My Writing Journey – Start Early! (12/01/2016)

I hope that you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I had.

Have any of you started you Christmas shopping yet?  I already have.  I started early.

Starting early is not just important for this time of year.  It is also  important when you’re writing.  The earlier you start, the better.  If you’re young and still in school, write regularly and get a head start.  If you’re in college, that’s still okay.  The younger you start, the better.  Start early.

If you’re older and you have made the decision to start writing, that is still okay.  The whole idea is to have as much time as possible to write.  In doing this, you will have a lot of material to work with.

For me, I started early.  I have been writing since fourth grade.  I have been keeping a journal since high school and one a daily one regularly since college.

So have you started yet?  Start early, and get an edge on the competition.

What will be covered next week?  That’s a surprise!  Stay tuned!

I’ll see you next week!

Your friend in writing,

Kyle

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My Writing Journey – Know When to Say No (11/17/2016)

Have you ever been in a dilemma?  There are three different activities that you can go to.  They are all on the same night and at the same time.  Which one do you pick?

In this case, you need to know when to say no.  What is the most important?  Choose that one over the other two.

The same thing can be applied to writing.  Write when you can, but don’t get burned out.  Find a time when it works the best for you.  If you can’t find the time anywhere, that might be a good day to take off.  Although that’s a difficult option, perhaps you need a day to refresh yourself.

Learning to say no in certain situations is a very important thing to learn as a leader.  You can’t say yes to everything.  This will slow you down.  Say no to the matters that make sense and yes to what’s important.  This will save you a lot of stress when you’re making important decisions.

Saying no can sometimes be beneficial when you’re looking for something better.  If you have an opportunity, you must refuse it if you are going after the better opportunity.

So try it sometimes.  Know when to say so and you’ll find yourself learning to say yes at all the right times.

What’s next week?  Only time will tell.

See you next week!

Your friend in writing,

Kyle

My Writing Journey – Don’t Go Alone! (11/03/2016)

Have you ever tried to do something alone?  It could be dieting, exercising, or anything else.  It’s an uphill battle, and if you’re going at it by yourself, your odds are not very good.

Don’t go alone.  If you’re dieting, join a friend who is also dieting.  If you’re exercising, join a friend who is doing the same.  This will establish some accountability, and you’ll be able to work on your goal.

Are you working on a blog post for a website?  Find other people who are doing the same, and they can encourage you.  Don’t do it alone.  Your momentum will be a lot better if you have your friends to encourage you.

For me, I attend ideation once a week.  Everyone there is encouraged to continue on their idea.  Those who keep going will keep getting encouraged.  For me, it’s like an idea gym.  The ideas that work out the most turn into successful businesses.  I don’t go alone and neither should you.

So the next time you’re doing something alone, try to see if there’s someone else that you can share the experience with.  For us, we’re all sharing this journey together so we don’t have to be alone.  It’s better this way and you have a much better chance to succeed.

What will there be next week?  Since I’m busy with conference planning for Toastmasters, I won’t be attending ideation so I’ll try to think of something special.

See you next week!

Your friend in writing,

Kyle

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

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