Month: July 2013

Spirituality pervades all realms of our being

Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of our existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being. Someone will say, “I come alive when I listen to music,” or  “I come to life when I garden,” or “I come alive when I play golf. “Wherever we come alive, that is the area in which we are  spiritual. And then we can say, “I know at least how one is spiritual in that area.” To be vital, awake, aware, an all areas of our lives is the task that is never accomplished, but it remains the goal. — Brother David Stteindl-Rast in The Music of Silence Photo courtesy of Morguefile

Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Opinion Essay

Originally posted on Find Your Creative Muse:
Wednesday, July-17-13 By Dave Hood The opinion essay (also called a commentary)  is a form of creative nonfiction writing. It is part of the category of personal essay, along with the personal narrative essay, the meditative essay, the lyrical essay, and collage essay. As an  aspiring creative writer, you’ll want to share your life stories and  your opinions about events, topics, issues, and people. The opinion essay or commentary allows you to do this. You don’t have to prove your point conclusively, or state the other half of the argument, but you must present a logical argument, which is based on evidence, facts, and reasons. The more evidence you provide for your opinion, the more powerful your argument. The opinion essay provides you with a way to share your opinion about any topic. For instance: Does God exist? Is capital punishment cruel and unusual punishment? Do you support abortion?  Do you agree with the war on terror? You can read opinion pieces or social commentaries in the newspaper,…

Writing About What One Knows Best

I had often wondered about the advice that had been given to writers for who knows how long: “Write what you know.” Since this advice had been handed on from generations past, I never questioned it.  Now that I am no longer a professional writer, I find it easier to go against the grain, so to speak, and question what I read and hear about the writing craft. This is one advice I cannot now bring myself to believe.  Why?  Because if I wrote only about what I know, then I would be limiting myself considerably.  Come to think of it, through the years that I worked as a feature writer, I never followed this advice. Thank goodness I didn’t.  Otherwise, I would have lost many opportunities to explore areas of life that I knew nothing about.  As a feature writer, I was always on the look-out for good story sources – and there were no limits. If I had limited myself then to what I knew, I would have probably written only a fraction …

I Just Wrote a Sneeze Page

It’s day 11 of yeah write’s 31 dbbb challenge, and today’s task is to create a sneeze page. According to Kerstin Auer, who wrote the introduction to today’s lesson, “A sneeze page is an actual page on your blog, reserved for your very best posts, posts on a certain topic or even monthly features.” Kersten  adds that, “As with everything else (at least as far as your blog is concerned), the possibilities are endless. The purpose, however, is the common thread: to show off the best of your blogging, hopefully attract new readers and turn them into loyal ones.” Having a sneeze page on your blog is thus having a list of the best blog posts you’ve written (hopefully the list will be long). It spares your readers from going through your archives while giving your blog an extra boost – readers would most likely want to see what your best posts are. I gave my sneeze page the title “Pages that Rock,” and it appears on the blog menu.  Hopefully, you’ll click on the …

For Bloggers and Writers

Blog hopping is one activity that we should try now and then.  Discovering new blogs is like discovering new places – you experience new vistas, meet interesting people and learn something new. Here are some blogs posts that I discovered and read over the past weeks. I hope you’ll have the time to explore these sites: A New Writing Challenge: 31 Days of Letters   Micaela D’eigh writes about a unique writing challenge Stealing Creative Inspiration from Austin Kleon  Marial Shea writes about some very creative ideas from Austin Kleon 6 Ways to Defend Your Blog Copyright WordCount’s Michelle Rafter tells bloggers how they can stop online plagiarism Top 5 Reasons to Keep a Journal Victoria Musgrave has been journaling daily since she was 12.  She shares her views on why we should all keep a journal  The Bright Side Of A 30 Day Challenge Vilma Sceusa gives advice on how to survive a 30-day blogging challenge Anatomy of a Writers Workshop Ever wondered what it’s like to attend a writer’s workshop? Annette Gendler gives us a peek at life …

Generate 10 Blog Posts Through Mind Mapping

Over at yeah write‘s 31 dbbb, we learned how to come up with 10 blog posts through mind mapping, a technique  that allows the brain to open up and freely explore. By using Tony Buzan’s mind mapping technique, you will allow your mind to enjoy the freedom to explore heretofore undiscovered areas of your brain.  Buzan says mind mapping “harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, color and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner.” No to outlines, yes to branching The sequential linear outline is out, mainly because it’s left-brained thinking.  What’s in is using both sides of our brain through mind mapping.  During mind mapping,  ideas come from the center—a main source, or focal point—and radiates outwards with as many rays as our minds can conceive. This is whole-brain thinking. In 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, Darren Rowse shows us how he came up with so many blog post ideas from a single blog post he had previously written.  Copying his style of mind mapping, …

yeah write’s 31 dbbb

This July, I intended to join yeah write’s 31 dbbb (days to better blogging), which is based upon Darren Rowse’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.  But as fate would have it, life kicked in and got in the way of writing (again).  Anyway, there’s such a thing as catching up, which is what I’m trying to do with this blog post. Installing a stats tracker Our first task was to install a stats tracker on our blog.  Why? yeah write’s editors explain: “It’s a good way to know how your readers are responding to each improvement to your blog along the way. Are they staying to read? Are they jumping ship in the first 30 seconds? What search engine terms are they using to find you?”  They recommend Google Analytics and Clicky. I chose Clicky simply because it was easier to install. Write or Re-write an elevator pitch On the second day, we were asked to write or re-write our blog’s elevator pitch, or tagline.  Since I hadn’t done that yet, I’ll do it now.  My blog’s …