Catch Those Grammar Gremlins and Squiggly Spelling Errors

 Grammar, Grammar Mistakes, Spelling Errors, Grammarly, Write Better, Proof Read Writing, Professional Writing, Writers

Nip Writing Mistakes In The Bud

Would you be able to count how many times you’ve crafted a perfect article, published it, only to read it a few days later and gasp @$#@@, lo and behold, there it is eyeing you in a malevolent way – a Wrong Spelling, a Grammatical Error, all inserted by those hideous trolls? Quelle Horreur!

Now the ever-loving Grammar Police will be after you with vengeance. Yep! There are those who make it their business to catch spelling and grammar defaulters and you’ll be banished to the spelling room with a Nanny McPhee nightmare of a teacher. Beware!

Have I got your attention yet?

The truth is that as writers, once we are in the zone scribbling and tapping away, our eyes’ become blind to our errors even when we’ve read them over and over. It’s strange how these errors blend in, even when you cultivate a habit of leaving the article and going over it several days later with a fresh eye. The impression is that since you already know what you wrote, the tendency is to skim through your work.

Given that there will be lots of times you need to publish on the go, you may not have all the time in the world to keep the work aside and to get back to it day’s later, therefore, it’s absolutely important to find a system that works.

Believe me, if I got paid for all the little hidden typographical, grammatical, punctuation and the list of all the writing errors imaginable, I would be laughing to the bank and possibly ensuring that I made enough errors each day to earn me some dollars.

Alas! The reverse is the case and no one gets paid for making mistakes. As a matter of fact, a post that’s ridden with errors is simply off-putting and no matter how thick your writing armored plate is, you still tend to feel a bit embarrassed when a righteous grammar Nazi points out your little mistake with glee.

Ever since I started using Grammarly to proofread my posts before publishing, it has saved me time and reduced my stress. The advantages of using Grammarly are several. It’s not just the basic run-of-the-mill tool for grammar and spelling checks, I love how it helps my writing with its context and gives it better clarity.

With my tongue in my cheek, I must say there are times I get mad at Grammarly for making suggestions to changes in my writing, but the fact remains that it’s a simple to use, effective tool that comes highly recommended in my opinion. What are you waiting for? You can thank me later and share your experience.

You can check here for essential writers tips.

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Essential Writers Tips 3

Essential Tips, Writer, Writing, Getting job done, Appearance, Little Changes, Best practice

Focus On Your Appearance

You might wonder what your personal appearance has to do with your writing especially when you are a new writer trying to chart a path for yourself.

Some writers may sit and write in their underwear, pajamas or their favourite raggy house clothes, but most times, sleep mouth, gritty eyes paired with comfortable, casual worn-out clothing translates to sloppiness.

When you plunk down in to write in a shabby state, your brain also registers that mood and you get little work done before the mood to climb back into the bed, or couch hits you once again.

Little changes like brushing your teeth and hair, washing your face and wearing clean smart clothes – not necessarily formal – makes a lot of difference.

Making such minor changes sends a message of readiness to your brain and your writing. Your appearance ultimately has a positive effect on you. Taking your writing seriously means treating it like your job and you won’t go to work in your underwear or shabbily dressed.

Check here for more snippets of helpful writing tips. Do share some of your tips with us. I love learning new methods and best practice.

Become a writer – transform your inspiration into words.

Transforming inspiration, Writing aspirations, grab readers attention, writing, structure your story, keep it simple, Writing POV

Ways to transform your inspiration into words – Part 2

Many times I’ve met people who express their wish to become a writer, but they haven’t been able to transition into taking their writing passion seriously due to other pressing exigencies, thus their wish to write keeps taking the back burner.

Important lessons that I’ve learned about writing is – that there will never be the right time to get started because life keeps happening and secondly, you have to treat your writing like a job; whether it’s started paying or not.

Your writing is not something done in a haphazard way if you truly want to make some meaning out of it.

I suggest that you take a look at Part 1 of this series on how to become a writer to help you merge both series.

Write what you know about

When you are familiar with something or a topic, it’s far easier to write about it in more depth and details. The realism of your story shows in your words and ultimately translates to a better read. There might be times that you want to dabble into a not so well-known topic, you would need to do enough research to comfortably express your thoughts.

Grab your reader’s attention

Help your readers to see through your eyes right from the beginning because a readers’ minds could be very selective. You’ve got to give them a reason to pay attention to what you are saying. To do this, there are some techniques that you could use:

  1. Start with an opening that arouses curiosity to know more.
  2. Use the emotional and sensory approach. Our experiences and perception of things are through our senses and your words should draw on the sense of visual, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and emotions which will often compel your readers’ own imagination as they vicariously experience what you are writing.
  3. Add concrete details that would help to give a sense of understanding of what is happening in the writing. Instead of using generalist terms to describe an image – a man in a white shirt, be more specific – the tall man in a white shirt with a limp in his steps.

Structure your story

Sometimes achieving the natural progression of your story by writing chapter after chapter in a linear structure of beginning, middle and end, may not be as easy to do as we would like, but you could take up your story from its climax – if that comes easier – and then backtrack to flesh it out as you go on.

Choose a point of view

The point of view you decide to use is largely dependent on the information that you seek to communicate. There are various POV’s that could be used in writing. Let’s take a brief look at them.

  1. The First person POV could be used when your main character is telling the story. Here you use an ‘I’ narrator and your readers’ experience of the story is through the eyes of the narrator. The first person POV could equally be in the plural form ‘we’ when there’s a collective number of narrators. The first person POV could be a detached narrator who might be a supporting character in the story.
  2. The Second person POV. This is most often used for instructional writing which it told from the perspective of ‘you.’
  3. The Third person POV is the most commonly used point of view in writing. The third person uses ‘he/she or it’ narrator and your narrator is not a character in the story.  The third person POV has three main types:

The third person limited POV which limits the point of view to one character. The narrator is only privy to what the character knows, therefore the vision would get smaller and limited.

The third person multiple. Here the narrator can follow multiple characters in the story by using he/she/it, but the onus lies on you to make sure that your reader knows when you are switching from one character to the next one.

The third person omniscient. This point of view offers the narrator a free rein in the story where the narrator knows everything and is not limited by what one character knows. Your narrator in this point of view could even know things that others are not aware of.

Keep it Simple

Starting with simple sentences is the best approach. Yes, your vocabulary might be extensive and you love to toss those fancy words into the mix, the usage of bogus words right from the onset throws readers off-balance. Your need to give every reader who comes across your writing an opportunity to understand and appreciate the information.

Thank you for visiting The Art of Beautiful Expressions. We do hope to see more of you.

 

Essential Writers Tips 2

Writing Intention, Writing Strategy, Focus, Communication, Message, Readers, Approach, Writing Tips

When writing, focus on the intention of your writing. What message are you trying to convey? Do your words express your message as you would like it to? What impression would you like the communication to leave on your readers?

By focusing on these things, you place yourself in a state of mind where you are able to sense what you want to express as well as trying to get into your readers head.

This approach makes it easier for your words to flow naturally and unstinted. It’s equally a great strategy to overcome writers’ block and many forms of a writers’ anxiety.

You can check our Writers’ Tips for more tips on writing and the book by Roy Peter Clark;  55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer for further reading.

Are you working on any writing project? What strategies work for you to keep focused on your project? Do share your secret to success with us.

Essential Writers Tip 1

Essential writing tips, Writing Projects, Writers Block, Writing Strategy,  

Consistency and focus are key in completing a writing project, however, there are times when the writers’ block would strike and the reason that you should have several projects going on at the same time is the ability to switch and keep working without stagnating and feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.

Your projects could be based on different writing genres or even other creative outlets. This way, you give your mind the opportunity to exhale and most times in-between working on other things, your muse returns from her sabbatical. The important thing is to keep writing.

Recommended further reading: 55 Essential Strategies For Every Writer. You can also check our short post To be a writer – Simple ways to start.

Are you working on any writing project? Do you have a strategy for staying focused and completing your project? Share your secret to success with us.

To Be a Writer. 9 Simple Ways to Start.

Writing, Writer, Taking Notes, To be a writer, Simple ways to start writing, Visual word artist,

9 Simple ways to start writing – Part 1

To be a writer is a longstanding ambition that you’ve entertained but you don’t know how and where to start from. First of all, you should know that you are not alone. Even those who write as professionals still struggle with this fine art of visual word expressions, but there are simple ways that you can start writing.

My advice on this matter is an old one. I am not recommending solutions that are new and untested, but simple solutions that work for me as well as most new writers.

  • What motivates you? Determine what motivates your writing interest, what you want to write about and how much time you are willing to create to accommodate your ambition.
  • Create a routine and write regularly. At the beginning, the hardest part is devoting time to writing. Creating a writing routine will help and train the creative side of your brain to working at such time. Try to start writing in regular bits even if it’s for ten minutes each day, then increase your time slot for writing. This might need adjusting your schedule for other things, like getting up earlier or taking that half an hour during your break time to get some quiet time and writing done. Writing is a skill that could  be learnt and developed like many other acquired skills and the more you write the easier and better it becomes.
  • Read a lot. Reading as much as possible helps you to learn the different types of writing that are possible. Read within the genres that you like as well as outside your favourite genres. Read magazines, comics, fantasy, varied types of publication and find the voices that you like. Try to understand what makes them effective; what you like or don’t like about them. Reading diversely helps you to learn from other people’s writing and it serves as sources of inspiration.
  • Write what you would want to read and get personal. Use your passion to an advantage and start with writing what you know. Injecting your passion and bringing your experience to bear will likely resonate better with your readers and hold their interest. Be willing to explore and don’t limit yourself to just one field or genre of writing.
  • Keep your eyes open and notice the things that go on around you. Those observations of ordinary or unusual things going on around you are material that could be used for your writing. They could help make your writing more compelling, interesting and realistic.
  • Keep a writing journal. Take note of spontaneous ideas that pop into your mind. Jot down those things that inspire you. Things you see or hear. A simple phrase, a dream, a photo, a meet with a stranger could trigger a storyline and at your writing time, you can flesh out the thought or revisit your note to jog your creative juice.
  • Start a writing project. This is the most important and difficult aspect of writing. Some may struggle with not knowing what to write, or having an idea of what they want to write about but unsure how to begin. It might take writing and discarding several drafts before you can articulate your thoughts, just keep writing. Write all the disjointed thoughts floating through your head to your fingers. Leave the editing part for later. Sometimes, you can help your creativity with a number of activities. A long walk through nature and relative quietness. Go somewhere with high human traffic and noise and use your senses of sight, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting. Take note of your perceptions. Take photos, eavesdrop on conversations, become a sleuth, imagine the character of a stranger and add some background to the stranger. Explore all options as the need arises.
  • Complete your project. The real challenge of starting a project is the ability to stick to it and finish it. It might prove difficult to get to the end of your goal, but fruition only comes with completion and you just have to keep going at it.
  • Join like-minded communities and forums. Be open to the idea of joining other writing clubs either online or in your neighbourhood. Most new writers are self-conscious and don’t feel comfortable sharing their work with others and I daresay all writers are not keen on criticism, however, think of the potential idea that being around others who are also aspiring writers or accomplished writers might serve as a source of inspiration and well as constructive feedback that could help you to become a better writer.

I hope that this article will help you to kickstart your writing aspirations. If you find it helpful, we would love to hear from you and what you are writing about.

 

 

 

11 Reasons and Benefits of Blogging.

Blog[1]

Blogging is immensely satisfying and you don’t need not be a professional writer to start a blog. There are various niche types of blog out there and the process of blogging offers valuable benefits that range from business values to professional as well as personal benefits.

Blogging is something that I would recommend any day to someone and below are some of the reasons why I think you should start blogging

  • Blogging inculcates discipline.

Depending on your frequency of publishing blog posts, maybe once, twice a week or daily, it requires discipline and patience which are important skills to settle down to write consistently. This helps you to appreciate your time and to learn that some of the best things we receive in life most times arrive as delayed gratification and the art of writing cum blogging falls into such category.

  • Blogging teaches you introspection.

Starting a blog causes you to look inwards consistently. It helps the person to crystallise the things that are important and even rethinking their lifestyle, their approach to work and what they want to do with their lives.

  • Blogging attracts an audience.

There are billions of people who use the internet these days and blogging is a method of reaching out and attracting an audience who would find value from your blog.

  • Blogging gives you a voice.

Each of us has a story and something to say even if we consider our oratory and writing skills as mediocre, our blog gives us a platform that’s free from censoring to empty our thoughts and possibly find other like-minded audience.

  • Blogging helps you to build authority.

Blogs are becoming the new call cards for any serious professional out there. Your blog posts that add value to for your readers enhances your profile and even projects your reputation as an authority in that area.

  • Blogging opens up doors of engaging and interacting with others.

Part of the beauty of blogging is that you get to interact with a lot of people who you may not have been opportune to know and chances are that your blog could turn such traffic into customers who would be more receptive towards you if they read and received worthwhile value from your blog posts. Some even get to become friends over time.

  • It helps you to organize your thoughts.

The process of blogging forces you to learn those things that you didn’t know, how to articulate the things that you do know and make them more presentable. The act of articulating these things leads you to research, internalize and become more familiar with your topic of interest.

  • Acquisition of knowledge and honing your creative skills.

Consistent blogging about your topics of interest encourages you to keep abreast with developments in your direction of interest as well as helping you hone the latent skills that you already have. The cliché practice makes perfect is true enough and the better you get at what you do, the more you stand out from the crowd.

  • It offers a platform to tell your story.

You don’t have to wait for a publisher, journalist or any publication before you can tell your story. You are your own media house and it’s up to you to decide how you want the story written and when. The journey of blogging and telling your story might even open doors to getting noticed and clinching a publishing deal if that’s your interest.

  • Brings you certain validation and ability.

Your blog serves as a form of resume that could be viewed to see your style of writing and blogging about a topic that you are passionate or well versed in, can show your reading network, future employer, a publisher how knowledgeable and skilled in your craft.

  • Generating residual income.

If your blog receives a lot of traffic, this could be an opportunity to monetize your blog as an extra stream of income which will be tremendously beneficial for the blogger. It could serve as payment for the time put into blogging as well as to support your blog.

We are living in interesting times where a lot gets done online these days and you can benefit from the virtual trend through blogging.

So, what’s your thought? To blog or not to blog?

Writing

Writing, Publishing, Paid Writing, Books, Words, Earning words

A World of Words.

Our World is full of words because we all have something to say. Each of us has a wonderful story to tell and no matter how much negative anticipation is out there, books are not going to disappear. They will continue to exist in one form or the other – digital, interactive, audio, paperbacks…

We humans love storytelling and we always have the urge to share our stories with one another as well as documenting them for the future generations.

Some might say that it’s all been written and they wonder how much chance they stand against the millions of books out there? It is not disputed that millions of books get published each day and that there’s existing competition.

However, you must remember that your voice is unique, that your story is different and that there are many other ways your writing passion and creativity could be rewarded.

As we explore various opportunities out there through this blog, my hope is that you’ll find fulfillment from employing your words.


Build your best blog without all the guesswork. Grow your community. Improve your visibility. Earn from your creativity.

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