining the desired structure and format. That makes the book captivating and interesting in the manner through; which the information is relayed.
For instance, if its fiction, the book needs to be crafted in a manner that it meets the desired qualities of fictions i.e. captivating, well-thought, has got great suspense and both character creation and good plot development.
The steps below will help provide a beginner the basics for successful writing :
i. Study other writers.
Before you begin your piece of writing, a book or any other content, you need to study any successful writing material that other writers in your field or discipline have published. Basically you need to read their books or any other material. Read, read and read… That’s it.
Bear in mind that reading is only part of the study. Usually, reading involves noting down useful points. hat I mean is that you need to take notes on the style of writing, content structure or format and the mode of content presentation such as where the writer found it appropriate to create suspense, how they explain and bring forward their primary theme or plot, how the introduce their character and the roles assigned to the character in relation to the theme and plot.
By noting such information, you get a more in-depth understanding of the discipline/subject and the best way to publish your writing. In short you benefit on the best way to write for your audience.
Take caution not to mimic/copy someone else’s work. Lest your writing won’t come out as original and your audience may never appreciate it.
ii. Write for your audience.
Your audience is your market. They are your buyers. Don’t just write a book or any other material for that matter, because the subject interests you. Write for your audience. You need to know the size of your potential audience and anticipate their reception of your content. First familiarize yourself with the genre you want to write about and pay attention to all details involved.
Yet, as you write for your audience, you should be writing for yourself by choosing what you like and interest you and can thus write comfortably on any topic about that discipline. But then break it in a manner that the audience will give it a warm reception.
iii. Learn the art of writing.
If you talk to any editor or publisher, they will emphasis on the guidelines and standards; which need to be observed for any material or content you write. Different publications follow different structures and guidelines. You need to appraise yourself with these details before you begin writing.
Therefore, you need to learn, absorb and adhere to the structure and standards required for the publication you yearn to write. If is a magazine or newsletter, know the rules to be followed. Is it work of fiction? Learn the rules for fictions.
iv. Refine your content.
If you’ve followed the first three steps and you have managed to successfully write some content; which you deem will create some buzz among your audience, you need to sit down and go through it. Refine it. Make it better. Read through it not once or twice. But several times and make any necessary amendments. Simply you need to edit it appropriately.
In some instances, you may need to consult a fellow writer or editor and let them read your manuscript or draft content and recommend any changes; which deem possible.
If you follow these steps, you will find success in writing materials that sells and inspires your audience.
How to Become an Effective Writer
Every person is passionate about something. There is usually that one thing; which is stunning and inspiring that you want to be associated with, something you love narrating to your friends or family about. That amazing vacation you’re always dreamt about, may a piece of art, a hobby a sports car, a movie, a book or maybe a son. The list is endless.
You could comfortably create an interesting narration or description of that thing. You can spend the whole day giving the finer details of it; which you feel that everyone needs to know about.
Guess what? You are a writer. Maybe everyone is?
But there is always a middle ground between you and writing. The way you approach writings sets you apart from others and determines the success that you are going to enjoy. It determines the quality of your work and the reception due by the targeted audience.
So how do you go about writing from scratch?
You want to be a writer … a better writer, be ready. Prepare yourself psychologically and also technically. Be ready to set up a timed schedule for writing daily and be prepared to adhere to it. Have your computer ready and all the technical resources that you will need. Psychological preparation means that your mind must be set and focused to handle all the challenges that face writers.
Believe in Yourself
Do you believe that you are capable of writing something interesting? Not unless you have faith in yourself and your capability, then will you be at a position to put down something; which is insightful.
If you doubt yourself, then even your readers or clients will see it in your writing. They can easily decipher that you had great ideas about the topic or subject of your writing. But you had doubts about it all hence your work is mediocre.
Learn and Muster Writing
Writing is a skill. It’s much different from speaking. But technically borrows a leaf from it .You need to learn all the grammar rules and how to apply them. Learn punctuations, concise writing, parallelism, paragraphing and most importantly the structure to put down your ideas. You don’t want your readers to lose interest after reading your introductory paragraph. Learn and muster all the approaches; which will be captivating to a reader and sustain their interest throughout your entire piece of work.
Muster Expertise on One Field /Discipline
If your readers see you hobbling from one discipline to another, they will doubt your expertise in a field. Instead, becoming an authority in a specific topic or field will make your readers belief in what you write about concerning the topic or field. If its fiction, stick to fiction. If you write about agriculture, don’t jump and produce a book about medicine. Nobody will care about it if they’re already identified you as an agriculture expert.
Listen to Your Audience
Listen to the comments, ideas, suggestions and feedback from your audience and address them appropriately.
This is one of the greatest approaches to publishing any selling content. You need to write what interests your audience.
Ideas that interests your potential audience can be found writing forums/groups, fan pages, through search engines and also from the day-to-day changes in various fields.
Be a Good Storyteller
The elements of narration are so vital to help a person write a compelling content. You need to know how to captivate your readers through breath-taking/informative introduction; which naturally break to the body of your content and take the reader smoothly through the content to the concluding part. Learn how to use suspense and other important narration elements. That brings out the flow of your story/topic naturally while maintaining the readers’ interests.
If you muster good story telling techniques, then and only then will you be able to keep your readers glued at piece of work from start to end. You will also need to learn effective plot development and how to create compelling characters and assign them roles what best suits them.
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