Tag: Writing

Writing Without Rules

Wandering through the Garden

How does that work when you have writer's block? Even famous authors can suffer from writer's block. It can be very frustrating when you have a deadline and have to get that essay or report in on time.

What causes writer's block? Think back to your time in English class in school. Your teacher wants you to write an essay about Shakespeare or your thoughts on a particular poem for your homework. This you find boring. As you sit at home with your copy book open on a blank page the clock ticks loudly in the background. It is not happening. There is no enjoyment in the task. Teacher has set certain criteria about what has to be included in the essay, how long the essay should be, specific very important points that need to be expanded on and of course your own opinion. The list is endless and monotonous. The deadline is tomorrow morning first thing.

The stress levels are fairly high now. Where has the fun gone? Many adults have memories from school similar to this one. Now when you sit down to prepare a report or article this memory from your school years is playing in the back of your mind. You may not be aware of it but if you are sitting in front of a blank screen or piece of paper then there is a traumatic memory in there somewhere from your school days.

So what can you do about writer's block? Give this exercise a go before you start. Hold a pen in your non-dominant hand. Hold the palm of your other hand in front of you and draw what you see without looking at the page. Keep your eyes focused on all the creases and undulations of the palm of your hand. This is not about the finished piece of artwork. This is about the process.

You activate the right side of your brain when you draw with your non-dominant hand. This part of your brain is responsible for your creativity. The left side of your brain is you logical and analytical side. This is the side where you can get thought up in all the detail – such as all the points the teacher wanted included in the essay, the length of the essay and all the other 'teachers' rules from you school days.

When you activate the right side of your brain you will release your creativity and the ideas will start to flow. It will be a lot easier to write. Forget all the rules which the English teacher set. The only rule here is there are no rules. Give it a go and have fun writing without rules.

Writing Without Rules

New York Palace

How does that work when you have writer's block? Even famous authors can suffer from writer's block. It can be very frustrating when you have a deadline and have to get that essay or report in on time.

What causes writer's block? Think back to your time in English class in school. Your teacher wants you to write an essay about Shakespeare or your thoughts on a particular poem for your homework. This you find boring. As you sit at home with your copy book open on a blank page the clock ticks loudly in the background. It is not happening. There is no enjoyment in the task. Teacher has set certain criteria about what has to be included in the essay, how long the essay should be, specific very important points that need to be expanded on and of course your own opinion. The list is endless and monotonous. The deadline is tomorrow morning first thing.

The stress levels are fairly high now. Where has the fun gone? Many adults have memories from school similar to this one. Now when you sit down to prepare a report or article this memory from your school years is playing in the back of your mind. You may not be aware of it but if you are sitting in front of a blank screen or piece of paper then there is a traumatic memory in there somewhere from your school days.

So what can you do about writer's block? Give this exercise a go before you start. Hold a pen in your non-dominant hand. Hold the palm of your other hand in front of you and draw what you see without looking at the page. Keep your eyes focused on all the creases and undulations of the palm of your hand. This is not about the finished piece of artwork. This is about the process.

You activate the right side of your brain when you draw with your non-dominant hand. This part of your brain is responsible for your creativity. The left side of your brain is you logical and analytical side. This is the side where you can get thought up in all the detail – such as all the points the teacher wanted included in the essay, the length of the essay and all the other 'teachers' rules from you school days.

When you activate the right side of your brain you will release your creativity and the ideas will start to flow. It will be a lot easier to write. Forget all the rules which the English teacher set. The only rule here is there are no rules. Give it a go and have fun writing without rules.

Writing a Rap Song

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, c.1875.

Writing a rap song, can be achieved by following some basic writing steps of structure and pattern. Rap as a genre may seem limited by a predefined set of beats and versa, but there's a lot more that goes into a rap song than these few elements. Each rap song has parts that are common to all songs, regardless of the genre or artist. For instance, each rap has a beat, hook, chorus, and versa; it is the arrangement of these components that differs from song to song and artist to artist.

Usually, when writing a rap song, the artist will start by working on the beat before writing the lyrics and vocal tracks. This is because once the instrumental beat is finished, it is usually easier to write lyrics to the beat than than writing the lyrics first and then trying to develop a beat that would go with the lyrics. Most raps consist of a drum track and bass line that plays along with the beat. Not many instrumental parts are required because the main part of a rap is the vocal track, specifically the hook or chorus that plays on repeat between the different versions.

These days, however, rap songs are becoming more experimental and collaborative, and many artists collaborate with other rappers during the process of writing a rap song. This leads to a final product that is a combination of two different rap styles that should complement one another. In addition, it forms a new style and makes the song writing process more manageable and interesting as each artist has a unique musical perspective.

Sometimes along with the drum tracks and bass lines, a rap tune samples loops of tracks by other artists, not necessarily related to the rap genre. Such samples layer over the original instrumental tracks to add another dimension to the song. This brings about a combination of two different genres that collaborate for writing a rap song that has all the elements of a classic rap, with the beat, hook, and versa as well as a loop sample track that adds a new layer to the rap tune .

Writing a rap song requires practice and editing. In all likelihood, your first draft will be mediocre at best. That is fine and is to be expected. Just rewrite, reorganiz, and rework it until you achieve the desired affect. You can also hire a rap writer and editor to help turn your rough draft into a completed song.

Online Writing Contest – Competition Tips – How to Win Every Contest You Enter

sunrise off the bow

So you’ve stumbled across an online writing competition / contest, or perhaps your favourite brand of cereal is offering you a chance to win a holiday around the world. All you have to do is tell them in 25 words or less why you want it. And you want to win, right?

Well believe it or not there are a small number of easy steps you can take to dramatically increase the odds in your favor. And here they are, free of charge just because I’m such a nice guy…

No Sob Stories!

This tip goes first on the list, because it is the most important. For some reason the first thing that seems to come to people’s minds with these contests and competitions is “how can I get them to pity me?” It sounds like a great plan as an entrant, but speaking from personal experience as a judge in these contests, I can tell you that it’s a complete turnoff.

Nonetheless people will try ever trick in the book…

We can’t pay the rent… our house burnt down… everybody in my family has cancer… I need 16 operations so that my dog stops being depressed and I can have my leg re-attached then pay the rent and burn the house down… well you get the point.

Let me make it very clear – this tactic does not work, even if you are telling the truth, because:

1. Judges can’t verify your claims, so anyone can make up any story they like.

2. After a while these entries become so numerous and laborious that they don’t stand out.

All that you will do is send the judge into a depression spiral. More to the point, you will end up highlighting your competitors’ entries because theirs are more enjoyable to read.

Be Creative and Make it Fun to Read

Depending on the number of entrants, judges can often have a lot of text to read. As their head slumps closer and closer to the desk and the coffee starts to wear off, your entry is going to need to have something special about it to get noticed. The best thing you can do is get creative. And I mean really thinking outside of the box (if you are thinking poetry right now, you are not thinking hard enough).

My advice to you here is simple. If you come up with something different and make it really stand out, and MAKE IT FUNNY, you will win. When I hear a fellow judge burst out into laughter at his or her desk, 9 times out of 10 he or she is reading the winner. I can usually even tell which entry they are reading because I had the same reaction when I first read it.

If you can manufacture a reaction like this, chances are you are on a winner. I suggest using your friends and family as test dummies here. If they end up in a ball rolling around the floor you’ve done your job. If the best you get is “not bad”, “(chuckle) very good” or even “looks good to me”, then you need to go back to the drawing board.

Now that’s not to say every winner will be comical or humorous, but your entry needs to stand out as somehow being impressive or interesting.

Stick to the Rules and Stay on Topic

If I had a penny for every time a “words or less” entry broke the rules, I would currently be Bahamas and you would be on your own with this one. Take the time to read the rules, terms and conditions before entering. And if you are provided with a quick-start guide to entering a competition, read it over at least 3 times and make sure you take the advice onboard.

In general, you should always:

· Stay within the word limit

· Write in direct response to the competition’s question or topic (really important!)

· Avoid coarse language

· Submit your entry in the language requested

Short, Sharp, Shiny

Just because you are allowed to use 25 words doesn’t mean you should. If your entry says what you want it to say, don’t fill up the rest of your word limit by repeating yourself or adding useless details. All you end up doing is diluting your message.

Polish It!

So it took you 5 minutes (or maybe 2 days) to create your entry. Would another 5 minutes of proofreading kill you? No, of course not, but it will definitely help you win. Check your grammar, check your punctuation, check your capitalization and check your spelling. Presentation makes your entry easier to read, and will greatly improve your chances.

Submit It

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But how many times have you seen a competition you would like to enter, only to let the due date slip by? As the saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. And if you use the advice I’ve just given you, your chances of coming out on top will greatly improve.

So what are you waiting for?

Writing a Rap Song

sulle tracce di Hemingway

Writing a rap song, can be achieved by following some basic writing steps of structure and pattern. Rap as a genre may seem limited by a predefined set of beats and versa, but there's a lot more that goes into a rap song than these few elements. Each rap song has parts that are common to all songs, regardless of the genre or artist. For instance, each rap has a beat, hook, chorus, and versa; it is the arrangement of these components that differs from song to song and artist to artist.

Usually, when writing a rap song, the artist will start by working on the beat before writing the lyrics and vocal tracks. This is because once the instrumental beat is finished, it is usually easier to write lyrics to the beat than than writing the lyrics first and then trying to develop a beat that would go with the lyrics. Most raps consist of a drum track and bass line that plays along with the beat. Not many instrumental parts are required because the main part of a rap is the vocal track, specifically the hook or chorus that plays on repeat between the different versions.

These days, however, rap songs are becoming more experimental and collaborative, and many artists collaborate with other rappers during the process of writing a rap song. This leads to a final product that is a combination of two different rap styles that should complement one another. In addition, it forms a new style and makes the song writing process more manageable and interesting as each artist has a unique musical perspective.

Sometimes along with the drum tracks and bass lines, a rap tune samples loops of tracks by other artists, not necessarily related to the rap genre. Such samples layer over the original instrumental tracks to add another dimension to the song. This brings about a combination of two different genres that collaborate for writing a rap song that has all the elements of a classic rap, with the beat, hook, and versa as well as a loop sample track that adds a new layer to the rap tune .

Writing a rap song requires practice and editing. In all likelihood, your first draft will be mediocre at best. That is fine and is to be expected. Just rewrite, reorganiz, and rework it until you achieve the desired affect. You can also hire a rap writer and editor to help turn your rough draft into a completed song.

Basic Elements of Technical Writing

Golden lane - Prague

Technical writing is a specialised form of writing.

Its goal is to help readers use a technology or to understand a process, product or concept. Often these processes, products or concepts are complex, but need to be expressed in a much simpler, reader-friendly form.

So within the technical writing genre, you will find: technical reports, installation and maintenance manuals, proposals, white papers, on-line help, process standards, work instructions and procedures.

While each discipline has its specific requirements, some basic elements are common. But before looking at those, the most important thing a technical writer must consider is the audience.

Audience:

  • How familiar are readers with the subject and with the specialised terms and abbreviations you need to use?
  • What is the best way to explain those terms or shortened forms – footnotes, endnotes, glossary, table of abbreviations, appendix, links?
  • Do you need to accommodate secondary readers (e.g. the manager or financier who will make the decision about the proposal), and how will you do that?

Now for those all-important elements:

  1. Clarity – The logical flow of the document will help readers understand the content. It can be useful to ask someone who is not familiar with the topic to review your writing before you finalise it. Using headings, illustrations, graphs or tables can be useful – your aim is to make it as easy as possible for your readers to understand what you’ve written. Consider how the way the text sits on the page or screen – another clue to maximising clarity for your readers.
  2. Accuracy – The information and the interpretation of data that you present must be accurate. If it’s not, your readers will question the credibility of the content. Be careful to clearly differentiate between fact and opinion, and to accurately cite references to other works.
  3. Brevity – Strive to find the balance between the amount of information presented and the time needed to read the document. Remember that you can use an appendix or link to provide supplementary or background information. Consider using an illustration, table or graph rather than words to explain a concept – but remember, if you use a ‘visual’, don’t give a long written explanation.
  4. Sentence length – Generally, complex or unfamiliar concepts are best presented in shorter sentences. This will give readers time to digest small pieces of information before moving on to the next. While this can be difficult to achieve, try to aim for approximately 25 words per sentence. If you find you’ve written a series of long sentences, look for ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘however’ and similar words where you can break the sentence.
  5. Paragraphs – The age-old rule about one topic per paragraph is a useful guide. That doesn’t mean that you can have only one paragraph for each topic, but it does mean that having only one topic in each paragraph makes for clear, logical writing.
  6. Reader-centricity – You are writing for your readers. Make it as easy as possible for them to understand your work.

Keep these basic elements and other principles in mind as you undertake your technical writing tasks.

Pros and Cons of Morning After Pills

Qoʻqon UZ - Dakhmai-Shokhon 06

The use of morning after pill has both advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Here are a few pros and cons you need to be aware of:

Pros:

1. It can be your last resort to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

2. If you are 17 years of age or over, you don’t need a prescription to buy morning after pills. You can have it soon after having an unprotected sex.

3. By consuming these pills, you can avoid unnecessary stress and tension about an unwanted pregnancy.

4. Even if the pills fail to prevent pregnancy, they will not cause any harm to the baby.

5. These pills won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant in the future. Your fertility remains the same and returns with your next period.

6. Studies have shown that morning after pills effectively lower the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

Cons:

1. They can cause certain side effects. Some common morning after pills side effects are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, irregular bleeding and breast tenderness.

2. Morning after pills can also cause some serious side effects such as liver disorders, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure and blood clots in the heart, intestines and lungs.

3. They can cause serious health complications in women suffering from diabetes, heart diseases and migraine.

4. They can also have adverse effects in women, who are over 35 years of age and have cardiovascular disorders, deep vein thrombosis, liver problems and breast cancer.

5. The use of morning after pill raises the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. In such a pregnancy, the embryo gets lodged in the fallopian tubes rather than the womb. If you are using morning after pills, the pregnancy can remain undetected. This is because the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are similar to the side effects of the pills: nausea and abdominal pain. If remain undetected for a long time, it can prove to be fatal.

6. Other than these side effects, the body may have an allergic reaction to the drug, causing an outbreak of rash and breathing problems.

7. Apart from physical side effects to the body, the emergency contraceptive pills can also have a wider social impact. The easy over-the-counter access to the emergency contraceptive pill raises questions about its misuse. Many people are of the view that it may lead to an increase in promiscuity, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and increased sexual violence against women.

Though the use of morning after pill becomes essential to avoid pregnancy after an unprotected sex, its usage must be avoided on regular basis.

Writing a Letter for The College Admissions Office

Shades of Praguian Yellow

When actively seeking information from colleges, you will need to write a letter to the college admissions office. Since you are going to be seeking information from many different colleges, you do not want to write one individual letter for each college. This can be very time-consuming and tedious work. You will want to create one letter or template that can be individualized for each college. Make one generic letter and then print it however many times you need to and send it to whatever colleges you are interested in.

Your letter should be addressed to the college admissions office. You should address the dean of admissions and tell them you are very interested in their college and you are seriously considering enrolling. Give them one good reason why you are considering going to college there.

All you need is just a basic letter. An example of one can be found below.

The name and address of the college you want to apply to, as well as the name of the dean of admissions at the top of the letter goes here.

Dear ABC college…

I am a senior at XYZ high school in city, state. I would like to obtain some information on different colleges that I may choose to attend after graduation. Because ABC college offers electrical engineering, I am considering enrolling at your school because I am interested in the subject.

Please send me any and all available information about your college. Please send me information about admission requirements, courses, financial aid, and what housing options are available near campus. Please also include anything else you would like me to know about ABC college. The information you send can help me learn more about your college and making an informed decision about my future. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

John Q. student

Feel free to use any variation of this letter you like. There is no set template and it can be used in whatever way you see fit, as it is just an example. The goal is to show you that typing up a letter to obtain information about whatever college or university you are interested in can be done very quickly. You will need to address each letter individually, as well as personalize the letter with whatever school you are applying. The goal here is to have a template to make it very fast and efficient.

Basic Elements of Technical Writing

Gateway to Upper Wharfedale

Technical writing is a specialised form of writing.

Its goal is to help readers use a technology or to understand a process, product or concept. Often these processes, products or concepts are complex, but need to be expressed in a much simpler, reader-friendly form.

So within the technical writing genre, you will find: technical reports, installation and maintenance manuals, proposals, white papers, on-line help, process standards, work instructions and procedures.

While each discipline has its specific requirements, some basic elements are common. But before looking at those, the most important thing a technical writer must consider is the audience.

Audience:

  • How familiar are readers with the subject and with the specialised terms and abbreviations you need to use?
  • What is the best way to explain those terms or shortened forms – footnotes, endnotes, glossary, table of abbreviations, appendix, links?
  • Do you need to accommodate secondary readers (e.g. the manager or financier who will make the decision about the proposal), and how will you do that?

Now for those all-important elements:

  1. Clarity – The logical flow of the document will help readers understand the content. It can be useful to ask someone who is not familiar with the topic to review your writing before you finalise it. Using headings, illustrations, graphs or tables can be useful – your aim is to make it as easy as possible for your readers to understand what you’ve written. Consider how the way the text sits on the page or screen – another clue to maximising clarity for your readers.
  2. Accuracy – The information and the interpretation of data that you present must be accurate. If it’s not, your readers will question the credibility of the content. Be careful to clearly differentiate between fact and opinion, and to accurately cite references to other works.
  3. Brevity – Strive to find the balance between the amount of information presented and the time needed to read the document. Remember that you can use an appendix or link to provide supplementary or background information. Consider using an illustration, table or graph rather than words to explain a concept – but remember, if you use a ‘visual’, don’t give a long written explanation.
  4. Sentence length – Generally, complex or unfamiliar concepts are best presented in shorter sentences. This will give readers time to digest small pieces of information before moving on to the next. While this can be difficult to achieve, try to aim for approximately 25 words per sentence. If you find you’ve written a series of long sentences, look for ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘however’ and similar words where you can break the sentence.
  5. Paragraphs – The age-old rule about one topic per paragraph is a useful guide. That doesn’t mean that you can have only one paragraph for each topic, but it does mean that having only one topic in each paragraph makes for clear, logical writing.
  6. Reader-centricity – You are writing for your readers. Make it as easy as possible for them to understand your work.

Keep these basic elements and other principles in mind as you undertake your technical writing tasks.

Writing Without Rules

Sissinghurst Castle and Garden - A Window on its Inner Beauty

How does that work when you have writer's block? Even famous authors can suffer from writer's block. It can be very frustrating when you have a deadline and have to get that essay or report in on time.

What causes writer's block? Think back to your time in English class in school. Your teacher wants you to write an essay about Shakespeare or your thoughts on a particular poem for your homework. This you find boring. As you sit at home with your copy book open on a blank page the clock ticks loudly in the background. It is not happening. There is no enjoyment in the task. Teacher has set certain criteria about what has to be included in the essay, how long the essay should be, specific very important points that need to be expanded on and of course your own opinion. The list is endless and monotonous. The deadline is tomorrow morning first thing.

The stress levels are fairly high now. Where has the fun gone? Many adults have memories from school similar to this one. Now when you sit down to prepare a report or article this memory from your school years is playing in the back of your mind. You may not be aware of it but if you are sitting in front of a blank screen or piece of paper then there is a traumatic memory in there somewhere from your school days.

So what can you do about writer's block? Give this exercise a go before you start. Hold a pen in your non-dominant hand. Hold the palm of your other hand in front of you and draw what you see without looking at the page. Keep your eyes focused on all the creases and undulations of the palm of your hand. This is not about the finished piece of artwork. This is about the process.

You activate the right side of your brain when you draw with your non-dominant hand. This part of your brain is responsible for your creativity. The left side of your brain is you logical and analytical side. This is the side where you can get thought up in all the detail – such as all the points the teacher wanted included in the essay, the length of the essay and all the other 'teachers' rules from you school days.

When you activate the right side of your brain you will release your creativity and the ideas will start to flow. It will be a lot easier to write. Forget all the rules which the English teacher set. The only rule here is there are no rules. Give it a go and have fun writing without rules.