Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Read My Writing: The Pull of a Compelling Title

This will be quick. Glance down the WOTH Writer's blogroll. Look at the titles of each of the posts. Which ones do you want to read? This is my list:

How you title your post is important. Why? Read the top paragraph again.

More on this next week...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Read My Writing: Published!

Nothing makes me happier than to publish stories of women serving cross-culturally. Yesterday we sent out our interim publication, Connection. It is our innovative solution while we are re-designing our website and publications. Connection is a monthly publication that features four articles written by women who are or have served as missionaries, Women of the Harvest ministry updates, and links to all our social media outlets and blogs to keep you connected 24/7.

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

Read My Writing: Writer's Block

Oh my...when I signed off for the holidays, I had no idea I would be gone this long. And as we know, infrequent posting spells death to most blogs. But I have a feeling this blog will survive this pause because of its sweet readers.

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.
I think I've hurdled my writer's block. It's good to be with you again.


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