My Writing Journey – Springboards Lead to New Beginnings (10/06/2016)

When you’re writing, you need a starting point.  Where do you begin?

You may have found some ideas from your competition, but now you need a way to start.  How do you begin?  One way is to use a springboard, a useful device that can get you into the topic that you want to talk about.

In Ideation just yesterday,  I started creating springboards to bring clarity to what I wanted each writing prompt to accomplish.  Do I want to solve a conflict?  Do I want to write from a different character’s point of view?  Do I want to follow up on a story that I already written?  This springboard provides instructions and it clarifies the kind of message that I want to present.

For instance, in my Think & Write “The Fight“, for example,  I would use this springboard:

Desperate for money, you are in a wrestling ring with a champion. You must survive 10 minutes to win the money you need. Describe your experience.

In another Think & Write “Dreaming While Awake“, I would use this springboard:

Your child or someone you know has a special magical talent. What is this talent and what do they do with it?

In over 100 of my Think & Writes, I have provided springboards for everyone of them.  For these exercises, there is a starting point for each person to pick up and start writing their own stories.  And if you try this, it really helps with writer’s block.  Writing for me has become a daily habit that I never cease from doing.

So when you’re blogging, think of good starting points.  Use your springboard and jump right into an awesome post idea!

What’s next?  Meet back next week and I’ll tell you.  It’s part of the suspense.  I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun now, would I?

See you next week!

Your friend in writing,

Kyle

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My Writing Journey – Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition (9/29/2016)

In the world of writing, there is no such thing as a monopoly.  Competition is everywhere.  There are writers that are doing exactly what you’re doing only they’re a lot better at doing it.  The layout of their site is more attractive.  They have a lot more visitors.  Their explanations are a lot better than yours.

And do you know what?  That is perfectly fine.  Competition is a good thing, and if you understand your competition good enough, you can learn to set yourself apart from them.

There are many writers, but only one you.  Nobody else can write the way that you write so learn that uniqueness and execute it.  When you start to do this, you begin to build a personal brand that sets yourself apart from everyone else.  The more unique it is, the more it stands out, the better.

How do I learn that uniqueness?  This is not something that you learn overnight.  Rather, this is something that is developed over time.  write everyday and read everyday.  Have your words reflect the personality that you portray.  Are you direct? Overly opinionated?  Reflect that in your writing.  Are you soft-spoken or quiet?  Make that confession in your writing.  As you begin to build your website, you will begin to learn the different facets of your own uniqueness.

Now for the other important matter.  If you want to be successful with your writing and with your website, you need to find out what your competition is doing.  Go to their site and read what they’re writing.  Don’t copy their posts word-for-word but go to their site to learn what they are doing.  Are there any topics that they covered that you forgot to cover?  This is where you want to take good notes.  They may have written a post about this or that, but here’s the good part where you have the advantage.  You can write that post a lot better than they can.  They have already published that post, but you haven’t published yours yet.  Maybe you have a different perspective on what they covered.  A new idea to add to what they covered or a totally different opinion.  Maybe their punctuation was off (It shouldn’t be, if they have a good blog).  So go and do that.  Read and learn about your competition.  Their ideas will help you to better your own.  And if you’re starving for ideas, go to their blog. What you have is an all you can eat buffet of ideas.  Feast on them and add your own unique ingredients to make them better.

What I covered in Ideation was mapping and springboards.  I looked at my competition to see what writing exercises they already had.  While I have already done some of them, most of the ideas were pretty new.  Help yourself to your competition’s smorgasbord and spice it up.  Change the recipe and now it’s your own.

Next week, I will go into more depth about your competition and exactly what you need to look for when you are making your visits to their sites.  Getting the right information is important, as is the execution if you want to have a good blog.  Stay tuned.  It’s starting to get good.

See you next week!

Your friend in writing,

Kyle

My Writing Journey – What do you Offer? (9/22/2016)

What do you offer?  This will be the primary thing that you will be focusing on when you’re writing your blog.

When you go to a store, you usually know what that store offers before you go there.  A sporting good store will provide products that you need for outdoor activities.  A clothing store obviously provides clothing and a grocery store provides food and domestic products that you need for your home.

But what does your blog provide?  If I were to visit your blog, what “products” would I find there?

From the inventory that I began a week ago, I was able to boil this down a little bit myself.  My blog provides writing exercises for defeating writer’s block and a creative journal for those who are here for the entertainment (if you are that audience, Me & My Muse is right next door!)

I am also working on a third product.  This one.  The goal of My Writing Journey is to provide an informative and insightful learning experience for everyone who aspires to write, or make a blog about writing.  It’s for all audiences and experience levels.  While Me & My Muse is a lot of fun to write for me, I feel like this product provides more appeal to a wider audience.  How many people want to read about an imaginary character that I dialogue with?  Am I detecting some nods?  That is the very thing that My Writing Journey is here to address.  This product is just for you, with you in mind.  Don’t understand something?  Don’t worry.  I might be at the same point that you are.  We can learn this together, but I’m always determined to find an answer.  If I am an expert on a particular subject, I will take special care to make sure that everyone is on the same page before proceeding on.

So those are the products that I have.  This is what you start with.  What have you currently created? What products do you offer and can they be monetized?  What do you want to create in the future?

I would focus on what you already have before creating brand new products.  Establish these products first and get very proficient at producing them.  Then work on the new products.

What do you have to offer?  Remember.  The home page is the first thing that the reader is going to see, so you better have a “product” list up front.  10 seconds is all you get and then they’re on another page.  Consider what you already have, the products that you offer, whether you can monetize them, and if you want to create some new products down the road.

It is also important to note your competition, which is what I will address next time.  Who is your competition? What can be learned from them?

See you next week!

Your friend in writing,

Kyle