Discipline is *Not* a Four-Letter WordWritten by Mary Anne Hahn
When I sit down to write an article for my ezine, WriteSuccess, and draw a blank as to what to write about, I reread my ezine's mission statement for guidance: "Ideas, information and inspiration for writers who want to launch and/or maintain SUCCESSFUL freelance careers"
For this article, I narrowed scope by asking myself: "What is THE ONE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT that a writer needs in order to succeed at freelancing?"
The answer came to me with lightning speed. We must have discipline.
Repeat after me: When it comes to freelance writing, single most important character trait needed for success is discipline.
Bummer, isn't it? The word "discipline" hardly sends one dashing to keyboard or searching for one's pen in a heady, heated burst of inspiration. Wouldn't it have been great, even romantic, if I had said that we writers possess a golden, rare gene with which only a chosen few are graced? Or that, in order to succeed, we need to tap into our personal Muse? Follow our calling? Develop God-given talent that is our birthright?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe you thought I was going to say "talent," "skill," "power of observation," "imagination" or even "self-confidence." After all, talent certainly helps, and ability to write clearly, powerfully, creatively and/or concisely is important. Even in wake of rejection, or especially then, we need to believe in ourselves enough to try again and again. And best writers not only observe, but seem to *absorb* world around them, then set these observations free in articles, stories, scripts and poems.
LISTEN TO THE RADIO - WRITE BETTER E-CONTENTWritten by Heather Reimer
Recently, I was asked to write a radio program for a non- profit organization. I had worked in broadcast journalism for many years before I switched to online communications and really enjoyed getting back to my radio roots.
But something interesting happened as I was writing script. Over and over again, I noticed just how much radio writing and effective web content have in common:
=>Both depend on high impact, attention-getting statements: "Weight loss without misery is possible if you..."; "The President has been found in a compromising position..."; "Want to know how to get your teens to talk to you?"
=>Both forms benefit from short, punchy sentences that use basic language and get to point fast. E-business consultant Philip Say even uses radio lingo when he explains how to write strong e-mail newsletters and sales letters.
He says, "Sound bites are most effective way to grab attention of reader. The challenge today is to deliver short, meaningful messages that will initiate a conversation with your audience. You have to pack a punch into 50 words or fewer."
The average 30-second radio commercial has only 50 to 80 words. So writing a radio spot for your online product or service is a good exercise in how to write tight. And it's a good lesson in ruthless editing, possibly hardest and most important part of writing process!