I hope you’re ready for the second installment of my write engagingly series. I thought long and hard what I should write about in this one. And though I’m blowing my own horn by saying so, it’s a humdinger!
And yes, you’re absolutely right. In my write engagingly 101 article, I did say you should avoid the exclamation mark. I was just making sure you were paying attention.
A gold star if you picked up on that.
Do note that I wasn’t implying you should never use it. That would be overkill. Instead, I meant that it should set off warning bells (or perhaps exclamation marks) in your head when you do hit that key.
Continue reading Write Engagingly 202: Storytelling, Senses and Similes
If you can’t write engagingly then it doesn’t matter how many words you can produce in a sitting. Nobody is going to sit down to read them. And what’s the point of spilling ink, be it on a story or to reflect on your existence, when nobody cares about the blotches you made? You might as well just throw it at the wall for all the good it will do. Modern art museums are dotted with canvases of a similar ilk.
If modern art is not the path you want to walk, however, and the goal is to write a book or launch a freelance writing career then you’re left with a question. What does it actually mean to ‘write engagingly’? It’s a bit like saying you should paint beautifully, or smile endearingly.
How do you do that?
Continue reading Write Engagingly 101: Simple Techniques You Can Apply Immediately
Sometimes you meet them on the road – the anal retentive travelers. These are the people so obsessed with schedules and making sure they see everything that they spend more time charging around than actually looking. They dash around to make sure they see every sight and get home more tired than they left.
I don’t blame them. Some people need that kind of thing. They’ve got to be in control and a schedule worked out to the minute makes them feel that way. It’s great that they found enough reasons to travel in the first place.
Still, I would never want to be (with) one of them. For their way of travel is no way to travel. Of course, this is particularly true when you’re freelancing from the road as you need time for your work. But even if you’re just traveling without a worry in the world, slow travel is absolutely the way to go. That’s how you find happiness
Why? Read on.
Continue reading 7 Reasons Why Slow Travel is Good Travel
If you’re already regularly reaching out to help those less fortunate than yourself around the world, then this article probably isn’t for you. If you already give to charities and donates your time and effort to those less fortunate half a world away, then good for you, but this article might not help you much.
This article isn’t aimed at the converted.
Continue reading How to Really Keep the Immigrants Out
Two things together form the holy grail of writing: Writing better and being able to write more when you do write. In a seperate article I’ve handled writing better (and expanded on it here and here), while yet another post covers making your words fly. Today I’m going to focus my attention on writing more, as in the last year, as I’ve launched my freelance writing career I’ve made some very big strides in my productivity.
I remember how it used to be.
I would struggle to get more than a few hundred words down a day in the beginning. On most days, the first book I wrote was trench warfare. It was a war of attrition with me against the written word. Every battle was hard fought. On those I came out victorious I would be able to add just a few inches of territory, while those where I lost I ended up deleting whole stretches of text in self-disgust.
I’m sure we’ve all been there; your inner critic like a hard wall against which you repeatedly have to bang your head.
Continue reading Want to Write More? Here Are My 5 Secrets.
One of the big dangers when you’re out and about in foreign countries, with all your belongings packed into two bags, is that somebody decides to take what is yours. That can put a real crick in your holidays and your travels.
This is particularly true if, like me, you live on the road and freelance from the world’s corners. As then your livelihood, as your work depends on having your gear. Losing it means a double whammy of replacing it and not being able to work while you do so. And that’s a hard thing to survive, no matter how many of the characteristics of a successful traveling freelancer you have!
For that reason, over the years I’ve learned a number of strategies how not to get robbed. I thought I’d share a few with you.
Continue reading How Not to Get Robbed While Abroad
The lift of an eyebrow, the twitch of a lip, the wrinkling of the nose bridge. All speak volumes about a person’s intentions. For many, however, those volumes might as well be written in Latin for all the good it does them. That is a shame.
For unless you’re a hermit living alone in the woods, people are the gateway to your wants and desires.
Therefore getting a better grasp on people’s fears, needs and motivations are key to unlocking a whole host of possibilities. This, as I previously explained, goes double on the road.
After all, while at home you generally have a safety net of people you know and trust to back your play, when you’re out in the world they aren’t there, however. And so, you’ve got to rely on your own abilities and the strangers you meet.
Continue reading How to Get Better at Reading People
On both our about page and in our post introducing this website, we talked about spreading words to help people help themselves. Today we’d like to talk about what words we meant.
We were talking about all of them.
Yup, that’s right. We want to spread all words – be they liberal or conservative, long or short, rude or complimentary. It doesn’t matter if they’re religious, sacrilegious, scientific or mundane.
We hold no prejudice, we aren’t biased and we have no preference. We’re not here to indoctrinate. We’re not trying to convert. In fact, you could say we’re here to do exactly the opposite.
Our aim isn’t to build walls but to open minds.
Continue reading Spreading Words to Help People Help Themselves
It is crazy how many people get that travel writing thing the wrong way around. They think that they should first launch a successful freelance writing career and then start traveling. Poppycock! (Isn’t that just a great word? Why did we ever let it slip away?). It is traveling that boosts your writing career.
Want to become a successful traveling freelance writer? Then start traveling today. Check if you’ve got the right characteristics for the travel writer life, start developing them if you don’t, scrape together some money, pack your bags, and hit the open road – though remember to take it slow.
That’s the way to do it.
Continue reading 7 Ways Traveling Boosts your Writing Career
I’m sure you’ve read those stories where they claim: I made 5000 dollars in my second month! I paid off my university debt in less than a year! I only have to work an hour a day! They’re all over the internet – freelancers and their claims of success.
For a time as I worked to launch a successful freelance writing career, I read them all, trying to figure out their magic. I analyzed them, dissected them, put them back together again and tried to apply all the advice to my life. I woke up early, worked ten hours per day, applied in certain ways, put myself out there, and wrote pitches till the cows came home.
It didn’t work half as well as they suggested.
Continue reading Freelancer Success Stories: Grain of truth and a bucket of salt