Tag Archives: writing

Reasons Why You Should Start Journaling

Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea forever.” – Will Self

why you should start journaling

Believe it or not, but journaling everyday can increase your overall productivity. Every day, we have hundreds of thoughts and ideas we do not pay any attention to. Journaling helps you keep a track of all the progress you have made and all the progress you need to make. If you don’t jot it down right away, there is a good chance you won’t be able to recall a thought five minutes later, let alone when you go to bed at night and contemplate over all you thought about throughout the day. Here’s why you should start journaling:

Journaling Improves Your Insight

As you write down your thoughts and feelings on a piece of paper, you are actually conducting a dialogue with yourself. This draws attention to what you have missed out and allows you to learn more about yourself. Once you have written a few entries, you will gain insight about yourself and the things that surround you. Are you making progress in life? Have you given up those toxic habits that are hindering your productivity? Writing a journal helps you track your progress and allows you to gain insight into new things.

Allows You to Heal

It is important you express yourself and journaling is one of the best ways to do so. Many children who go through depression or show signs of anxiety are advised to write a journal. It helps them express their thoughts into words, words they would normally not have the courage to speak. Expressive writing is a means of healing physically, emotionally and psychologically. Stress often is a result of over thinking or from emotional blockage. It is important that you free your mind and release all the anxiety trapped within you.

Keeps Track Of Your Overall Development

Life happens and life happens fast. Unfortunately, most of the times, we do not stop to look around at the progress we have made or how far we have come. Writing a journal allows you to keep track of your overall development. It allows you to see how much you have changed with time and how far you have come in life. In other words, you can take note of all that you have achieved in life. This way, you can motivate yourself and assure yourself that life hasn’t been a waste of time.

Allows You to Notice the Small, Wonderful Things in Life

Did somebody compliment you about your hair today? Did your meeting at work go exceptionally well? Did you try out a new cuisine today? Perhaps you should note it down. Writing detailed accounts of your day will allow you to focus on the small and wonderful things in life. You may not know this but someday you will look back on your journal entries and smile at the wonderful life you have had.

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The Most Pleasurable Thing About Writing

You are unsure of yourself as a writer or you give up too easily. Then the challenge begins and you struggle day in and day out to get your thoughts down.

the most pleasurable thing about writing

On some days, writing can feel so seamless. On other days, writing takes up the bulk of my day and it is an utter struggle to get a single word down on paper. The process of writing can be grueling, long lasting, and uninspiring. At the same time, finishing that piece you’ve been working on for a while leads to an exhilaration and a sense of accomplishment. This feeling gives me such a high that it becomes the most pleasurable thing about writing to me.

Sense Of Accomplishment

You work long and hard to get your thoughts down on paper. You put in countless hours of work and don’t care who ultimately reads your writing. The fact is, you got it done. This is more than what most people could say about their own works. For you to be able to finish is a testament to your ability as a writer. I know that when I finish a piece of work, I can not help but have a smile on my face because the whole process was challenging. I feel joyful to know that when I set my mind out to do something, I will be able to ultimately have something to show for it.

Boost In Confidence

At the beginning of the writing stage, there is a lack of confidence that exists. You aren’t sure you have what it takes to finish what you wrote down. You are unsure of yourself as a writer or you give up too easily. Then the challenge begins and you struggle day in and day out to get your thoughts down. Doubt sets in and your confidence wanes. But you persist and after finishing, you reflect and ponder as to why you ever question your confidence ever. There is a boost in confidence when you finish your work. This sensation of knowing that you are on top of the world makes you feel like you can put anything you set your heart and mind to. You become ready to tackle the next big thing.

If you think writing is tough, then you are right. It is. But that shouldn’t prevent you from putting in the effort of getting it done. If you have never written anything to its completion, then it’s time for you to really focus on doing so. The feeling you get when all is said and done is beyond anything you can imagine. It motivates you to do even better next time around. You have more faith in yourself and life feels good. If you want to feel this way the rest of your life, then seek to write every day and dedicate yourself to finishing your thoughts and writing it all down.

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Brain Farts When It Comes To Writing

A lack of creativity or imagination in your writing will happen from time to time.

brain farts when it comes to writing

There are some days when you are on top of your writing. Other days, your mind goes blank and you are left wondering, what is it about today that is so different than previous days. Brain farts when it comes to writing will happen. There is no way around it. You will be trying your best to get something down on paper but to no avail. In moments like these, you have to learn to adapt to the lack of spark in your head and don’t let your ego affect you. Brain farts do happen and you have to embrace it when it does comes.

A lack of creativity or imagination in your writing will happen from time to time. This is a natural occurrence for all writers. Learn to embrace the idea that there will be days when you simply have no fresh ideas. Nothing in your life creates any interest at the current time being and that’s okay! You will never live a life where you have an idea every single minute of the day. It’s way too much. Let your brain slow own  once in a while and allow it to flow naturally.

Writer’s Block often gets writers frustrated. When they set aside time to write and feel determined to reach their word limit, it can be a huge pain in the butt to realize that you don’t have anything to write about. You feel ashamed, unproductive, and unsure of your abilities. These feelings will subside. Do not worry. Most writers know that this block will eventually go and you’ll be faced with so much work that everything else will seem to matter little. If you are encountering writers block, let it go. Don’t keep bringing it up in conversations or close yourself off from the world.

There are a few things that can alleviate the brain farts when it comes to writing:

Clear Your Minds

Your minds are all over the place. It’s thinking about your current state, your family, your well-being. Get that all out of your head. It should be as empty as possible. Sit in silence and think about nothing. The more you do so, the more likely a fresh idea will randomly pop into your head. It’ll allow you to write to your hearts content. So yes, make sure you meditate and clear your head out.

Set Aside 15 Minutes For Brainstorming

I find that I do well with a timer when it comes to brainstorming. This allows me to focus on a single task, brainstorming, than anything else. I find that with the timer, it creates more of an internalized pressure to keep me flowing wth ideas. I have fun during this process and it can churn out some really interesting concepts. With this practice, you keep spitballing anything that comes into your head and not limit yourself. Try it out. Buy a timer and see how it works for you.

Brain farts will happen. It’s inevitable. It’s how you handle having these moments will determine what kind of character you are. There may be times where absolutely everything goes wrong. Set your troubles aside and forget it. Approach the next day with much more willpower and determination. You are confident you will overcome these brain farts in your head. I guarantee it. All you have to do is keep it up.

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Write Outside The Box

As you continue to write outside your comfort zone, you will find that by challenging yourself to write, you will notice your writing style will improve.

Write Outside The Box

Everyone talks about thinking outside the box but what if you write outside the box instead? People tend to stick to subjects they know about and are interested in and feel more comfortable writing about. But if you step outside of your comfort zone and write outside of your box, you will gain new perspectives in life.

Writing outside the box requires you to choose a topic you have no interest in or do not think about on a regular basis and to write about it. You may feel underqualified to write about such topic and feel underwhelmed about your piece. As you continue to write outside your comfort zone, you will find that by challenging yourself to write, you will notice your writing style will improve.

I think it is fun to write about things you do not know about. You get to research and learn about all these topics you normally would not have invested time into. As you continue to write more and more, you may stumble upon topics that may ignite passion back into your life.

To write outside the box means you will ultimately be forced to rely on your creativity much more. We are creative creatures and there is so much more depth in us than we realize. We need to access the creativity in our mind and to do that, you need to be challenged. Writing outside the box hits us at all different angles and makes us think from as many perspectives as possible. Recognizing all aspects of life is important being a balanced person.

The more you research about things and the more you write outside the box, the more you will learn about various things in life. Opening yourself to a vast world of information and investing yourself into it will teach you how things work. People should innately love to learn about all walks of life, but they fail to invest time into their education. By choosing to write about stuff you normally would not want to learn about, you are ultimately making yourself more well rounded.

For many of these blog posts, there are times where I am writing outside the box. I second guess my ability to express myself coherently. I debate whether it is worth it to even post about such a topic. But you need to be willing to take the risk and go for it. Take the chance to write about things you have no knowledge about and find yourself grow more in this process. Writing helps us grow and learn. Embrace it and be willing to open yourself to endless possibilities.

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Speech Writing Improves Your Communication Skills

If you jump from topic to topic, it can be overwhelming for someone trying to engage in a conversation with you

Speech Writing Improves Your Communication Skills

Going to an organization like Toastmasters has been a way I can improve my public speaking skills. It has also helped me hone my speech writing ability and help write to a specific audience. I found that the more speeches I wrote, my communication became more and more effective. This is how speech writing can improve your communication skills.

When you are writing a speech, you are creating a certain kind of prose, catered to a specific audience. Depending on the kind of speech you are writing, whether it is supposed to be persuasive or emotional, there is a certain elegance to it that differs from other forms of writing.

I found that in writing a speech and delivering it to an audience, the points I make are more focused. I get to the meat of my topic quickly. This is important when you are communicating with others because you need to be clear in what you say, in order to avoid confusion. Speech writing will take you from Point A to Point B quickly and that will translate to your interactions with others.

Writing speeches improves your communication skills by creating a level of mindfulness in you when you feel you are veering off­track in a conversation. Because of the necessity of being very straightforward, a speech that is all over the place can create a lot of confused listeners. The same thing goes with communication. If you jump from topic to topic, it can be overwhelming for someone trying to engage in a conversation with you. Be succint and straight to the point. Don’t jump all over the place. Getting practice with writing speeches can hone in on that dilemma.

Speech writing sounds intimidating, but it is fun to think about your audience and write to them. Find a subject you enjoy writing about and make some clear points about what you want to say. Toastmasters has developed my ability to communicate better simply by writing more and making sure my points come across clearly. If you have trouble with communicating, then writing a speech may be the key to improvement.

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Why It Is Okay To Feel Uncreative

You need to take life day by day and not always feel like you need to have revolutionary ideas pop into your head.

Why It Is Okay To Feel Uncreative

In today’s world, there is a lot of pressure placed on us to be creative. People expect us to have brilliant ideas and new concepts at the helm. This is unreasonable. It is okay to feel uncreative and I want to assure you of that.

People assume that every individual should be churning out ideas. At a person’s beckoning, if you do not have a solid idea, you are looked at as uninventive and boring. Why do we place this kind of pressure on each other?

It is okay to have days when you do not have any ideas. You need to take life day by day and not always feel like you need to have revolutionary ideas pop into your head. The more you can feel this way, the more relaxed you will become. And being relaxed will open up new creative avenues.

If you need some tips with being creative, however, these are things you can do to help you out.

1. RELAX

First and foremost. Relax. Don’t worry about the pressure that others may be placing on you. Just think about being in the here and now. Know that an idea will pop up eventually and even if it does not happen today, it will come. It is inevitable.

2. BRAINSTORM

Set aside a block of time. Maybe 15-30 minutes. In that block of time, free-write and jot down random ideas. Do not judge your idea. Whatever pops up; write it. You can edit later, but the point is to get your initial thought down on paper.

3. USE A FRIEND

Find a friend and spitball with one another. Not only is this a great way to build a social connection with another person but you are utilizing two minds at once! Find someone that you connect with and take the time to use your imagination and see what you can come up with!

Creativity is truly important, but it is not a necessity to be happy. Learn to appreciate the days that you have where you don’t need to worry or feel the need to create something. You can be content with where you are at in life and what you have before you.

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Outline Your Work

The outlining method requires each writer to come up with a plan. It is the process after your brainstorming session.

Outline Your Work

At the Self Starter Guide, we look for tips that can help writers do the best work they can. We all have different writing strategies that we use when we sit down in front of our laptop or notebook. Some people like to free write while others like to know exactly what they are writing before they start. We feel a combination of either style works well, but we tend to gravitate towards knowing what we want to write before starting. We are a huge proponent of the outlining method and encourage everyone to try it when they can. It will ultimately make writing easier for you if you outline your work.

The outlining method requires each writer to come up with a plan. It is the process after your brainstorming session. After you have a bunch of ideas jotted down, you need to organize the ideas in a chronological order so it makes sense to the audience. You need to take the time to think about the sequence in which you explain your story and ensure that it is logical. Outlining is a writer’s map and provides you with a step by step process in your writing.

Thoughts clearly laid out

With an outline, your thoughts are clearly laid out before you. You know the structure of your content and it becomes easier for you to focus on each paragraph because there is a detailed plan. If you were to free write, you’d be combining ideas and sentences that wouldn’t mix well with one another and this can be jarring to the reader.

Ideas are more natural

I find that by outlining, my ideas come about much more naturally. This is common because since we know exactly what we want to talk about in a paragraph, we can focus all of our attention on that one idea. Rather than be focused on something else to talk about, we bring our attention back to the main idea in that paragraph because our outline reminds us to. Without this sense of structure, we can become unsure of what we want to talk about because we have too many ideas running around in our heads.

Less writer’s block

Writer’s block comes less frequently when I outline. That’s because I don’t have to think too much about what I want to write about. Writer’s block is a huge beast in our community that can derail us creatively and affect us emotionally. Anything that you can do to alleviate this is worthwhile to try out. If you outline your work, you will find that there is less pressure placed on you to come up with ideas. Everything has already been organized in a way so that you just have to focus on putting the words down on paper and making it sound good. You become less concerned with encountering writer’s block because you already know exactly what you want to talk about.

Take the time to outline your work and see how it can improve your writing. You may notice your writing will be more fluid and more powerful. It will read better to your audience. Writing is a challenging task and as writers we need to share our trade secrets such as to outline your work, to help other writers endure this process. As a writer, the more prepared you are before you start typing away, the easier it will feel when you finally commit to the task. Outline your work and see your potential grow.

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Writing Tip: Topics On Specific Days

topics on specific daysThis is a new strategy that we are working with here at the Self Starter Guide. We are fundamentally a self-improvement blog that wants to improve your life in any way we can. We focus on topics such as health to combatting low self-esteem to giving productivity and career advice as well as being a resource for writers. For the first six months of this blog we were writing about any ideas that popped up into our heads but we soon realized that it felt monotonous writing about similar topics over and over again and that there were so many blog posts that were too closely related. We needed to combat this and decided that a great writing tip to have would be to write about different topics on specific days.

At the Self Starter Guide, we come out with posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So every Monday from here on out, we will alternate between posts abouts Productivity and Health & Wellness. On Wednesday, we focus on Writing Tips and Business Development. Finally Friday, it will cater to Personal Improvement and Creativity. As you can see, each day has a topic dedicated to it. We find that this process will freshen up the minds of our readers at the Self Starter Guide.

The biggest improvement that we have seen at the Self Starter Guide with this writing tip is how fresh our creative minds feel. Before it felt like we were dragging. We were constantly repeating ourselves. But now, we are able to come up with new posts and feel excited about writing. If you find yourself struggling with your blog and don’t know what to come up with next, decide to limit yourself to writing about different topics on specific days. You might witness what we are feeling here and it can make your writing process easier.

Writing can be a challenge that we struggle with especially when it comes to idea formations and feeling innovative. When we feel like we are lacking in ideas and not sure what to write, we encounter writer’s block. By writing about different topics on specific days, our mind feels more rejuvenated. It becomes easier to write. You feel more inspired and it’ll lead to more productive content and ultimately, more readership for your blog.

Get yourself to follow this writing tip and see how it can help. Make a plan and to write about a topic on a specific day and see yourself glow with enthusiasm when it comes time to write. Long gone are the days where you are unsure of what to write next. You can feel prepared in your blogging and writing career when you have a sense of what to write about next and not have to worry. We hope that your blog improves and gets great new content as a result of writing about topics on specific days.

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My Daily Journal

journalI like writing in a journal. It allows me to release all the stresses and burden that I have for the day onto a single piece of paper. It unleashes any and all negative energy I have and makes me feel light on my feet and free. That said, writing in a journal can be difficult, especially a daily one. I have found that I struggle over the years to maintain this habit, but it is a useful one to have if you want to improve your skills as a writer.

There are several journals I have that will lead me to success. The first journal I have is a gratitude journal that I write into most mornings. It is a small journal and the entries in them are extremely short. It is a place where I write down one sentence and ask myself “what are you grateful for?” It starts my day on a positive note and allows me the time to analyze my thoughts. Without this journal, I find myself more jaded in my day to day routine.

The main journal though is my Day One app journal on my computer. First and foremost, if you have not yet downloaded Day One, I highly encourage you to download it. It has been a revolutionary part of my life. The app is another writing app that focuses on getting us to write in a journal. We all hear about the importance of writing your thoughts down and Day One helps with that. It has a very sleek and simplistic interface that does what it is meant to do; get you writing.

In this app, I do my best to write one journal entry each day. It has been difficult. There have been times where I went two-three months without writing anything in it and kick myself in the feet for it. What it helps is maintaining this habit of writing every single day and holding yourself accountable for it. This is extremely useful if you do not have a blog and are looking for some form of writing tool that will allow you to write every single day.

My journal is a place where I relinquish myself and allow any thoughts in my head to ooze out. Imagine it being like a creative release and I am spouting out words left and right. It is a great way to start off the day because it gets me energized in the morning and can unwind me down at night. Day One gets me away from writing in a physical journal and is able to store your history of writing on the Cloud, so you would never have to worry about losing your journal again and you’ll find that you will feel safe and protected.

Writing in a journal can do wonders for your life and open your mind up to new ideas. People don’t often do it because it takes a lot of dedication to commit to this daily practice. But you will find that the more you write, the happier you’ll be in your day to day routine and you will be more fresh of mind for what’s to come. You’ll have more control over your emotions and be satisfied with the life you are living. So begin writing in a journal and see your world blast off.

Photo Credit: startupstockphotos.com

Using Corkboards

corkboardOne of the best visual aids that you can use in your professional and creative career is a corkboard. If you have not been utilizing this amazing invention then it is highly encouraged you start. Corkboards can be used in a variety of settings: outlining a script; creating a list of To-Dos; setting up a calendar for you or the office. It has helped me get my thoughts together and I have been more productive ever since incorporating it into my life.

Corkboards allow you to determine the order of sequence of things in a visual format. For example, if you were writing a script, you can place a series of plot points on each of the index cards and you  can arrange the cards so that it is placed in the chronological order you like. You can then step back and see how your whole story makes sense from start to finish. With To Do Lists, each task can have a higher level of priority based on where you place your card. Using visuals is key when it comes to productivity because everything you need to do is right in front of you and you’re able to see the big picture.

Using corkboards stimulates your mind and is a professional and creative way to learn how to be more productive. When your peers walk into your office or room and notice your neatly ordained corkboard hanging on your wall, it’s hard not to admire you for taking the time to set it up. You create this impression that you have a well thought out plan and you are working hard to implement it into your life. You are perceived as creative, prepared and professional. Not only will you get these impressions but you are working your mind anytime you use a corkboard. The mind is getting stimulated and you’re ultimately training yourself to be more visually aware.

The main thing I love about corkboards is the flexibility that comes with using it. I addressed the fact that corkboards allow you to structure your life in a visual format but what makes it so great is that the ease in switching things around. Because you are using index cards to arrange the sequence of things, you can move the index cards to a higher priority if something in your life changes. For example, if I was writing a book and I find that the plot points do not make sense in the order I initially had them, then I would just move the cards around until I felt comfortable with the new layout. It’s easy to add and remove cards and all while doing this, your mind is in full creative mode.

Corkboards seem to be a tool that is forgotten. People see it mainly used in college settings or for a younger generation, but it can be appealing to everyone, in both a professional and personal setting. It can allow you to get things done more efficiently and is an effective way of improving your visualization. Take the time to go out and buy a corkboard for yourself. You’ll find that the investment will be worthwhile.

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