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Friday

Why do writers write?




It’s an addiction. Real writers cannot help but write. Most of us are helplessly caught up in the passion for words, particularly printed words.

Perhaps the wordsmithing addiction is encoded into a writer’s DNA. Maybe a love of writing is simply an acquired taste or even a learned discipline. Still, verbal expression is habit-forming, particularly to those who are verbally inclined. For whatever reason, a passion for phrasings arises spontaneously in writers.

Most often, this seems to happen in the darkest sleepless hours of the night, in the center of a maelstrom of crowded commuters, or even in the middle of a lecture or speech. Inspiration knows no timetable. And, when it hits, most writers feel the need to record the words immediately. At such times, nothing else counts.

What motivates writers?

Certainly, many writers do ply their craft for pay. Writing careers abound for advertising copywriters, campaign scriptwriters, corporate speechwriters, dramatic scriptwriters, ghostwriters, magazine feature writers, news reporters, promotional slogan writers, and other communications professionals.

Other writers adore collecting their own bylines, finding satisfaction by finding their own names in print.

Perhaps some even write because they want to insist their ideas are right, or they wish to have the last word (even for a moment) on a topic about which they are particularly passionate.

Still, for most writers, the act of writing itself is reward enough. Playing with creative phrasings and finding just the right wording to express an idea or emotion fascinates writers. Wordplay excites writers. Clever communication draws us.

To the writer, a well-planned paragraph can be a work of art.

A real writer may find editing and revising his or her own sentences, draft after draft, as intriguing as an athlete may find practicing new skills and strategies for his or her sport.

How can you tell if you are a writer?

Do you love to write? Do you wonder about wordings? Do you fantasize about phrasings? Do double-entendres delight you? Do you memorize meters and reiterate rhythm when you speak or write? Do you dream of authorship, press tours, and book signings?

A real writer actually enjoys writing letters and notes. He or she may journal for the pure joy of putting pen to paper. True wordsmiths enthusiastically edit their emails and tap out precise text messages. After all, for a real writer, every word shared reflects upon his or her writing reputation.

Not for fame or fortune?

Most writers will never become best-selling published authors. But they don’t care. Those who write for the love of words are addicted to a passion for expression, rather than popularity or profit.

A real writer will share the written word in any media possible. From keyboards to crayons, true writers cannot be stopped. Wrong or right, a love of writing will persist. A writer’s fingers may fail, and his or her eyesight may fade. Still, the words will find their way from mind to page or screen.


Image/s:
Adapted from public domain artwork

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Wednesday

Breakups are good ... at least, for online readers.




What’s that noise? It’s the sound of a million potential readers, clicking away without stopping to peruse huge blocks of type on their computer screens.

How did it get there?

Well-meaning writers, bloggers, or social networking participants typed their little fingers to the bone to put up content they deemed worthy of sharing. And it may well have been just that. So it’s a shame no one seems to be lingering on those web pages long enough to read.

Graphics, photos, and ads don’t have time to load, because folks click out too soon.

Here’s what the copy looks like.

This is really important stuff. Readers must be missing out. What a shame. Why aren’t they taking the time to wade through this humongous block of type? Maybe if the writer broke up this giant paragraph into smaller, more manageable portions, readers might be more likely to stop and take a look. Perhaps they’d even ponder the content. That would make the whole effort considerably more worthwhile for the writer AND the readers. Holy moley. What a concept. A couple of line returns could make all the difference in the world, so to speak. This is a pretty straightforward idea, but plenty of people don’t consider how daunting a giant mass of unbroken lines of type can seem to a busy web reader. Break it up, already! Better yet, give us a bullet list, a numbered list, or even a couple of subheads. Break it up! Break it up! Break it up! (Think they heard me?)

Phew!


(Gee, maybe Twitter’s onto something with those short posts.)

How can this problem be prevented?

Just hit the ENTER key – at least every few sentences. On Facebook: Hold down the SHIFT key at the same time to start a new paragraph. Readers everywhere will break out in a chorus of thanks.

If you write a blog post or simply update your own Facebook status, please break it up!

Breakups aren’t always a bad thing, especially if they make life easier for readers.


Image/s:
Adapted from public domain artwork

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Monday

50 Mistreated Words and Desecrated Phrases: You’ve got another think coming.




Think again. Any wordsmith think tank would cringe to hear this fractured phrasing. Sure, it’s used plenty, but that doesn’t make it right.



OK, so maybe folks who say, “You’ve got another think coming,” think we should think about other things. It’s kind of a comeuppance, somewhat like saying, "You're way off-base there." But it’s not exactly correct.

“Think” is not a noun. It’s a verb. It’s an action word, even though thinking seems like a more passive activity. As a verb, how can “think” be something you’ve got coming?

Come to think of it, if we really get picky, we’ve also got a problem with “got.” (See what I did there?)

Please, just think about it.

Image/s:
Created by this user

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