Monday, July 30, 2012
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Something special is happening on this blog; you all are amazing me with your generosity of spirit. It was after I put a call out for articles that I noticed. One woman wrote in suggesting another's blog post for publication. I was transformed by that one simple act of generosity. I checked out her recommendation. [It was quite good. We published it.] And then I clicked over to her blog. [It was quite good. We published one of her posts too.]
As I was reading the blogroll today, I noticed the same generosity of spirit through your comments to one another. There is a network of mutual encouragement happening weekly. Let's keep perpetuating this life-giving and inspiring spirit. I love to read your posts about the ministries you are involved in; by the very nature of your work, you are generous. But what defines "generosity of spirit" best to me is when you write encouraging comments about what one of your writing colleagues posted. This type of currency is priceless, and I must admit, in short supply. There is nothing more lonely than "0 Comments" beside a well-written, heart-on-a-sleeve post.
Let's not leave each other dangling. When you read good writing, be generous. Comment. Share. Like. Submit. One small act of kindness in my Inbox awakened something in me: generosity. My little measured heart is enlarging each time I release it. I wonder, though, if I will ever lose my amazement.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Here are six of my favorite ways to create titles:
1. I read the entire article and try to find a phrase that pops out. At the IRL* blog, Jamie Jo comes up with some phrases in her posts that are uniquely her. I usually play off her voice and originality to draw in readers. For example: Is There Some Hip New Way? came from a question she posed in the body of her post or Computer-induced ADD, a JJ original diagnosis to a cultural behavior she is afflicted with.
2. I like to twist a well-known phrase, song or book title:
- Motion in Poetry (article about a woman with MS who found comfort in writing poetry),
- The Long and Barfy Road (The Long and Winding Road, Beatles), and
- Of Jumpers and Tennies (Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck)
3. I like to be tastefully provocative. Two cover stories in the onlineMagazine come to mind:
4. I capture the essence of the article and put it in the title, appealing and pulling on the reader's emotional heartstrings: Kidnapped! or Furlough Grocery Tears.
5. I try to keep my titles short and to the point. Being on Twitter helps immensely with developing this skill.
6. If your article/post gives your readers some tips, or promises to make their life easier, or explains something they might need or want to know, put that beneficial promise in the title:
Finally, put yourself in the reader's shoes. Look at the current titles of your blog posts in your archives. Are they entrancing? Would you want to click on them? In the weeks ahead, put an extra measure of effort into writing titles for your blog posts. Take some risks; try one of the tips and see if more readers come to your blog through the gateway of a well-crafted title.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
How you title your post is important. Why? Read the top paragraph again.
More on this next week...
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
This shameless plug does have a tie-in to our "Read My Writing" series. One of the articles is from a woman on our blogroll. It's her first published piece. And I know she's pretty excited about that. Hence my joy.
Congratulations to Suzanne, from www.suz-mae.com. Her article, "Furlough Grocery Tears," is creating quite a buzz; more than 27 women have commented and shared their similar stories. Ahhh...it's so good to know we are not alone in this cross-cultural life.
As my work life settles into a better rhythm since the launch of Connection, I will be getting back to reading your writing. In the meantime, why don't you take a look at some of your blog posts. Would one of them make a good article for Connection? Perhaps you can add to, or edit your voice a bit, in order to make it suitable for publishing. I worked with Suzanne to polish up her final draft; in fact, I asked her to take the piece in a different direction and focus more on her time in the grocery store. She complied. I am glad we worked well together on this project.
As you all continue to hone your writing, I want to be an encouraging colleague in your pursuit of conveying your voice well in written form. Remember, the life you are living is interesting and worthy of a story.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Thank you for the kindness expressed through your comments...words put together in just the right way really do convey a sentiment that goes deep. I sense your friendship and it makes me smile. So thanks. I am encouraged by you to push through what I am calling my post-holiday writer's block.
The remedy: just write.
A few weeks ago, I read everyone's blogs. Nothing popped out that could hold up a new post. But because of the deadline pressure I was under, I started to get frustrated. Come on creative juices, start flowing! Nothing happened.
So instead of looking at the content of your blogs, I started staring blankly at your form. And by form, I mean how you format your posts. And there in my computer screen-induced stupor was the answer to my blog post prayer: Offer a few layout suggestions that would help create a soothing and easily readable post.
Create more white space in your posts
- add more space between photos so they are not piled up on each other
- create more paragraphs to break up long text
Create balance and interest
- place photos with some on the left and then some on the right.
- vary the size of the photos you upload
- use subheadings to portion off your writing
- use colored font judiciously
- create a blog color scheme with your fonts, background, headers that is soothing to the eye
Create something that looks like it won't take much time to read
- keep it under 500 words.
- use lots of small paragraphs
- have a great first sentence...oops, that's about content.