Want to Be a Great Writer? These 5 Things Will Get You There

There are so many people who dream of becoming writers. Yet there aren’t as many who actually dare to try.

And this isn’t surprising because writers’ work is associated with so many challenges and difficulties. There are plenty of people who start writing even as a hobby and yet still quit doing so after a couple of months, complaining that this is too hard for them.

Sure, writer’s block is hard and the whole writing process can be painful sometimes – but only because you don’t know how to overcome these challenges yet. Some writers learn to do so from their own experience, but you don’t need to do so. Here are five tips that can help you make your writing process less complex and terrifying, find joy in it, and become a great writer eventually.

1. Don’t simply read everything – analyze it.

One of the most common advice beginner writers get is to read a lot, for example, books for writers. This advice is really important: by doing so, you’ll be able to learn from the best. However, don’t settle for reading only – instead, try to understand why do others write like they write.

Why does it matter? Because when you’re paying attention not only to the plot, characters, and overall logic of the text but also to writer’s style, the way the dialogs are built, and so on, you are able to learn much quicker.

2. Create a writing habit.

Consistency is one of the most important skills for a writer. Consistency makes the whole writing process easier and often quicker, but what’s even more important is that it changes the attitude towards writing. If you write only when an inspiration strikes, it’s not often convenient: for example, you might not have enough time to write. And it might take years for you to finish a small novel under these circumstances.

A writing habit changes that. It makes writing easier: sure, you struggle a lot at first, but it starts coming more naturally as time passes. Moreover, the more you practice, the better you write.

There are so many ways to write daily: you can try freewriting, join a challenge like NaNoWriMo, schedule an hour for writing each morning or evening, or simply promise yourself to not go to bed until you write 100 words. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it helps you spend at least a bit of your daily time on writing.

3. Make a writing ritual.

While a habit makes your writing more consistent, a ritual makes it more pleasant. Not all writers have their own rituals – not all of them actually need to have one. However, if you struggle with your writing, creating a certain pleasant routine can definitely help you make the whole process less complicated.

Create a writing playlist. Make a space when you’re going to write daily. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee before you start writing. Buy a special pen (in case you prefer handwriting) or go to a certain café if you prefer writing on a laptop and watching the world around you. All these things and details might seem insignificant but they can actually help you shift into the right mood as long as you use them often.

4. Prepare to edit and rewrite.

Some writers (especially beginner ones) think that text should be perfect from the start. That’s why they write slowly, choose the words very carefully, polishing the text during the writing process, and even writing thesis statement definition.

However, coming up with a finished text is much more important than coming up with a polished one. As disappointing as it might seem, there aren’t many texts who are good right from the first draft. Most of the texts require a lot of thorough editing and rewriting. Sometimes the final draft is actually very different from the first one.

That’s why it’s so important to finish the text first and edit in when it’s done. This way you’ll be able to see the whole picture more clearly. Moreover, it can be good not to overthink each sentence in the process and simply let the words flow. Chances are that you’ll be able to write something amazing this way.

5. Build a healthy attitude.

One of the biggest challenges of writing is to actually learn to enjoy it. This comes naturally for some people and is painfully hard for others.

It’s important to treat yourself and your writing right. It’s okay to question your writing, your characters’ motivation, your plot-twists, etc. It’s not okay to let your inner doubts and criticism affect your writing and your attitude towards the process. It’s not okay to let the fear of being criticized stop you from publishing your texts even after they are finished or let the first rejection stop you from pursuing your dreams.

If you are worried about flaws and don’t trust yourself with it, ask your friends to voice their opinion. Also, ask them to be kind if this really bothers you. Remember that what people think about your writing is not what they think about you as a person. Keep in mind that rejections and critics don’t mean that your text is bad – they only mean that some specific people didn’t like it.

And most of all, don’t be your worst critic. Writing is a creative process, it’s a process of expressing yourself, sharing some of your ideas and experience with the world. It can be painful – but it’s up to you to make it pleasant and exciting. So give your writing a chance.

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How to Improve Good Leadership Qualities

Regardless of whether you’re already in a leadership position or you’re simply looking to improve your existing skills, being a driven and motivated leader is an essential skill to have in life.

Consider a situation where someone falls over in a shopping centre. To many, the natural reaction is to stop and wait for someone else to handle the situation. This could mean the difference between life and death for that individual. Having natural leadership qualities in situations like these can save lives.

However, not everyone has these qualities, but, it is possible to learn them. Today, we’re going to explore several of them.

Act Like a Leader

Again, whether you’re in a business or a social environment, acting like a leader will help you to become one. For example, if you’re a team leader in a business, act professional and be the leader that you want people to see you as being.

This is an image that you need to uphold. For example, you could use online tools such as Cite It In to add professionally formatted quotes and references to your reports and emails. This means that even when people are reading your emails or your reports, they can easily see that you know exactly what you’re doing and that you’re a born leader.

Learn Something New Everyday

A good leader never stops learning. It’s important that you have a growth mindset and you don’t shut off your mind to new ideas, experiences, knowledge or opportunities. Practice by making it a habit to learn at least one new thing a day. You can read informative blogs or develop your skills in anything your hobby and job is connected to. Also, good writing and grammar is a must-have skill for the great leader. There is a tonne of websites you can sign up to that can give you something new on a daily basis, such as State of Writing and Viawriting.

Make the Big Decision

A leader is in place to make the big decisions, especially when nobody else will. In some cases, depending on the situation, you’ll need to make these big decisions fast, so it’s important that you develop the habit of looking at everything from a neutral perspective, as well as outside the box.

Steven Banks is a team leader from UK Writings, and he shares his experience, “You never know when a stressful situation will come up. At work, if someone has completed overlooked an order that’s due in an hour, it’s all systems go. The decision needs to be made on how something is going to be completed, who’s going to do it and how we are going to handle the customer. It’s all about efficient delegation.”

Pay Attention to the Details

A good leader always considers the details in everything they do. Whether they’re running a business or coaching a sports team, it’s important to look out for the obstacles that are approaching and the emotions that people in the team show.

A good way to practice this is through writing. Write a short story, a poem, or anything you like but, once you’ve finished, read it through and proofread it. This means looking for errors in your text, such as spelling mistakes and typos etc. You can use resources, such as Assignment Help, to better your skills. This is a great way to train your brain to look out for all the little details in life.

Conclusion

Being a good leader is a difficult job, but somebody’s got to do it. Being a good leader can be inspirational, motivational and it can help people to work together and enjoy life more by being happy in what they do, no matter what the situation is. Remember these key points and practice every day, and you’ll soon be able to take control, opening up new opportunities for you and your team.

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Why I Don’t Want My Kids to be Happy

Written by Mia Von Scha.

It seems obvious that we would want our kids to be happy… always. We go out of our way to protect them from negativity, disappointment, sadness and anger. We try to create peaceful home and school environments. We think up creative ways to cheer our kids up when they’ve been hurt. It seems to be the basis of good parenting. I disagree.

I don’t want my kids to be happy. I want my kids to be real.


And real people have a variety of emotions every single day.

What I want is for my children to feel so comfortable with me that they can scream and shout, cry and lament, moan and complain, and genuinely express whatever it is that they are going through at the moment. I know it will pass. Emotions that are expressed don’t stick around for very long.

Emotions that are repressed can stay for a lifetime.

I want my children to be free to be whoever or whatever they are in the moment and to know that they are loved in all states. I want them to feel safe coming to me with their pain so that we can connect and share stories and feelings and our very humanness.

When we assume that the best thing for our kids is to be happy–and we encourage and work on happiness above all else–we give the unspoken message that if you are not happy then that is going to affect MY happiness and well-being as a parent. We can then put our own guilt, fear and sense of failure onto our children. They cannot be real without worrying about us, and how they are letting us down.

What we’re doing is setting our kids up to focus on a fantasy life where everything is easy and everyone is happy all the time, and if you’re not happy you’re somehow not OK. This is the very basis of depression. It is also the basis of a multi billion dollar industry in anti-depressants.

The message we need to get across is that everyone feels everything at some point, and we all feel a variety of emotions every day. Some of these are really strong and long lasting, some are mild and fleeting, but all of them are part of our human experience. Every emotion has a place and a purpose. Every emotion will pass once you have listened to it and allowed it some breathing space. Every emotion is beautiful; not just happiness.

When we can allow ourselves and our children to experience all emotions, then we open up the possibility of learning and growing from the things that we feel. We are also free to share these with other people without feeling bad about feeling bad. And so we get to explore the depths of what it means to be alive. We don’t need to fear our own experiences. We don’t need to hide from our pain.

This is a beautiful and connected place to be with your children. You will find your relationship with them becomes richer, and you get to see your children for who they are, not who you hoped they would be. Real, raw, beautiful, expressive, amazing beings just waiting for you to love them in all of their complexity.

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Is “Screen Time” Dangerous for Children?

Written by Alison Gopnik.

I was in the garden with Augie, my four-year-old grandson, watching the bees in the lavender. “Bees make honey,” I said, transmitting the wisdom of the ages in good grandmotherly fashion. After a pause, Augie replied, “How do they make the honey?” There is nothing like a child’s question for exposing the limits of a grandmother’s wisdom.

“Actually, Augie, I don’t know,” I said.

“But, Grandmom, you have your phone,” he said. For Augie, a smartphone is as natural and unremarkable as the bees and the lavender, and holding one is almost synonymous with knowing.

I Googled “How do bees make honey?” There were dozens of videos explaining it. As we stood in the garden, shielding the screen against the sunlight, Augie and I learned that worker bees secrete an enzyme called invertase, which converts nectar into dextrose, then flap their wings to thicken the nectar into honey.

“It’s kind of hard to see the bees,” I said, squinting at the screen.

“Why don’t we watch it on the big computer?” Augie said.

For the next hour, we sat inside, bee-surfing. Someone in Sweden had posted a speeded-up video of bees building a hive, months of construction compressed into two minutes. There was a whole subgenre of beekeeper selfie videos. Best of all was a BBC documentary about the “waggle dance,” the remarkable communication system that allows bees to give one another directions to the places where they’ve found nectar.

My own childhood was dominated by a powerful device that used an optical interface to transport the user to an alternate reality. I spent most of my waking hours in its grip, oblivious of the world around me. The device was, of course, the book. Over time, reading hijacked my brain, as large areas once dedicated to processing the “real” world adapted to processing the printed word. As far as I can tell, this early immersion didn’t hamper my development, but it did leave me with some illusions—my idea of romantic love surely came from novels.

English children’s books, in particular, are full of tantalizing food descriptions. At some point in my childhood, I must have read about a honeycomb tea. Augie, enchanted, agreed to accompany me to the grocery store. We returned with a jar of honeycomb, only to find that it was an inedible, waxy mess.

Many parents worry that “screen time” will impair children’s development, but recent research suggests that most of the common fears about children and screens are unfounded. (There is one exception: looking at screens that emit blue light before bed really does disrupt sleep, in people of all ages.) The American Academy of Pediatrics used to recommend strict restrictions on screen exposure. Last year, the organization examined the relevant science more thoroughly, and, as a result, changed its recommendations. The new guidelines emphasize that what matters is content and context, what children watch and with whom. Each child, after all, will have some hundred thousand hours of conscious experience before turning sixteen. Those hours can be like the marvelous ones that Augie and I spent together bee-watching, or they can be violent or mindless—and that’s true whether those hours are occupied by apps or TV or books or just by talking.

New tools have always led to panicky speculation. Socrates thought that reading and writing would have disastrous effects on memory; the novel, the telegraph, the telephone, and the television were all declared to be the End of Civilization as We Know It, particularly in the hands of the young. Part of the reason may be that adult brains require a lot of focus and effort to learn something new, while children’s brains are designed to master new environments spontaneously. Innovative technologies always seem distracting and disturbing to the adults attempting to master them, and transparent and obvious—not really technology at all—to those, like Augie, who encounter them as children.

Like the bees, we live by the reports of others. Unlike the bees, we can invent new worlds, constructing them out of sonic vibrations, ink, or pixels. Sometimes those worlds deceive and confuse; at other times, they tell us something revelatory. When Augie’s father got home, Augie rushed to meet him, his words tumbling out in excitement. “Daddy, Daddy, look,” he said, reaching for the phone. “Do you know how bees make honey? I’ll show you. . . .”

Originally published at NewYorker.com.

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Optimistic about the Future of Liberty

This morning, after a little reflection, I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of liberty. There are so many great companies, organizations, and technologies that enable us to throw off the shackles of the state and its allied institutions.

Praxis is redefining higher education and is cranking out a new generation of entrepreneurs no longer saddled with a permission mindset.

Heleum is redefining savings- beating inflationary policy at its own game.

BitPay is redefining checking, making cryptocurrencies easy to adopt and use in daily economic life.

Peer to peer lenders like Prosper.com are redefining and decentralizing loans and investment lending.

Cryptocurrencies in general are bringing sound money principles into practice and challenging the Federal Reserve banking cartel.

Detroit Threat Management Center has stood for 20 years as proof that policing communities can be a peaceful venture that doesn’t require taxation.

Cell 411 is decentralizing community safety and holding police accountable.

Surgery Center of Oklahoma is making surgery affordable by casting off Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance cartels.

Atlas Health Network is pioneering concierge family healthcare and breaking up ridiculous pharmaceutical markups.

Liberty HealthShare offers very low-cost medical insurance by actually understanding what insurance IS.

With so much subversive entrepreneurship going on, there’s a lot to be excited about!

Originally published at Facebook.com.

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Get Outside to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health

Written by Scott Moses.

A typical person in today´s industrial society spends the vast majority of his or her time indoors and in front of some sort of screen. From the time they wake up until the time they go to bed, the only moments that they are outdoors is while they walk from their cars to their offices and vice versa. Children who are somewhat active might be outdoors more often, but much of that time is dedicated to organized sports activities on a manicured lawn.

Very rarely do any of us, neither children or adults, spend quality time in the natural world of forests, rivers, marshes, and the like. Our need to control the natural settings of the world around us has led us into avoiding contact with the natural world that doesn’t have concrete sidewalks and close cut lawns.

In this article, originally written by the outdoor blog LiveOnceLiveWild.com, we dive deep into this topic and explore the price of not engaging with the outdoors.

The Price That Comes with Lack of Contact with the Natural World

Because of the insulated environments that define our everyday life, most of us have absolutely no idea how the natural world sustains us. We may think that water comes from a tap while never having seen the river or spring that feeds the municipal water system. From our consumer mindset, food comes from the shelves of the local grocery store instead of from the complex and intricate relationships of soil organisms that give fertility to our crops.

The lack of contact with the natural world has caused us to forget how our lives are ultimately dependent on the ultimate world. The enclosure of our lives in the world of screens, shopping malls, and infinite comforts and luxuries has also indirectly led to some of the global crises we collectively face. When you don´t come into contact with the natural world, there is very little incentive to protect it.

Physical Health Benefits that Come with Being Outside

Lack of contact with the natural world has also led to a number of serious physical health problems. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and dozens of other problems are tied to the sedentary, screen-filled lives that define our everyday living. While signing up for a membership at your local gym will certainly help you get the exercise you need, the treadmill simply doesn’t compare to a walk through the woods.

Getting outside into the natural world brings a number of important physical health benefits. For starters, Vitamin D is notoriously missing in the majority of foods that we eat. We should be getting between 80 and 90% percent of the Vitamin D that we need from the sunshine. That, however, requires us to be outside during a part of the day. Your morning walk through the woods doesn’t only give you needed exercise, but it will also get you the vitamin D you need for bone growth, cell growth, inflammation reduction and neuromuscular and immune function.

Furthermore, being outside actually makes exercise easier and more enjoyable. Everyone knows that we need to exercise, however, those early morning visits to the gym can seem like drudgery. One recent study found that being surrounded by the color green actually makes exercise easier as it lessens the sensation of exertion.

Mental Health Benefits that Come with Being Outside

The health benefits of spending time outdoors aren’t just reduced to physical benefits. Rather, there are a number of important mental health benefits of spending time outside. Spending time outdoors helps to increase your brain function and makes it easier to concentrate. It also increases your creativity production, which is essential for young, school-age children.

In our stress-filled society, it can be hard to find a balance between work and rest. Most of us live between deadlines, and the effects of stress on our physical and mental well-being our easily seen in the increasing amount of people suffering from anxiety and panic disorders. Spending time outdoors has been proven to lower stress levels and even lower your heart rate.

Finally, there is something inherent in the human being that responds with happiness to things that are ultimately good for us. Spending time in the natural world is obviously healthy, both physically and mentally. When we take time out of our busy lives to enjoy the natural world, a feeling of deeper and more meaningful happiness becomes a reality.

Get Outside for Happier, Healthier Life

We need to find ways to escape from the bondage of screens, walls and carefully controlled environments in order to take advantage of the physical health and mental health benefits that come with being outside. Even a short walk every morning through the woods will prepare you mentally and physically for a healthier lifestyle.

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