Overcoming the Fear of Judgement as a Writer

Fear of Judgement

 

I write a couple of sentences and then delete them just as fast. They were horrible. No one will ever want to read this garbage. Why do I even bother trying to write? Maybe I’m not meant to be a writer, I have no talent.

 

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you aren’t alone. Every author that ever put pen to paper (or finger to key) has suffered writer’s block at one point or another. Even Ernest Hemingway would complain that he suffered writer’s block on a daily basis because of his feeling that his readers’ huge expectations were weighing on him.

 

The biggest cause of writer’s block

Most people don’t realize it, but writer’s block usually has nothing to do with the lack of creativity, or the lack of ability. Most of the time writer’s block is caused when we begin worrying that our writing won’t be good enough.

 

You begin to feel that you’re going to fail. The irony of it is, the more you need your writing to be amazing, the less it will be. The cure for this is to stop planning and worrying about being published and let your imagination take over to produce whatever it feels. Train yourself to believe that you’re writing only for yourself and no one else will ever see it.

 

By removing the pressure, and convincing yourself to not care so much about whether or not your writing is good enough, writing becomes fun again and your creativity begins to flow.

 

They’re more afraid of you then you are of them

Ok, it’s true, this statement is usually meant for when a vicious animal is snarling at you, but the same is true in this case as well. What makes you think that you’re the only person in the world afraid of being judged?

 

Everyone is afraid of being judged, however, some people are just better at hiding it than others are. So, you aren’t alone, everyone out there would be reacting the same way if they were in your shoes.

 

There are several big time authors out there that have said, after they have published their tenth bestseller or accepted another award, “I don’t deserve this, there are plenty of authors better than me out there.”

 

Ignore the haters

One of Mom’s famous sayings is still just as difficult to achieve, but it’s a very helpful suggestion. It may be true that one nasty review has a tendency to overshadow twenty compliments, however, for no other reason than keeping your sanity through life you owe it to yourself to learn to just ignore nasty remarks.

 

Learn from helpful criticism and learn from compliments as well, but nasty, unproductive comments serve no purpose, so just don’t even waste your time with them. Notice I said learn from helpful criticism. None of us are perfect and helpful criticism shouldn’t be considered a nasty comment or taken as a failure, but as a valuable lesson that you can use to improve yourself and your writing.

 

I truly hope these suggestions help you even a little. Most times it’s easier said than done, but if you can just learn to relax and write for yourself you will not only be a much more productive writer but a much happier and healthier one.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

How to Become a Better Writer

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I could’ve easily titled this article, “How to Become a Great Writer”, however, being a great writer isn’t really relevant. And, you know, as well as I do, you need to walk before you can run. So, odds are my blog article most likely will not hold the secret to literary success.

 

It’s more important to be the best you can at whatever you do, especially writing. Anyone can write a book. If you have a good story, a good imagination and are great at editing, you are well on your way to being a great writer. I also don’t mean to imply that with these three abilities alone you will be a great writer.

 

Here are some tips I’ve put together to help you hone your skills and put you on the right track to becoming the best writer that you can be, which makes you a great writer to you.

 

You don’t need to write in any certain order

The most important thing to do is to write. You don’t need to write your story from beginning to end, in that specific order.

 

Obviously, a story is meant to be read from beginning to end. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be written that way. Go with what works for you, just write. If you have an idea for writing the middle of the book first, go for it.

 

Then fill in the other parts and chapters as they come to you, even if you write the ending next and then the beginning. Don’t hinder your artistic abilities with a regimented process.

 

Have two or more irons in the fire

In regards to writer’s block, it isn’t a bad idea to work on more than just one story at a time. Work on the one story until you hit a road block, then maybe you’ll have ideas for the second until you figure out how you want to proceed with the first. This way you are always working, always thinking, always creating.

 

Just Write

Don’t worry about mistakes while you’re writing, just write. If your word processor draws attention to misspelled words (a red line under errors), turn it off. It is much more important to get your thoughts down on paper (screen) than it is to edit the document as you go.

 

Even if you edit the content as you write it, you will still find more mistakes when you are doing your editing after you’re finished writing. Worrying about your grammar distracts your train of thought. It’s much more important to get all of your thoughts out, then having all your words spelled correctly.

 

Ask for, and welcome criticism

Toughen your skin, successful writers aren’t sissies, they are gladiators! Find yourself a professional writer or editor and ask them to look at your work with a critical eye. Watch out for friends and family because they will, most likely, not want to hurt your feelings, whether intentionally or not by telling you where your mistakes are and what you need to change.

 

No one is born with a silver pen in their hand, being a great writer takes time, perseverance and an education from the good old school of hard knocks.

 

I can guarantee that your first piece will not be a masterpiece, however, if you love to write and really want to tell your story, don’t give up. I can tell you this with authority because, as with most writers, I’m living proof of what I’m telling you.

 

You want someone to give it to you straight, no sugarcoating. Even if they need to be cruel, the important thing is that you get the point, make the changes and, most of all, learn from the mistakes.

 

Create your own workspace

You need a place where you can go that is all business, no TV, no radio, no one else. It’s trendy to take your laptop to a coffee shop and write. Being trendy isn’t going to get your book written.

 

It is much more important to have an area, or room that is all business. A place set aside for only writing and nothing else and your time spent there should only be used for writing. You need a place with a door to shut the world out for the amount of time you have to dedicate to your art.

 

Manage your time wisely

Set aside days and times to write and stick to them, just like any other job. To some, your writing time will be seen as “flexible time”, nothing could be further from the truth. When you decide on your writing time, it needs to be sacred and just as important as any other obligation you have in your life. Your writing time shouldn’t be negotiable.

 

By no stretch of the imagination are these six tips all you need to become a successful writer. Writing is hard work, don’t let anyone tell you any different. However, they will help to get you started on the right track and with patience, perseverance and a sense of purpose, you will become the best writer you can be. If you love to write it will come through on the pages.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs including original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 15+ years of experience to work for you.

A Thank You to My Followers

I have to admit, the title for this article “A Thank You to My Followers” sounds a bit, “how shall I say”, narcissistic. While writing it I immediately got a mental picture of me standing atop a grand balcony, my arms stretched out in an “English Queen” wave.

 

I’m looking down on the millions of my followers crowded into a courtyard just to be as near to me as possible. Somewhere in the distance the soft sounds of “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” are floating in on a soft spring breeze.

 

Too far, you say?

 

Yes, I do have a vivid imagination, however, I hope that made you laugh. I enjoy making people laugh because when they’re laughing, they don’t have time to think about harming their fellow man/woman.

 

My actual intent for this article is to thank all of the people who have taken time out of their hectic, busy life, just to read one of my articles. And if that weren’t enough, those who have found my content so engaging that they felt it necessary to join the conversation, I thank you.

 

You see, I’ve been a professional writer for over 10 years now. Even though I do this for a living, I am still humbled when I see people appreciating my work on my site.

 

Even though it’s my job to draw in as much traffic as I can for my clients’ site. I’m still humbled when people come to my site and “Like” an article here and there, and join a conversation because I presented my writing in a way that engaged them.

 

These are the people I want to offer a very sincere and humble, thank you.

 

I give the example of people taking time out of their busy day because I know what “Busy” means.

 

I’ve raised four children and tried desperately to hone my skills, so I could put food on the table. I’ve made mad dashes across town so the two of my children competing in a sport in those opposite destinations could say “Dad came and watched me play … “

 

At many stages of my life if I turned on a computer it was to work. I rarely, if ever, have time to read a site that has to do with one of my (non-existent) hobbies. So, I do understand “Busy” and that’s why I appreciate it when I see how my content, educates people, entertains people, makes people happy, makes them sad, but most of all makes people think.

 

Taking all of that into consideration, I am truly blessed. So thank you, my friends, my brothers and sisters, my readers, I do appreciate you taking the time to read my humble blog.

Does Auto Detailing Increase the Value of a Vehicle?

Does Auto Detailing Increase the Value of a Vehicle

 

The average person keeps their vehicles a lot longer than they have in years past. People are hanging onto their vehicles for 5 – 6 years before trading it in or selling it to replace it with another one. This is 18 months longer than the average amount of time people held onto their current vehicles, before replacing them, back in 2006, and that time frame is expected to keep increasing.

 

The reasons for people hanging on to their vehicles much longer than they used to is because vehicles are being built much better than they ever have, most car loans are for 60 months so the payments can be kept lower and to account for the expense of new cars, as well as the shaky job markets in current years.

 

Since people are keeping their vehicles longer they are exposed to increasingly more wear and tear. This means 18 months’ worth of door dings and scratches picked up in parking lots, rust caused by road salt and other chemicals used during the winter months and the sun’s damaging UV rays. Most people aren’t aware of the gradual decline these elements cause to the shiny appearance of their vehicle.

 

The sun’s damaging UV rays

The largest contributor to vehicle damage are the Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Your vehicle’s paint job has UV inhibitors that absorb the harmful rays to help extend the life of your paint job.

 

However, over time these inhibitors get used up and cause your paint to become cloudy or hazy. This is most notable in headlight lenses. Over time you’ve noticed that your headlight lenses become yellowed, hazy or cloudy.

 

As the UV inhibitors fail, the surface goes from clear to oxidized and cloudy. Commonly, UV inhibitors in automotive paint has a half-life of 5 years. This means that, in five years, half of the UV inhibitors have been used up.

 

Prevention

This severe damage to your vehicle’s paint job can easily be prevented and slowed by having the professionals at Car Care give your vehicle a proper detailing by applying quality wax, sealant and coatings to your vehicle’s finish at proper intervals.

 

Professional grade waxes, sealants and coatings are a layer of protection that bonds to the surface of your paint. They include UV inhibitors that protect your paint and help extend the life of your paint’s own UV inhibitors by absorbing the UV rays. They also add more shine and gloss to your vehicle, which greatly improves its appearance.

 

Whether you plan to keep your vehicle till it’s very last leg is outside the grave, or you’re planning on selling your it within a specific length of time, your vehicle’s appearance is extremely important.

 

It’s a proven fact, the better your vehicle looks the more money you’ll be able to get out of it when it does come time to sell it and get a newer model. Along with looking good, keeping your car a clean as possible helps all the components work better.

 

So, whatever your plans having your car detailed every so often is a great idea.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. If you enjoyed this article, let me help you with any of your professional content needs. Including professional and original blog articles, website content and all forms of content marketing. Please contact me at michael@mdtcreative.com and I will put my 10+ years of experience to work for you.

6 Reasons You Need Content Marketing TODAY

6 Reasons You Need Content Marketing TODAY

 

When it comes to marketing a startup on the internet, many people are already aware of the tools needed to succeed. These can be website, social media and even local marketing. True, these will align your company on the right path to enter the business world, however, there are other factors to consider when it comes to making an impact online.

 

One of the main factors that needs consideration is the proper use of content marketing. Not everyone is aware of how important content marketing is. That is why I have come up with these six important reasons how a well calculated content marketing campaign can improve your chances.

 

It Builds Brand Awareness

People today look at businesses as much more than a company name. They look at the company as an entity, as an institution. While the Internet has brought a slew of benefits to startups, it also means that a new entity has to be fully aware of the modern marketing tactics that are currently being used.

 

Content marketing allows a business to truly promote its company to customers while educating its users with relevant content. May people will be influenced to try out a new company based on its current efforts, while others might be enjoying a good reputation currently circulating the Internet.

 

Builds Customer Relationship

Along with brand awareness a person begins to develop a good relationship with a company. This however, isn’t the end, more people will return to a website that offers valuable content as well as a service or product, and they maintain that relationship moving forward.

 

Content Marketing is Affordable

One of the great things about content marketing is how affordable it can be. Whether you’re looking to make a global impact, or a local one, content marketing can open up a whole new world of marketing that is both, effective and affordable compared to other marketing options.

 

It’s Widely Used

While it may be easy to assume that your company has a great marketing plan in affect, it’s worth noting that an impressive 89 percent of all startups have a content marketing campaign as a part of their plan to grow their business. This is proof that the old marketing adage still holds true “content is king”.

 

Determine Your Target Audience

Although many users, within your target audience will already have their own regularly visited site they go to for information, there are several online tools available for you to use to discover how to tailor your content to reach your audience.

 

This allows you to continue posting the content that’s reaching your target audience while adjusting the content that’s falling short so it does reach more of the people you’re focused on.

 

Maximise Your ROI

One of the main concerns companies have when considering a marketing plan is their available budget. This isn’t as big a concern with content marketing as it is for other forms of marketing.

 

Content marketing is an estimated 62 percent cheaper than traditional marketing. This means more for your bottom line while achieving better marketing results.

 

There are several different reasons to implement a content marketing plan for your business, whether you have a startup or a business in need of a fresh approach.

 

However, as with any other marketing medium, you need to implement a content marketing plan that will work best for your specific situation.

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I sincerely hope that my blog entertains, helps and gets you thinking. Please take a minute to leave a comment to start and interesting conversation, or add your interesting thoughts to an existing conversation.

 

For more thought provoking articles please check out:

The Secret to Successful UX Design

The Importance of a Responsive Website – Mobile Industry Trends

Why Are Many Google Analytics Keywords “Not Provided”?

How to Develop an Effective Business Signage Plan

The Mini Balance Bike from PUBLIC Bikes

Edgar Allan Poe: The Master of Mystery and the Macabre

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You would be hard pressed to find anyone, especially among our fellow lovers of horror stories and tales of terror, who doesn’t know who Edgar Allan Poe was.

Best known for his poetry and short stories, Poe was also highly regarded as the leading author of Romanticism in American literature and he was one of the earliest American authors of the short story.

Poe’s themes and genres

Edgar Allan Poe’s best known fictional works were in the Gothic genre, which was very popular at the time and the main reason he wrote the genre. The main, recurring themes of a several of Poe’s works dealt with the questions surrounding death, fear of premature burial, coming back from the grave and mourning.

Several of Poe’s works were considered to fall into the dark romanticism genre, which focused on human fallibility and being prone to sin and self-destruction and also the difficulties with adjusting to social acceptance.

Not just another horror story writer

Aside from horror, Poe also wrote satires, humorous stories and hoaxes, which may be a little hard to believe considering the bulk of his other works. Poe was known for using irony and ludicrous extravagance for comic effect. Often times, Poe would use these characteristics of writing as an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity.

Creator of detective fiction

One thing many people don’t realize about Edgar Allan Poe is that he was considered the undisputed “Father” of the Detective Story. Poe literally created the template for all of the great detective fictions to follow. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was the creator of one of the greatest detective fictions of all time, Sherlock Holmes, once said that Poe “was a model for all time.”

Edgar Allan Poe only wrote three “true” detective stories, which included, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter, however, in these three stories he created the standards that have been the foundation for all of the detective stories that followed including:

  • The concept of hiding clues in plain site, so they are overlooked by everyone who is searching for them.
  • The planting of false clues by the criminal.
  • The concept of observation and deduction.
  • The criminal ultimately being the least-likely person

These are only a few of the concepts used in today’s detective stories that Poe created. Poe also wrote other stories that did feature crime and/or mystery, however, they weren’t considered “true” detective stories because they don’t lay out all of the clues for the reader to solve the crime, so they were considered not “playing fair” with the reader even though they are excellent mysteries in their own right.

Poe the literary critic

Aside from his famous and extremely popular short stories and poetry, Edgar Allan Poe was also recognized for his work as a literary critic.

In fact, Poe was mainly recognized as a literary critic during his lifetime. He has been called the most discriminating, philosophical and fearless critic of American literature. Because of his sometimes abrasive reviews, Poe has also been said that, at times, to “use acid instead of ink” when writing his reviews of works in literature, which also gained him the reputation as a “tomahawk man.”

Many people only think of Edgar Allan Poe as the author who wrote The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven, but he has done so much more to entertain, enrich and even teach.

How do Great Writers Come up with Brilliant Ideas?

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As a writer, I’m sure you have struggled with how to come up with a great idea for a story. You aren’t alone, it happens to all of us. Some writers will assume that since they aren’t coming up with a good idea they have writer’s block. This isn’t the case because writer’s block usually has more to do with discounting your work as not being good enough.

 

Coming up with an idea might seem like a random process. However, there are a few simple ways to increase your chances of creating great ideas for your writing. Every writer wants to come up with a great idea every time they start a book but many don’t consider what an idea really is.

 

An idea is a connection, even the simplest idea is a combination of ideas you already have. We are constantly forming these connections spontaneously and unconsciously. It should also be noted that an idea will form when two different thoughts combine in an unexpected or unusual manner.

 

Here are a few tips that will help you develop a reserve of ideas to draw from.

 

Be confident and open minded

Stop thinking you’re not a creative person, or that only a chosen few brilliant minds can create brilliant ideas. You are a writer, no matter what you write you have and can create more ideas.

 

Investigate all ideas, even the ones you think are dumb

Never focus on only coming up with “great” ideas. At first, focus on quantity rather than quality. Most people have trouble coming up with ideas because they’re worried their idea will be “dumb.”

Be open minded

The more exposure you have to different situations, people and places the more options you give your mind to form connections. Try new things, travel, read different books, don’t be afraid to do the things you normally do in a different way.

 

Immediately save all your ideas

Get into the habit of recording all of your ideas. Write them down in a notebook, type them into your tablet or add them to a voice recorder. The way you record them isn’t important, just make sure you always have the ability available. If you don’t record your ideas the minute you get them you may forget them. Having an idea and then forgetting it is worse than not having an idea at all.

 

Never assume you need not record ideas, because you’ll remember them. Many ideas will come to you while you’re resting or asleep. Keep a notebook by your bed and get into the habit of recording your ideas as soon as you wake up.

 

Be grateful for the ideas you receive

Whenever you come up with a great idea for writing, be thankful for it. This will create an additional positive reinforcement that will encourage the creation of more new ideas. This may seem strange, but try it, it works.

 

Don’t sweat it

If you find yourself not coming up with any useable ideas for a few days, don’t sweat it, it happens. Ideas will come to you when you least expect them and you will find out when you’re on a roll, the ideas come rolling in.
When the ideas are coming in nonstop, that’s the time to record them and bank the ones you don’t use for when you have a dry spell. You will build up your reserve of ideas, which you will add to in spurts.