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Inspiration for Writers

The Struggle to Say No

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

In my last blog article I mentioned a quote from John Maxwell where he discussed making time in his schedule to write. He said, “I need to be inaccessible to be effective.” This comment really resonated with the women in my writers critique group as they talked about their struggle to say no to all the demands of those around them. One said, “I feel like I always need to be accessible whether that be for family, phone calls, or emails.”

Being inaccessible means carving out set periods of time when the people in your life understand you need to write.  This is a time you mark on your calendar and, aside from an emergency, a time you ask the people in your life to honor and respect. You may experience resistance to your request to be alone, but stay firm if writing is a priority for you.

Categories
Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Avoid the Most Common Writing Mistakes

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Several of my coaching clients are writers and speakers who surprisingly make similar mistakes in their writing.  Here are six suggestions I find myself repeating, which you may find helpful.

1. Write and let it sit for awhile.

Your writing should be allowed to age, like great relationships.  While you may not always have the luxury of time, plan ahead when possible. Work on other projects and come back to what you’ve written a couple of weeks later.  You’ll be stunned at what you find that you did not notice earlier.

2.  Hire a professional editor.

Even after coming back to your writing after a few weeks, you’ll miss some things that an editor will quickly notice. Whether they make your project more concise or catch a fatal flaw, editing is worth the financial investment.  A professional writer needs the help of a professional editor. 

Categories
Inspiration for Writers

Captivating Content

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

Recently, someone gave me a list with “21 Sure-Fire Content Ideas.” Captivating content, the list suggested, reminds readers of important things like “life is short,” “our dreams can come true,” and “we matter.” The list also recommended content that causes us to laugh, a topic that educates and entertains us or shares something with unexpected twists and turns. [i]

When I look for a writing topic for a new article or book, I often ask myself questions like these:

  • Do I know something that will help people feel better or look better?
  • How can I encourage others or enable them to experience more meaning and fulfillment?
  • Is there a problem I can help people solve?

Content that draws people in with a story is also good.

For instance, the following story adapted from my book A Gift of Mourning Glories: Restoring Your Life after Loss tells about the most important decision I ever made.

Categories
Inspiration for Writers

Four Styles Of Communication

Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer

Georgia Shaffer from Pennsylvania

An essential part of writing is understanding the various communication styles of your readers. For example, some people might skip over what they consider nonessential details just to get to your point. Other people will curl up in a corner and savor the words as they read your complete article or book. Some will find delight in your most interesting facts and details while other readers gain joy from the energy, enthusiasm and emotions of your stories.

Using the four personalities described in the book Wired that Way written by Marita Littauer, here’s a brief overview that includes writing tips for each personality.