5 Super-Sized Tips For Encouraging Your Inner Writer

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You are a writer. Creator of stories. You fabricate realities–transforming letters and words into DNA strands; giving birth to life and breath from your imagination. By your skilled hand and chosen tools—pen, paper and keyboard—you pull dreams and fantasies from the atmosphere and fashion them into literary portals through which everyday people can book momentary vacations: temporary escapes.

Unfortunately, in a world of constant remakes, recycled and retold stories, reprocessed and  regurgitated content—though creativity in some areas of the Arts, and advancements in various regions of technologies may shine bright,—originality suffers a long time creative-imagination drought. As a result, the business of writing has caused many exceptional writers to go on hiatus, while others leave what they love, to find different ways to create an income.

Still, more and more writers struggle with their craft. Most crave encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to push forward. Others need to hear some confirmation that it’s okay to take on other jobs, including freelance writing jobs to pay the bills, while they continue working through their literary works. Sometimes, it’s the simple, free and practical tips that are the most help.

Here’s 5 Super Simple, Yet Highly Motivational & Practical Tips For Encouraging Your Inner Writer.   

1. See Your Own Work In Print

On a few occasions I’ve taken various collections of my poetry, shorts, devotionals, and essays, sent them to http://PrintingPeach.ca so, once I got them back as a printed booklet I could flip through the pages, not only to get a feel for its flow—and make changes so the whole work reads better—but also for the feeling it give me to see and hold, in my hands, the project in a finished (though first-print draft only) form. There’s nothing that encourages you more to work through the kinks; break through any block, and submit your work, than holding and seeing it in print form. It can be the sunrise in your long literary night helping you to find new fresh momentum for reaching the finish line.

2. Professional Business Cards

If you don’t have professional business cards, WHY? There’s really no reason for a writer—or any kind of creative for that matter—not to have a business card on their body at all times. It’s never when you plan on handing them out that you end up being asked; it’s those times when you don’t expect it all that you run into THE person who could change your writing future. Then, if you don’t have any cards, you feel stupid. And you should. Cards are easy to make and really cheap. I get mine from VistaPrint.com. Don’t be the one who misses that amazing opportunity because you wrote your contact info on a napkin and your contact accidentally throws it away after needing it to clean up a productive sneeze. You can spend $10 right now, for 500 cards.

That’s basically the cost of one dinner out or, two fast food lunches or, two venti caramel macchiatos. You can do that.

3. Take Head shots

Some writers come by it naturally, others really get uncomfortable with the thought of having someone take photos of them. Either way, once you have your head shots finished and you’re looking at them, it just feels good. I was browsing the web looking for character ideas and I stumbled across smilesunlimited.ca and thought, ‘you know, it’s time for some updated head shots.’ I was dreading it at first, but afterwards I really liked how they turned out. Some were professional-business, and others were just us having fun. It was great. There’s a wonderful, ‘I’m a creative professional’ feeling that comes with having your own professional head shots done. There’s also great to have for interviews, speaking engagement advertisements, and to use on your website, social medias, and blog posts.

Here’s a few of those goofy shots.

sam looking down thought 2sam thumb up 3  sam angry 4 sam square 6 Sam main 2 sam no yes 3

4. Your Blog

If you have a blog than this point may be a commonsense point, but there are still way too many writers that I run into that ‘just haven’t gotten to it yet’. Most businesses have a website and more and more are finding the benefits of having blogs. Even real estate agents, like KimAlvarez.ca., have blogs, and they’re finding ways to make their websites and services reach more clients through relevant social campaigns.

A blog, for writers, makes perfect sense. A blog, after all IS a result of content creation. It helps people, fans, editors, and potential clients connect with you; it allows you to showcase your literary skill; helps you solidify yourself as a professional and—something I never planned on when I started mine—it can open doors (if you’re open to it) for you to pick up some extra cash and experience, writing guest posts, being featured on other sites, and writing ghost posts for other companies.

I have 5 blogs, [TastingThePlanet / AShotOfLiteraryCaffeine / SippingOnLiteraryEspresso / SamTheWriter’s Tiny Tips For Writers / Perception Speaks ] (a three special project ones I can’t mention at the moment)  and I also write ghost posts (when I can handle the workload) for 44 different national and international businesses and storytellers. I hate that they’re ghost written, so I can’t take credit for my work, but I love knowledge and I’ve learned so much about so many companies and authors; sharpened my skills around conducting interviews, investigative reporting, journalism, deep research, data mining, conducting various market analysis, uncovering stories and hidden people and information; furthering my experience and success with many writing processes, social media strategies, SEO, B2B, B2C, and all the other alphabetical business combinations (ha ha I’ve been wanting to throw that in somewhere).

I’ve learned how to write effective newsletters, employee manuals and handbooks, create effecting social media strategies that have seen measured increase in business connections (in two businesses I created a multi-social-platform strategy that saw a 300% and 325% increase in social traffic–which specifically resulted in greater sales…one was over a 3 month period of time, the other took 6 months. However, the average business strategist that many companies spend between $60,000 on east coast, $40,000 in mid-west, and $80 – $120,000 on the west coast (Annual Salary) can’t usually ever boast a 200% increase in an entire year.) I say that to say this: I learned these skills while conducting interviews and working as a ghost for many international companies.

Most of my ‘luck’ came from interactions with my blogs. Blogs, my friends, are powerful tools.

5. Revisit Reader / Fan Comments

Where have you posted your work? It is on a website? Writer’s community site? A blog? On your Facebook or other social media? Maybe you have some work in a writing competition? In most of these cases there’s a place for readers to add comments or feedback. Go visit those comments. When the writing life gets hard and stressful—and it does, unless you’re brand new to the writer’s life and haven’t submitted much—the encouraging words you’ve received on past works can revive a weary spirit.

A fictional literary poetry project that I started a few years back started to wear on me. I loved what I was writing, but life was demanding other things from me. I almost lost faith in my work, until one day I received a notification that someone had commented on a past poetry work. It was an email from a University English Professor asking for my permission to share a few works with his students, because “I am very inspirited with how you merged the literary life with a romantic relationship with the artist’s muse…” This made me feel wonderful. I looked through a few other comments and found a treasury of reader appreciation for my works. I printed 27 pages of comments off to keep around me as a reminder of the beauty and escape my work has provided for others.

Here’s a few of those comments:

“I really enjoyed this poem. ‘Kiss me My Mistress Muse, your lips are the ebb and flow of the art-spring we call literary life.’ This really sums up the passion of the prose.” – Janet R.M

“‘A ray of sunlight cracks through the morning cloud cover. It touches the earth several miles away, and works its way towards me. It’s you my Love, and it’s even more beautiful because the rest of the world is still sleeping.’That is what makes it so special. that is what keeps the phone from ringing. That is what makes the coffee taste right. Thank you for this.” – Opeo Tao T.

“Yes I’ll take this dance! I agree with Jordan, it has been waaaaaaaay tooooo long since your last post. I got this one yesterday while I was in my office and it made my whole day. It really did, so I went back and read, “I Will Love You,” and “I Feel You Tonight,” and it really took my breath away.  You need to keep writing, I want to keep reading! – Melody W..

“Amazing post! absolutely amazing.” – Lua

“ ‘All of life moves and lives and begins to create an orchestra of beautiful existence…’ Yes, it makes perfect sense to me…Merry Christmas.” – Jingle

With such amazing reader / follower/ fans, how could a writer not be encouraged and super inspired to keep writing?

I encourage you to keep doing what you love. Keep writing because you must, and know that it’s ok to do what you must to keep writing. Writing is in your blood. Writing is not an option for you, it’s a necessary for you as exhaling. If you could no longer write, you would cease to be you.

You’re a superhero of sorts. The greatest kind. The kind that challenges and shapes perceptions. Keep fighting for creative inspiration. Keep recording your ideas and dreams, even if you feel like you’re the only one who believes in what you do. The truth is that there’s a whole world full of reader / follower / fans starving for a writer, like you, to save their day.

Write, Write, Write, and submit.

Cheers to you Writer.

-SamTheWriter

Let’s Connect:

Online – SamTheWriter.Com

Twitter – @SamuelWConnelly

5 Writer’s Tips For Renovating, Flipping And Reintroducing Written Realities

 

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As writers we create reality. If you don’t believe me, then welcome to the wonderful world of writing. I don’t have enough time in this post to break out the science, but let’s sum it up so we can move on. Perception is reality. Reality is literally made up by the building blocks of your own imagination and the raw data that your senses feed your brain.

Reality is relative—or I should say, relatively based off of our perception of it. And our perception of reality is formed by what our senses tell us is real; the education we’re brought up with, our passions (both love and hate), all the data we receive, and how we process it into the space around us. These are the most valuable tools we as writers have. Understanding how to use these perception molding tools will make us better storytellers; the worlds we create becoming truly real in the minds of those experiencing it.

We give people what they want and need the most—outside of love, food, and companionship; although, the companionship part is up for up for debate. What we give people are new realities to experience. We give them vacations, adventures, and moments. Best of all, we give them a safe place to escape into—even if the place they desire to escape to is a world of horror, dark science fiction, mystery, or fantasy.

Dreaming up a story idea is only a fraction of the craft of creating a story. Molding the idea you dreamed up, into a believable literary work—a living, breathing, magical portal into another world—is a process to be taken seriously. We are, after all, literary architects.

Here’s 5 Tips For Renovating, Flipping And Reintroducing Written Realities

1 Discover What Moves You

I’ve mentioned this many times, but for different reasons. This time I mean it quite literally. What moves you to feel joy, peace, excitement, fear, hate, embarrassment, longing, desire, emptiness, loneliness, hopelessness, love or lust?

Think about each of these and write down the sounds, aromas, food and drinks, textures, places, and objects that stir up each of these emotions.

Example:

Here’s a few from my own list of emotions and things that stir them.

Emotion Word Associated Reason
Fear Broken Locks / Lack of security.
Peace Coffee / Books / Silence / Harmonies Just things that have always brought me peace. Warm silence, like in summer or in winter under a blanket with a book and coffee.
Loneliness Grey / Maze / Silence Maze: Always walking and never finding a way out.
Joy Laughter / Melons / Frozen Grapes Eating watermelon with my Dad when I was young. Frozen grapes and melon chunks on hot summer days.
Embarrassment Naked / Forgetting Shorts coming off in pool and lake and others seeing me naked.
Disgust Food Grease / Aroma of Body Odor Seeing cook at fast food put gross stuff in peoples hamburgers. Scraping thick grease from oven, range hood, deep fryer.
Anger Tomatoes / Children w/snotty faces I was punished as a boy by being made to eat tomatoes. Parents neglecting their own children.
Freedom Ocean / Blue / Sushi / Short stories & Poetry I grew up around the ocean. She is like a mother to me; and mother that I could always count on being there. Blue reminds me of the ocean water, and also the ocean sky.
Claustrophobic Crowds / White / Disorder / Dirty I can’t think when things are dirty; when there’s trash piles, and also when I’m blind in the day and can see that there’s no foreseeable boundaries. When there’s so many people I can’t see what’s happening about me.

2 Landscaping

Your character’s yard tells a lot about them. You think I’m kidding, but you’d be surprised by how the details of a well kept or under kept yard can help solidify the reality you’re trying make authentic. I like to look sites like this landscaping site I found, check out the innovative and creative ways people invest into their yards. Of course, there are also many character types that could not afford great yard maintenance, and other who do not care about the state of their yard of what anyone else thinks, either.

3 Ideas From Painting Projects

Sometimes your work is really good, but when you read it, you get the feeling that something isn’t quite right. What is it exactly? You’re not sure. Something about it just doesn’t feel quite authentic enough to believe—like those crappy films you paid to see recently.

Maybe your world doesn’t need a complete overhaul; maybe your world needs a paint job. Sound silly? Try it. See how different colors can change your emotional connections; get ideas from places like http://airdriepaintanddecor.com and Lowes. Look at photos of trending in-house paint projects, especially before and after photos. Now figure out what locations in the world around you makes you feel as those certain colors do.

Examples:

  • Are happy moments (reuniting lovers, marriage proposals, birthday celebrations etc.,) happening in places that are either too dark.
  • Are dark moments, or terrifying events taking place at times when those kind of events never happen?
  • Is your psychological thriller trying to give birth to its climactic scene in the middle of the day, at a busy park, or in some place that doesn’t inspire any kind of suspense? Well it can work, you’re just making it really hard on yourself.

Red, yellow, gold, silver, green, blue, pink, purple, white, gray, black, brown, teal, maroon, periwinkle. How do these colors make you feel? Use them in your world, associating them with the emotions that they stir up.

4 Born Again Basements

Sometimes the scene doesn’t connect because the room doesn’t make any sense. Think about where your character is (if it’s not there own place) and who or what normally occupies the space. I’m a writer so I require an office, a desk, computer, research tools—things that make sense for me to have.

Maybe you need to do a bit more than painting. Maybe adding furniture, getting rid of furniture; adding items: dry bar, cigar humidor, book shelves, flat screen TV, pool table, medieval torture antiques collection, etc. It’s about making a place reflect the character of the one who occupies it. Sometimes it only takes a little cosmetic changes like I found in some of the basement renovations at http://empirerenos.ca ; other times it’s bigger things that need to be better thought through.

  • Is your junkie living in a multi-million dollar home or driving a Porsche? He shouldn’t be.
  • Is protagonist whose suffering OCD unable to find her car keys when the intruder breaks into her house? She’s OCD—she’s that last person who’d misplace anything; especially when it’s that important.
  • Your gadget geek doesn’t have a big screen—or better yet, his wifi doesn’t work? Really? Do you even know any gadget geeks? They may run out of enough groceries to cook a full meal, but they’d starve before they’d allow their wifi connection to break down.

5 Look At Flipped Houses

Have you ever got in one of those home-makeover-nonstop-Hulu binges? Yes you have—it’s just me here—you can be honest. I consider myself quite a manly-man, and I have even been sucked-in by its mysterious tractor beam. Why? Why—if you’re like me and don’t even like thinking about home renovations—do we get so fascinated with those shows? I think part of it has to do with amazing transformations that occur.

Shows like ‘Flip This House,’ ‘House Hunters,’ and ‘Fixer Upper,’ show us the magic that can be re-discovered upon an already existing foundation and framework. Buildings that almost no one would be interested in are stripped out and turned into dream homes.

Sometimes your story’s framework (or the bones) are completely useable; however, the problem is that there’s cracks in the walls, the plumbing or electricity doesn’t work, the house is dated or not up to code. It’d be safer if no one ever entered your story—with all the problems it has—if you had you never written it. But you are a writer, or aspiring to be one, and that means you must write.

Instead of tossing your story, why not flip it.

  • Break it down completely, back to its original idea or concept.
  • Brain storm with your original idea
  • Ask a lot of new “What If” & “Why” questions.
  • Make sure everything makes sense.
  • Remember that your final story is a product of many re-writes.

Make Them Believers

If you are going to write a story, do it right. If you put all the elements in the right places and ask yourself along the way, “Does this make sense?” you’ll find capture a greater audience. If you read it aloud when you finish each chapter to make certain that it flows off your lips smoothly it’ll be easier to read. And if your characters, places, interactions, occupations, timings, and seasons are written well and connected with the right associated emotions in mind, you’ll discover a new world of literary breath that will breathe the life needed to set your realities free and make your stories come to life.

There are lessons all around us, in everyday life, that can teach us a lot about become better writers, if we can make ourselves stop pay attention to what is really occupying the space around us.

Cheers to you, writers!

Keep writing and submitting.

-SamtheWriter

www.SamTheWriter.com

@SamuelWConnelly

5 Ways To Create Even More Traffic To Your Blog or Website

 

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When you make money through your posts, have a syndicated blog, offer services, are selling a book–all of the above–or have any other reason to need to draw people to your website, you want to use as many avenues for creating traffic back to your site as possible.

5 Ways to Create Traffic to Your Blog or Website.

1. SEO

It’s not as hard and complicated as it may seem. There are a ton of businesses and individuals out there that are spending a pretty penny for someone else to writing SEO content for their sites. Most of them even know what they want to say, and how they want to say it—they’re just intimidated by all the technical talk about SEO. Without all the jargon and tech talk here’s the things you need to know to publish an article or post using SEO:

  1. You need a Key WORD or up to 5 words ( I like to stay with 3 Key words): What is your article about?

  2. Make sure that you can fit most of your Keywords into a compelling title or headline

  3. Break your longer articles up with subtitles or sub headers and use the keywords in those sub headers.

  4. Try to incorporate your Keywords into the content of your article at least 5 times per word.

  5. If you have pictures or videos, tag them with your keywords. If you’re able to, apply tags on your article, like when tagging in WordPress or Blogger.

EXAMPLE

Subject or Client: Umm, let’s say… http://AndroidTvBoxesCanada.com/

Key Words: AndroidTVBoxes, Canada Business, Google TV,

Title: AndriodTVBoxes: The Canada Business Rocking Google TV.

Sub-Headers: (a) AndroidTVBoxes: Why the Rage? (b) The Canada Business Blowing Up AndroidTVBoxes. (c) Doing Google TV…Like a Canadian.  

Tags / HashTags: #GoogleTV #AndroidTvBoxes #CanadaBusiness #Android

2. Invite Guest Bloggers

Both being a guest blogger for another site and inviting guest bloggers to your site are a great way to connect with new groups of people that will find your website interesting and possibly just what they were looking for.

3. Domain Masks

I enjoy the use of Masks, there’s just so much you can do with them. So you have a website: SamTheWriter.com and you have a few other business or writing interests like (we’ll stick with me for the example): Short Fiction, Poetry, Writer’s Helps, Seminars…

With a mask, I can purchase domains names like: ‘Amazing Poetry.com’ , ‘Really Freakin Awesome Short Stories.com’ , ‘International Writers Seminars.com’ , or ‘The Internets Best Help for Writers.com.’ This way when someone search Google with any of these search phrases they get my website…which is actually all leading back to SamTheWriter.com). Although I haven’t actually done this on my site.

Here’s an actual example:

Clay’s Lawn & Snow INC. is the main site. However when the winter hits and you need snow removed quickly you can make that happen by contacting Clay at http://snowremovalfast.ca/. Then when the winter is over and you need sod installed, Clay is the man again at http://bluegrasssodinstalled.ca but when you follow either link you’ll noticed that the sites are branded: Clay’s Lawn & Snow INC. Clay figured out that it was easier for people to find him if he made searching for him easier…like specific in-season sites.

4. Create Lists

By turning your blog, newsletter, highlights, etc., into a list of 5 or 10 (sometimes more, depending on your reliable content and the popularity of the list), you can draw a lot more traffic to your site. Look around online, in magazines, even newspapers—people like lists. fast content, organized content, laid out in numerical order.

EXAMPLE:

5 Tips For Traveling to Paris for Free

10 People who Became Accidental Billionaires

10 Companies You really Want To Give Your Money To

5 Movies That Screwed The Whole World Up

5 Companies That’ll Pay $50., For Your Recorded Farts, For New iPad Apps

5 Links ABOVE That You Know You Tried to Look Up — ha ha ha whatever you know you did.

5. Internal Linking

As you put more content on your website or blogs, link what you can internally. It not only makes it easier for search engines to find and point searchers in your direction, but it shows readers that you are a real resource, with real content, and possibly an expert in your area of interest.   

If you have any great tips, ideas, or have a great site or blog you’d like me to share please email me at Sam@SamTheWriter.com

Cheers to you Writers!

-Sam

SamTheWriter.com

@SamuelWConnelly