Journal, and then Keep Journaling

If you’ve never journaled before, it’s time to start. Journaling—the practice of writing down your thoughts, impressions, and reactions every day—can help you become a more confident writer. Keeping a journal improves your memory and trains you to record everything you experience in a meaningful way. It’s an invaluable skill: anyone who writes anything should adopt a journaling practice and stick with it for an extended period of time. It’s one of the most reliable ways to find out more about yourself and your writing personality, something you can leverage not just in your creative work but also in order to improve your style and to pitch your books and articles.

These tools and resources can help you start journaling.

  1. One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book

Especially if you’ve never kept a journal before, this small, unintimidating book will make it easy for you to get started and keep going. The book is organized with five lines per page, one for each day of a year, and there’s only enough room to write one or two sentences (preferably one) per day. Once you cycle back to the page you visited in the previous year, you’ll be rewarded with a look back in time at what you were doing and saying on that day in your personal history.

  1. Journaling Techniques to Improve your Writing

Mari L. McCarthy at The Creative Penn has put together a collection of useful information on how journaling can make you a better writer, and how journaling is not writing.

  1. Why Good Writers Keep Journals

Ruth Folit at Writers Store records why “writers from Allen Ginsburg to Virginia Woolf to Victor Hugo” kept journals.

  1. 5 New Ways for Writers to Keep a Journal

If you’re ready to start journaling, Brian Klems at the Writer’s Digest has put together a useful list of modern ways to get started with a journaling practice.

  1. Creative Writing Journal Ideas

This useful page offers constructive ways to begin a journal and keep using it by finding creative ways to gather journaling ideas.

People watch: “The people around you can become fictional characters or the subjects of poems.”

Listen: “Eavesdrop in restaurants, in stores. Listen to your own family and friends — really listen. Not just to what they’re saying, but to the words they use”

“Free-write.” “This technique is especially useful as a warm-up for creative writing or as a cure for writer’s block. The way free-writing works is that you keep your pen moving on the page, normally during a set amount of time”

Read more: there’s a second part to the article that teaches you how to read actively, listen to music for writing, and take inspiration from a technique used by Italo Calvino.

Free Resources for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Free Resources for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups

Today’s marketplace is cluttered and crowded; and this is not exactly good news for entrepreneurs and start-up owners. Fortunately, there are different tools that you can use in order to make your brand stand out. Here are the categories of the must-have tools that you should immediately secure for your business.

A. Business Tools for Success

Since we are in a fairly modern market place, you need to utilize different tools that will empower you to use the Internet as a means to drive and influence business processes. Make sure that you sign up for these tools that will help you get your brand online.

1.   For you to be able to mount a website for free, use the following business tools:

·         Bootstrap Zero – A collection of templates that is wonderfully open-sources

·         WordPress.org or WordPress.com – Allows users to create a website for absolutely no cost

·         Layers – A website builder that you can use with WordPress for absolutely nothing

2.   To create or improve your professional branding, use the following:

·         Logaster

·         Squarespace Free Logo

3.   To generate and track your invoices for free, you can use the following business options:

·         Invoice to Me

·         Wave

·         Free Invoice Generator

4.   To better manage ideas from different parties, these tools will be of so much help:

·         Experiment Board

·         Skitch

·         Germ.io

B. Marketing Resources for Better Market Visibility

For your business to become a running success, you need to use the proper marketing techniques that will promote your business, along with your products and services. If you need help in this front, then you should check out the following tools.

1.   To improve the way that you produce content for your website and your blogs, check out the following:

·         Grammarly

·         ZenPen

·         Story Wars

·         Egg Timer

·         Wattpad

·         Editorial Calendar

2.   To ensure that your SEO process is clean and to analyze the running statistics of your website, you may use the following:

·         Google Analytics

·         Copyscape

·         Quick Sprout

·         SEO Site Checkup

3.   To ensure that you maintain proper market relationship and perception via social media, get your hands on the following marketing resources:

·         Latergram

·         WriteRack

·         SocialRank

C. Design & Code Resources for a Nice Visual Experience

In a marketplace where most business dealings, transactions, and marketing is done online, you cannot and should not underestimate the value of a good design. If you do not have an in-house designer, then you can take care of your basic design needs using the right resources.

1.   For overall resources that you need to strike up inspiration or to work on crafting your vision, you may use the following:

·         Premium Pixels

·         Graphic Burger

·         365 PSD

·         UI Space

2.   If you need a boost in finding your creative design juices, then get inspired with the following resources:

·         MaterialUP

·         UI Cloud

·         Ocean

·         Behance

·         Awwwards

3.   If you want your online copy to jump out of the page using the right typography, use these tools:

·         Typekit

·         Adobe Edge Fonts

·         FontFace Ninja

4.   For other useful tools that will improve the overall visual experience of your platform, check out the following:

·         Sonics

·         Copy Paste Character

·         UI Names

D. Productivity for Profit

Working in an out of office environment can be quite tricky, which is why you need to get your hands on the right tools that will keep you focused. Here are resources that you may use to set the right environment for productivity-driven profit.

1.   To set the right tone – and tune – for working, you can play background sounds using the following tools:

·         Noisli

·         Defonic

·         Octave

·         Free Sound

2.   To keep you focused and to help you avoid environmental distractions, you can improve your attention prowess using the following:

·         Cold Turkey

·         Self Control

3.   If you prefer tending to processes digitally and if remote work is your thing, then you may use these tools to keep ticking your to-do boxes:

·         Nomad Jobs

·         Lastroom

·         Workfrom

·         Founded x Startup Stats

4.   To make it easier to organize files and to collaborate with other workers, use these tools:

·         Pocket

·         Slack

·         Trello

E. Learn with these Resources and Climb your Way to the Top

Being an entrepreneur and managing a successful start-up will entail continuous learning and re-learning. To keep your mind sharp, there are learning tools that you may use at your free time.

1.   To build the foundations of your company with people who are not geographically present, you may use:

·         Founder2be

·         Assembly

·         CoFoundersLab

2.    To access learning resources and curriculum that will add to your business knowledge and gear you with the right business philosophies, check out:

·         Coursera

·         Skillshare

·         The How

·         The Lean LaunchPad

·         Launch This Year

3.   To curate the right tools that will help you on the way to the top, you may use:

·         Product Hunt

·         Startups List

·         Erli Bird

4.   To access newsletters that will deliver relevant information straight to your inbox, use these resources:

·         Email1K

·         Charge What You’re Worth

·         Startup Digest

Writing Prompts and Practices

One of the great things about self-publishing your work is the freedom to choose your own subjects, your book length, your hours, and pretty much everything else. But too much freedom can be stifling. It helps to have a starting point where creativity is concerned.

Most writers are familiar with the practice of using prompts. But traditional prompts can fall short for experienced authors, and for newer writers they can be at turns dull or overwhelming.

Here are some resources for writing prompts and practices that are a bit farther off the beaten path.

  1. The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for your Writing Practice

Created by poets Martha Silano and Kelli Russell Agodon, this calendar-style book of inspiration and poetry prompts is absolutely ideal for every writer. Authors of novels, stories, poetry, nonfiction, and inspirational texts alike will find useful ideas and helpful advice for beginning to write (and beginning to think about writing) in this book.

  1. LearningExpress’s 501 Writing Prompts

For something completely different from The Daily Poet, this is a list of 501 persuasive writing prompts available for free on DePaul University’s website. These prompts challenge you to think about your preconceptions and opinions on a huge range of topics, come up with a persuasive response (or a devil’s advocate position), and then write about it.

This prompts are especially useful for learning to write and think about clichés and stale beliefs in a new way. The prompts range from contemporary issues to educational questions to philosophical questions. One, for instance, provides a good example of the insightful way we can ask ourselves about our own writing practices: “As we grow older, we take on more and more responsibility. Describe a time when you were given a responsibility that you were not ready for.”

  1. Write to Done

Write to Done may look like a time-wasting website at first glance, but

Enough Said

it’s full of useful information that can help you learn about the way you learn and write in “your” ideal way. It’s worth visiting because it aggregates so many different types of content, from articles about how to stop procrastinating to flash fiction exercises to helpful guides for email marketing.

  1. Random First Line of Dialogue

This website generates a random line of dialogue. Even if you aren’t in the mood to write dialogue, these phrases, questions, and exclamations are excellent prompts because many of them are completely unexpected, and each has a different tone than the last.

  1. Qwiklit.com

This website includes prompts, best practices, and writing tools, some of which are delightfully innovative. For instance, their article on using translation to boost creativity is a very worthwhile read.

  1. Craft Talks

There are myriad free craft talks online from distinguished writers. This list of “100 Free Lectures that will Make You a Better Writer” is a great place to start.

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How to Promote Your Author Platform (Website)

A website has become a necessity in today’s business World. As an author, it is essential to have a well-designed and functional website to promote your work. An effective website can be beneficial to your career in so many ways.

How do you promote your author website?

Here’s how;

A clear Domain Name and relevant titles

You can not just stand there.

One of the best ways of promoting your author website is by choosing your domain name carefully. Your domain name should be easy for your target audience to find through Search engines. Consider choosing a domain name that will earn a top SEO ranking to drive increased traffic to your website. Focus on building a solid brand that people can identify by using your name. Using clear relevant and descriptive titles and domain name can be invaluable in your effort to promote your author platform. Desist from using complicated numbers, dashes, words or spellings if you want people to remember your domain name better.

Your Web Design matters

People get attracted by things that look good. There is wisdom in hiring a professional web designer to streamline your author website’s design. A beautifully designed and functional website that has a professional appearance will certainly attract curious prospects online. Your template should be simple yet sophisticated in a beautiful way for your site to make the desired impact. An excellently designed website should have easy navigation, uncluttered visibility and attractive. Quality plus relevant content can be a powerful combination to promote your author website online.

Ignoring ”About Us Page” is a risky business

The greatest mistake many authors do is to neglect the About Us Page. Create a powerful, convincing, interesting and easy to understand about us page informing your target audience how you can add value to their lives. A good page will attract the right crowd to your author platform. Convincing your audience that they will gain abundantly from your website will lead to increased traffic effectively.

Have a Niche audience in mind

Focusing on attracting the right audience can boost your effort in promoting your author platform effectively. With a niche audience in the picture, it becomes extremely easy to create relevant and interesting content to motivate them to keep visiting your site. Remember, it is inevitable to avoid some unpleasant commentary from a few negative minded fans. Of course, not everyone will be impressed with your savvy, highly valuable and interesting content. In this aspect – know it to be so and maintain a thick skin. Consider creating irresistible content that aligns with your target group to increase your author website’s traffic significantly.

Include like and Sharing Options

Including a sharing option is one of the most effective ways of driving

social networking.

increased traffic to your author website. The more people that like and share your website’s content the better for you. Consider adding Pin It, Twitter, Instagram, G+ and Facebook buttons to your content as a way of spreading the word about your work. Make your content a must read for your fans to feel motivated and inspired to share with their friends, colleagues, and relatives.

Try out the above vital tips and see your web traffic increase abundantly.

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Staying Focused

StayFocusd increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites. It is a free app but works on Chrome Only.

An overlooked aspect of self-publishing is dedication. In order to accomplish your self-publishing goals, you need to put in a set amount of time at your work space every day. It’s best to be consistent, to have routines, and to expect results from your writing and working sessions. Inspiration and vision are important, but so are focus and reliability.

The key to working longer and more effectively is to spend quality time at your desk. When you make your work area distraction free, you can easily form habits that allow you to work longer hours and complete the projects you start.

In order to form habits that you can stick with, make sure:

  • you intend to work for a set amount of time when you sit down at your desk
  • keep your desk and your working area clean, but not sterile
  • you reward yourself (but only when you complete projects and milestones!)
Software for Writers. Storybase is intended to inspire your thought about the people and situations of your story

The following tools and resources can help you become more productive in your work area. You’ll start to maximize the time you spend writing and minimize the time you waste on distractions.

  1. Stay Focused and Freedom 

StayFocusd is a free Chrome browser extension that keeps you on task. From their website:

You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, blown through 200 pages of Reddit, read every article in your Twitter feed, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia…

What you haven’t done is WORK.                                                                                  StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

If this sounds familiar, you might want to give StayFocusd a try.

Freedom is a similar app for phones, tablets, and computers with more browser support that costs $2.50 per month after a free trial.

  1. An ergonomic workstation and a footrest 

There are many websites and guides to help you adjust your monitor, chair, and desk height. Sitting up straight at a good angle allows you to work longer without pain or frustration. This website provides a good, comprehensive overview of how to adjust your workspace. Most writers completely overlook the importance of sitting up straight and using a desk correctly. The difference it can make is enormous.

WriteItNow is the ideal writing software for NOVICE AND EXPERIENCED WRITERS of fiction and non-fiction.

It may sound strange if you’ve never used one, but a footrest can make the time you spend at your desk much more comfortable. There are many different types of footrests: heated, cooled, adjustable, and so forth.Focus Writer

3. FocusWriter

FocusWriter goes a step further than StayFocusd. Designed for writers, it includes tools like an alarm clock, a goal tracker, custom background images, mouse gestures, and more. This software blocks out distractions. One of the nicest things about FocusWriter is its ability to let you focus on a single paragraph. The feature goes above and beyond in helping you stay hyper-focused on the task you have at hand, making it easy for you to work through distractions and keep yourself on task. FocusWriter is a free download.

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