Tag Archives: Writing

Taking a blog break…

First, thank you for visiting my site! I definitely appreciate it. There have not been any news posts on here or my other two blogs for quite some time, but with good reason.

Coffee break

I started freelancing full-time back in April of this year and my plate has just been overflowing. I am working for two new wonderful websites, AppAdvice and MakeUseOf. My work with them keeps be busier than I ever dreamed and I absolutely love it. So, unfortunately it is my blogs that have to suffer with limited or no posts for just a little while longer.

If you would like to contact me, you can head over to my Contact Form or email me directly at info@sandystachowiak.com.

Thank you again for stopping by!

 

 

 

Guidelines for Writers and Bloggers Please

If you contract or employ writers or bloggers it is always helpful to both parties if guidelines are created and shared from the beginning. Check out the items to include in your guidelines on Social Media Sun >>

Article Guidelines

Article Guidelines

3 C’s of Content Creation

Content creation takes place everywhere these days. There are more blogs, content sites, online magazines, and so much more that no one could ever count. The number would be astronomical! With creating content comes some basics that I see overlooked day in and day out. Take a look at what these are on Social Media Sun >>

Content Creation Checklist

Content Creation Checklist

The Evolving Writer

This is my journey…

When I published my first article on Yahoo! Voices I was elated but clueless at the same time. I knew I wanted to write and was thrilled that someone actually wanted to publish my work, but had no idea where I was going from there with my writing…exactly.

That was just over two years ago…

Since then my changes as a writer has really made me think a lot about where I really want to go.

Writer by stockers9, http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1000052

Writer by stockers9, http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1000052

After being a part of the Yahoo Contributor Network (YCN), I decided to try my hand at other sites. I published on a couple of sites similar to YCN, got in with Bubblews, applied for two Examiner.com titles, and kept plugging away.

All the while I kept thinking that I have a lot more I can be writing and a lot more I can be contributing within my niche. Writing about technology and business topics seemed to really be “my thing”. So, I took a look at the ProBlogger job board and that is when I really got lucky. I applied for some blogger positions through there and had gained new clients. Via those new clients and my exposure, I was contacted by other interested people who were looking to hire me as well. This amazed me and still does!

After publishing articles about just any topic I had in my mind on YCN and Bubblews, I discovered through the process what I really liked to write about. Poetry, as much as I love it, is not it for me. I tried and did publish a few poems, but I really do not think my talent lies there. That was Realization Number One.

Realization Number Two was that I have an opinion and I will share that opinion if I am asked to do so with honesty. I wrote for a company that wanted my written opinions. At first everything went very well – I liked what I saw so it showed in what I wrote. However, one fine day when I discovered something that I did not like it caused a stir. I kept the article positive, but not positive enough apparently. It was then that I found out the company only wanted my written opinions to be good ones. So basically if something sucked, they wanted me to write that it was great anyway. Well, check your integrity at the door please, right? At least, that was my opinion.

Onto Realization Number Three, what they say is true – write about what you know. This is when I finally discovered that my best work is when I write what I know. Yes, yes, I have heard it many times, but I really thought that I could research and write anything if asked. Sure – I really can, but I am not as successful as I am when I write what I know; hence my Technology and Business niches. These are topics I know and now I concentrate on writing those, where I can write those, and for whom I can write those. This still includes reviews, but honest ones. It also includes how-to’s, guides, tips, informational works, and even technical documents.

Realization Number Four came as I worked to become a full-time Freelance Writer and “do it all”. For some reason I had a huge misconception that I could quit my day job and write full-time overnight. Psh – seriously? Honestly, I do believe it will happen someday, but certainly not overnight! It takes time – time to hone your skills, time to gain new clients, time to make the financial transition. It just takes time – period.

So, I will end with Realization Number Five – I have and will continue to evolve as a Freelance Writer and I accept that proudly and honestly. As we live our lives we evolve as people, we evolve in our careers, and in our personal lives. It is normal – what is abnormal is not changing. I look forward to the next years and what they will bring me as a Freelance Writer, as a Project Manager, as a mother, and as a person.

I look forward to more realizations, discoveries, and unknown talents or quirks about myself. For example, fiction is a ‘yes’, but will not be published on a website – I will save that for my book! Writing web content and blogging are both a ‘yes’ too, but within my purview. Honesty and integrity are absolutes and will continue to be as long as I write.

I am ready for more, I am ready to write, I am ready to evolve further as a writer…

Bring it on!

What is Your Most Successful Social Media Network?

Sandy's TwitterThis question is one that I have wanted to ask for quite some time to those in the writing, blogging, social media, and content marketing areas. Why? Well, the social media scene continues to evolve constantly. Aside from newer networks popping up over time, those who were the “leaders” are now sharing the spotlight with newcomers.

Being in the industry myself; I was curious what others thought and luckily I finally found a venue in which to ask this question! I recently conducted an interview on MyBlogU where I asked several specific questions surrounding this main topic.

So, what did the experts have to say during the interview? Well, they provided some great information – the answers are both interesting and telling! Take a look for yourself…

What is your single most successful Social Media Network and why?

Questions we discussed:

Q. There are many social media networks out there – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. From all of those commonly used, which ONE would you consider to be the most successful for you and why?

A. Sarah Arrow(Content Creation Expert)

Twitter. I joined Twitter in 2008, and over the years despite having a relatively small following (13,000), it’s the social media network that’s generated me the most leads and business. It’s enabled me to connect with some incredibly interesting people, and to stay in touch with friends and family. It’s also enabled me to connect with journalists and generate positive PR for my businesses.

It’s also taught me how to write concisely. 140 characters doesn’t always give you enough space to say what you want to :)

A. Sourav Saha(Web Consultant at Blogaholic)

Yes it’s true there are so many social media networking sites out there, to be honest I don’t use all. Even though I signed up for a social media networking site sometimes I totally forget about it until unless I get an auto generated email from them :)

Okay let’s get down to business among all I prefer StumbleUpon…why? Because it sends me a ton of traffic and generates a huge number of social shares.

A. David Trounce(Generating Sales Through a Single Channel – Twitter)

GFE Sport reviews the online sports ticket industry and provides event information for travellers.

The income is generated by Ticket Sales at major Ticket Distributor sites like Viagogo.

Being a highly competitive niche, short of a 6 foot long tail keyword,  the chances of GFE Sport ranking for “Football Tickets” is slim.

Though the pages are optimised and we market across all media, we have one gun that works – and works well: Twitter.

We figured that since all sports celebrities hang out there, so would their fans. Nearly all of our sales come through Twitter engagement using a timed and targeted Marketing strategy via Buffer and Hootsuite. Is GFE Sport making money? Yes.

The social media marketing strategy is simple and has proved effective over the last 6 months since we began work on the project.

A. BethSEGreen(Curator of Sustainable News )

Twitter, by far, is where the action is. It’s instaneous. It’s gratifying. And…if you have something to say people will find you and hear you. I have over double the followers and activity on Twitter compared to the other Social Media Accounts I use. Movers, shakers and news makers are on Twitter using it to spread their passions. I would willingly give up Facebook to keep Twitter.

A. socialwebcafe(What Works for Me for Social Sharing)

This is a common answer, but it really depends on your business objective and target audience.  Defining the target audience is one of the key first steps and that goes hand-in-hand with relevance of that target audience as it relates to your business objective.  For me, I have several properties/businesses.  In my music career, Reverbnation (which probably isn’t necessarily a social network, but a hub network and community) is my most successful.  For Social Web Cafe, it is G+ and definitely Twitter for the #SocialCafe Twitter Chats.

A. Philtrate( . .)

I am a relationship guy (after all I do work with Ann Smarty). I have found the best way to develop relationships is to comment on blog posts and in forums. Yes, I use Twitter, G+ and FB, but have found that none of these is parrticularly efficient if I want to develop relationships

A. Preston(Most Successful for my business)

I would think for me that I am in B2B that the most successful one would have to be Google +. I know this may not be the popular opinon but the reason I like it and spend a lot of time there is because of the awesome communities I am part of. Also because very successful busines people are on this platform and willing to share their advice on how to run a business. You get to see them “Live”and partipate and be even invited into these HOA’s. Yes, at first it is unerving to see your face on live streaming and then afterwards but this is the best education I have been able to receive and most of it is a no cost except my time. The engagement people I would have never met are over there and I get business as well over time as I develop relationships which is Key. NO SPAMMERS allowed.

Q. What determines your success on this social media network? Is it Likes, number of Followers, amount of interaction, number of shares, or something else?

A. Sarah Arrow(Content Creation Expert)

I think it’s the willingness to start a conversation or take part in someone else’s conversation. Shares and followers will fluctuate but actively making an effort to talk to people really pays off. I recently connected with someone who’d followed me on Twitter for 5 years, and we had a great chat and are going to work together on a mutually beneficial project. That stems from talking to people regardless of how many followers they have, the number of shares or even their Klout score.

A. Sourav Saha(Web COnsultant at Blogaholic)

My success on this social media network isn’t likes or followers. But it’s definitely amount of interaction, number of shares, goal conversions & the amount of incoming traffic through StumbleUpon.

A simple look into your Google Analytics referral traffic helps a lot to answer this question (I have written an post on this which kinda goes with this question which you can find it here.) Also if you are using buffer as Facebook Insights, Pinterest Analytics & “The New Twitter” solves the problem.

A. BethSEGreen(Curator of Sustainable News )

What means the most to me is the number of retweets and click-throughs. Retweets spread the word to new audiences and potential new followers. The click-throughs drive traffic back to the website which hopefully adds to shares and tweets. The number of followers I have helps me with other tweeters. I have an above average number and so people think I am follow-worthy, but I prefer multiple retweets over multiple followers because that means what I am tweeting has value.

A. socialwebcafe(What Works for Me for Social Sharing)

For me, I like to build releationships, so the measure of success is really a matter of engagement.  Another measure is to see how far that engagement travels into other networks and including tools like Skype.  Truly, those people with whom I have the most engagement are connected on several networks (Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest) and it is that engagement that has proven to be the most personally rewarding and helpful in the area of branding, as well :)

A. Philtrate( . .)

I measure success by the number of real people who I have conversations with as a result. Sometimes those conversations are on email, sometimes Google chat and sometimes on a Hangout. If I hear from someone who is referred by one of my new contacts I am over the Moon.

A. Preston(Most Successful for my business)

Well being on G+ – I don’t believe it is numbers, however that does help. I think the quality of people that are working within the platform is my measure of success. The interaction on Some HOA’s are fantastic and again you learn so much plus you can meet other “like minded ” individuals and strike up a conversation afterwards or at a different time.

Q. With 1 being the most successful, please list your top 5 successful social media networks in order of success.

A. Sarah Arrow(Content Creation Expert)

1.Twitter

2. Google Plus

3. Facebook

4. Linkedin

5. Friendfeed

Although I’m active on my personal Facebook page, and have a thriving group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/freekindlebookclub) I don’t really do a lot of business through Facebook, and the conversations are much better on Twitter and Google Plus. I’d like to do more with LinkedIn, and I have an active group there, and may be with LinkedIn Publisher I get be active there. Only time will tell if the conversations are as good as Twitter or Google Plus.

A. Sourav Saha(Web COnsultant at Blogaholic)

It goes like this:

1. StumbleUpon (Most engaging, most conversions and sends most traffic)

2. Twitter (2nd most engaging, most conversions sends most traffic)

3. Pinterest (3rd most engaging, most conversions and sends most traffic)

4. Facebook (4th most engaging, most conversions and sends most traffic)

4. Google+ (5th most engaging and sends most traffic)

Follower by LinkedIn

A. BethSEGreen(Curator of Sustainable News )

Number one is Twitter. It’s where I go when I am bored or waiting on folks. It’s a great plaform for smartphones. Number two is LinkedIn. I really like leveraging the groups to share articles. Number three is Facebook. Souhteast Green is a business news site so Facebook isn’t really where the website needs to be. However, we do use it for pictures. It’s a great application for sharing pictures. Number four is Pinterest. Once again we are business oriented so it is not a great fit for us. However, we love using it, so we try to promote our articles there. Number five is Google +. We post every article on the Southeast Green website there. We believe it helps with Google search.

A. socialwebcafe(What Works for Me for Social Sharing)

1.  Google+/YouTube

2.  Twitter

3.  Facebook

4.  Pinterest

5.  LinkedIn

It is difficult to rank the first three because they generally switch around, from week to week.  The key is consistency at all of the social networks (which even I struggle with during those heavy campaign or content production periods!).

A. Philtrate( . .)

  1. Blog post commenting – By far the most productive way to develop relationships
  2. Forum commenting – This is the only other avenue that has led to relationships
  3. Hangouts – I have made contacts I value through Google Hangouts. These people I would count as friends, but there are not many of them
  4. Twitter – I have had tweets retweeted but never made any real contacts through Twitter
  5. Facebook – I mostly keep FB for family, but have some business contacts on here as well

A. Preston(Most Successful for my business)

Linked-In- Mostly Groups ( Moderated ones) – Find like minded individuals and then set up time to go over introductions with each other.

Empire Avenue- maybe not even on your list? A great way to invest and learn from others what people do. Great concept.

Smash Solutions 101 – A new type of social media network with many different aspects to help meet others and be able to use online web-based tools that you pay a lot of revenue all in one location.

Pinterest- Because of the boards and repins

Twitter- Because you can get live interactions if you know how to follow the 140 character limit and don’t get overwhelmed by the massive amount of feeds that come into your account.

Facebook- only for certain resons, not for business in most cases.

Q. Knowing which social media networks are not as successful as others for you, do you take steps to increase activity on the those lower on the list? If so, what measures do you take? Or, do you concentrate mostly on the one that has brought you the most success?

A. Sarah Arrow(Content Creation Expert)

I do “over compensate” by doing more on Facebook and LinkedIn even though the results are poorer. Back in January I decided Facebook wasn’t doing anything for me at all, so I removed the Facebook sharing buttons from my blog. And now instead of getting 6 or 7 likes per post I get between 20 and 30. Given that a post gets around 100+ tweets, I think I should be spending more time on Twitter than trying to make Facebook work for me.

A. Sourav Saha(Web COnsultant at Blogaholic)

Before getting into how to increasing my activity on less successful social media networks for me first I think I need to determine which social media networks I really need to be. As there are various social media networks they can be used as different modes of marketing or categorizing target audience such as business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). As an example Facebook, Twitter, Google+ mostly used for B2C clients and LinkedIn for B2B (though LinkedIn can be a great influencer outreaching tool). Pinterest is mostly used by women. So determining where my target audience is residing (Google Analytics audience demographics can help if I miss out something on this).

After I’m through with this I have to dig reports to determine what’s gone wrong & why? Followed by testing analyzing improving and further testing,

A. BethSEGreen(Curator of Sustainable News )

We have spent a lot of time on Pinterest trying to be creative. That’s the one place we have spent time trying to boost presence and response. With Facebook constantly changing the rules in regards to walls and newsfeeds. We have basically abandoned Facebook to try to build a larger presence. We still post and share but that is not where we spend significant time.

A. socialwebcafe(What Works for Me for Social Sharing)

I am always looking for ways to effectively incorporate the lesser-used networks.  And, even when I “fully” incorporate a lesser-used network, I am not done.  There are always ways to improve your effectiveness even in your top network.  Life is about learning and about growing your skills.  Even if you are at the top of your game, there is room to grow.  So, yes, I take steps to increase activity on networks lower in my list.

A. Philtrate( . .)

I read 80/20 Sales and Marketing recently and Perry Marshall makes a lot of sense. 20% of your effort gives you 80% of your results. I therefore devote more effort to blog post commenting and forum interactions because they work for me; I also enjoy these social media channels infinitely more than Twitter and Google+

A. Preston(Most Successful for my business)

Twitter and Facebook _ yes- I am trying to set some time to figure out how as a B2B business this can be used to create more business or awareness of what I do.

The issue with twitter, is the movement of information is so quick. You really have to understand how to type in 140 characters which for me is not easy to do as you can see. The other issue is to be able to have a real conversation again in 140 characters is very tough to do. But I still create content from other postings to see interaction happens. Does not happen that quick becuase I probably don’t have enough followers like i used to on my old account that I can’t get access to anymore cause I have no idea what my email was when I first started.. Which is a problem when they can’ give it to you either.

The issue with Facebook is that if you have a bunch of friends many of them don’t like to talk about business, just personal things.. Which is fine to certain point, but since they went public and said if you don’t advertise your pages are not going to get exposure from your current fans, that was a huge mistake.

Q. What one thing do you dislike the most and would improve if you could about the ONE social media network that has brought you the most success?

A. Sarah Arrow(Content Creation Expert)

I do “over compensate” by doing more on Facebook and LinkedIn even though the results are poorer. Back in January I decided Facebook wasn’t doing anything for me at all, so I removed the Facebook sharing buttons from my blog. And now instead of getting 6 or 7 likes per post I get between 20 and 30. Given that a post gets around 100+ tweets, I think I should be spending more time on Twitter than trying to make Facebook work for me.

A. BethSEGreen(Curator of Sustainable News )

We use HootSuite to make Twitter make sense. If I could have multiple panes on the actual Twitter account that would improve user experience immensely, at least on the laptop, desktop and tablets. I am very happy with the Twitter app for my smartphone. In fact my Twitter app allows me to manage multipe accounts from one login. I love that feature!

A. socialwebcafe(What Works for Me for Social Sharing)

That is a difficult question.  My education (and philosophy on life) includes an approach of positive psychology and learning to adapt even in a non-ideal situation.  So, in positive psychology, you look at what is working well and enhance and grow that area.  Similar to the approach of serendipity, I approach the social networks in a manner of accepting even those things that are less than ideal.  Then, I look for ways to exceed beyond the limitation.

One example is when Pinterest took away the ability to tweet a pin.  That really saddened me, but I went out and found a way around it by creating a recipe on IFTTT.  The recipe I came up with would read my Pinterest RSS feed and automatically tweet my pins.  I then shared how I did that with the audience of Karen Woodham’s blazingminds.co.uk so that others, too, could find a way around the limitation.

A. Philtrate( . .)

Blog post commenting is time consuming and cannot be outsourced. I can see no way around this because the reason I do it is to build relationships. It’s like having a girlfriend, you have to kiss her yourself and talk to her yourself, you cannot delegate those parts of the realationship-building process, besides which, I enjoy doing both (gf and blog commenting) myself

A. Preston(Most Successful for my business)

What I dislike the most about G+ is that they are still marketing to the general public. I believe they need to cater to small business because that is where at least I see the most value. I do think they are on the right track, but I do believe they need to emphasize how important it is to get on HOA as a business. How important it is to be able to connect one on one with a potential customer, client.

The above Interview is courtesy of the experts at MyBlogU. Thank you all for such great input!

MyBlogU

If you are interested in conducting an Interview like I did, check out MyBlogU. This is a terrific community where writers, bloggers, marketers, social media experts, and the like come together. Interviews are perfect for getting questions answered from those in the industry. Other areas of the site such as Brainstorm, Media, and the Forum allow members to collaborate with others, get ideas, share information, and so much more!

A Sad Farewell to Yahoo! Voices

It was announced this week that Yahoo! Voices will be shutting down at the end of July 2014.

This announcement affects hundreds of thousands of writers. The effects are different for those writers. For many it means a huge loss of income; for some it means the loss of a forum of expression. For me personally it means that the place which gave me my “start” as a Freelance Writer will be no more – this is quite sad for me.

My Start

Just over two years ago I saw an advertisement for writers for Yahoo Contributor Network (YCN). I was unsure, not confident in my writing, but wanted to give it a try. I talked to my daughter about it and she encouraged me to go for it. I told no one else in my life that I was doing it. I wanted to wait and see what happened. After I published my first article in May of 2012 on Yahoo! Voices I was overjoyed! This gave me the confidence to continue writing and tell people in my life what I was doing – with pride.

Sandy Stachowiak Contributor Profile

My Journey

As time went on and my confidence grew and writing skills continued to improve, I finally dubbed myself a Freelance Writer and the journey has continued. Over time I gained private clients and began writing for other sites. Today writing is very much an important part of my life. Aside from writing content for many sites, I also work on two different books that I am in no hurry to finish ;-).

With my added writing opportunities and some difficulties with YCN over the past several months, I had slowed down on submitting articles to Yahoo Contributor Network. There seemed to be constant technical issues and delays in getting articles published. Even though I had slowed my writing for YCN, I continued to keep up with activity and decided to publish at least once per month – until I received notice it was shutting down, that is.

So even though my writing for YCN slowed down near the end, I am still sad to see Yahoo! Voices go away. In my mind, that site was the reason I started writing content, gained confidence in my writing abilities, prompted my book ideas, helped others with my experiences, made connections, and it led me to believe in myself enough to pursue other writing opportunities with confidence.

How I Helped People

One article in particular that I published over two years ago has prompted such a huge response that I still receive feedback on it even now. It was an article about my neck surgery and recovery. I received over 72,000 views to date and have gotten numerous article comments, emails, Facebook messages, and even contact through different writing websites, AND this blog for the article. This has all been from people seeking help/advice or comparing my situation to theirs or a loved one’s. To me, this was my biggest success on Yahoo! Voices because the article, even after two years, was still prompting people to contact me about it. I am very, very glad that one experience I was able to share on Yahoo! Voices was helpful to so many others.YCN Find Your Audience

People and Connections

Another reason I am thankful for Yahoo Contributor Network is the connections and friends I have gained. I have met, connected with, and become friends with some wonderful people because of YCN. I have met some very talented and skilled writers, some who have become wonderful friends, and even some who have encouraged other writing opportunities. I always find it interesting how random events can bring you to know people that you would not have known otherwise. Thank you, YCN for all of the people I have met because of you!

A Final Thank You

I have to give a final ‘thank you’ to the Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo! Voices for providing me with a big change in my life that I would not trade for anything. I will miss you YCN and will be forever grateful for what you have brought me. :-)

 

3 Ways to Help Your Blog or Site Be Mobile-Ready

These days more people are reading articles, news, magazines, and blogs on their mobile devices. Please remember that no matter where your readers are enjoying your work, you want to make it as easy as possible for them. Otherwise, you could be sending them to another Web site. So, when you are writing your blogs or other pieces do you keep mobile in mind? If not, here are a few things to remember.

sxc.hu, stock.xchng, Kolobsek, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1398490

Mobile device by: sxc.hu, stock.xchng, Kolobsek, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1398490

(This article will not discuss the actual Web page development or technical side of page rendering.)

  1. Limit Multiple Pages: If you have a lengthy article and the site on which you are publishing uses the page number or “next” links, try to shorten your article or break it into separate pieces. When viewing numbered or “next” links on a smart phone or tablet they can appear very small. Although readers can increase their screen size, you really do not want to inconvenience them. Making your articles as accessible as possible to your readers increases your chances of them not only staying on your page, but also subscribing or following your future works.
  2. Check Your URLs: Linking outside of your article for pertinent information is common and a helpful way to establish credibility. However, when you are adding URLs for other sites are you double-checking those URLs on a mobile device? Are the pages or sites that you are sending your readers to mobile-ready as well? If not, you might want to reconsider your sources.
  3. Page Load Times: Page load times are not only important when publishing on the Web, but even more so on mobile. “On a mobile phone, a Web page takes a leisurely nine seconds to load, according to Google…”, as stated in a New York Times article. In comparison the article also states, “Download times on personal computers average about six seconds worldwide, and about 3.5 seconds on average in the United States.” With mobile page load times already almost three times the U.S. average, it is important to limit images, scripts, Flash, and other items that can cause page load times to lag.

Finally, as you check your articles, Web pages and Web sites on different browsers; take the time to check them on a smart phone and tablet as well. It could mean the difference between keeping a reader and losing one.

* This article was originally posted on Full of Knowledge, March 2013.

5 Reasons Writers Should Keep a Journal

I used to write in my journal a lot. I loved writing so it was very natural for me and therapeutic as well. Then when I became a freelance writer things changed. I was spending so much time writing articles, posts, Web content, and even working on my short stories, that I stopped writing in my journal. Well, I recently realized that journal writing is a great exercise and very beneficial to writers. Here a just a few reasons that you as a writer, should keep a journal:

  1. It keeps you in touch with your emotions. Great writers can tap into emotion – the emotions of their readers as well as their own emotions. Keeping a journal allows a writer to do just that. Being able to communicate feelings and thoughts into a place that is outside of the writing space is a terrific exercise into oneself and can transfer to a writer’s work.

    sxc.hu, stock.xchng, typofi, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1176000


    sxc.hu, stock.xchng, typofi, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1176000

  2. It is a great transition tool. If you are a writer with a day job like me, then you know that once you come home from a day in the office it can be difficult to jump directly into your writing. Whether it is fiction, Web content, blog posts, or an assignment for a client, it is not always easy to switch gears that quickly. Journal writing, however, can be a great transition tool for writers. You can write your thoughts from the day, your hopes for the evening, your creative thoughts for further down the road, or simply use it as a stress release. This is my favorite journaling reason.
  3. It can spark ideas, memoirs, essays, or more. As writers we know that not every thought that we “put on paper” will make it past the first draft. We also know that writer’s block can be a real pain. Sometimes just relaxing and jotting down our thoughts can spark so much more to happen. You may look back on a journal entry and find a great article idea. You may discover thoughts for a story from something that happened in your past. You may decide that your life is interesting enough to write an entire book. The possibilities really are endless with what could come of a few simple journal entries.
  4. It keeps you writing every day – no matter what. We as writers know the rule – write every day. Honestly, this can be difficult sometimes. You can have things going on in your life that simply make writing each day hard. Writing in your journal satisfies that rule – because why? Because you are still writing! As mentioned in #3 above, you never know what will come from a simple journal entry. If you are too sick to write that Web piece or too stressed to finish that chapter, jot a note in your journal. It is sure to keep you writing more than a quick sentence and you will continue to feed that writing rule.
  5. It really is therapeutic. We have all heard that writing can help us cope, heal, and deal with life’s little surprises. It really is true – at least I believe it. Depressed, upset, stressed, angry, sad, or something else? Write about it. It does not have to turn out to be in one of your stories. It does not have to turn into a poem or published work. It does not have to be anything at all except a release for you. Use it.

There are many avenues for journaling from the good, old pen and paper to the newest iPad app to a great mobile phone tool. So, if you are not journaling – give it a try and if you quit like me – get back to it. Share your thoughts on if it works for you or how you best use writing in a journal as a writer!

* This article was originally posted on Full of Knowledge, November 2013.

A New Blogger’s Checklist: Does Your Blog Have the Right Parts Under the Hood?

If you are just starting a blog or not getting any visitor interaction, have you taken the time to make sure that your blog has all the right parts under the hood? Take a look at the checklist on Social Media Sun >>

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Think Your Business Emails Sound Professional – Really? Are You Sure?

I bet that a lot of people are answering “yes” to this question. I also bet that a lot of people are incorrectly answering “yes” to this question. Find out if your emails are really professional at Social Media Sun >>

 

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