2 Easy Ways to Coach Yourself into Happiness and Success

Cool advice to increase happiness and success–yes, it involves writing. 😉  Thanks Brenda B for sharing these ideas.

I have shared these self-coaching exercises with friends, and they have enjoyed these daily check-ins each day.

via 2 Easy Ways to Coach Yourself into Happiness and Success.


Outside the Lines

Coloring JoyIf you are still battling the winter doldrums

or can’t face another Monday,

it’s time to shake things up!

Just for today,

do something you don’t normally do.

Live on the edge,

just for a little while.

Color your life,

outside the lines,

and enjoy the bliss.

Fling off the remnants of winter,

Have lunch with a friend,

Say something silly,

Laugh till it hurts,

Sing out loud,

Do something unexpected,

Rock the boat,

Make some waves,

Turn the volume up,

Buy something just for you,

Shake things up,

Take a risk,

Dance and feel the bliss,

Color outside the lines,

Call someone you miss,

Get carried away,

Order dessert,

Climb out of the box,

Shout, Woo Hoo!

Make someone smile,

Sing a song,

Jump for joy,

Have a great day!

Posey 3/29/15

Vague Words

Thanks to Kim Williams-Justesen for this blog post. She shares fun insight to help us cut vagueness and use descriptive words to put colorful imagery in our writing. Out with the dull and in with the WoW!

Kim W. Justesen - Writer/Teacher/Presenter

Often in an early draft of a book I find that I have used “lazy language” to convey an idea.  These words look like they’re trying to do something, but in reality, they manage to lie on the page, limp and lifeless. There are vague nouns and vague verbs, and surprisingly there are vague adjectives, too.

Whatever the cause of these nondescript descriptive words being in our manuscripts, the hard fact is: they need to be removed.  What these lame and lifeless words manage to do is take up space without actually furthering the writing, whether it’s a story or an essay.  How does one spot these words?  It takes practice, and a willingness to do a little extra digging when it comes time for revision.

Let’s look at a few examples. What kinds of words would be considered vague?

Nouns that are broad and undefined fall into the vague…

View original post 788 more words

10 Tips to Write Stronger Sentences

“Words are our tools in trade.

They are our medium of communication.

They form a bridge of thought

between the writer’s mind and the reader’s.

To find the right word, is sometimes

to find a treasure.”

Steven Dunham, author of the The Editor’s Companion

Recently, a reader ask me, “Could you share some tips for writing stronger sentences?” During our weekly gathering of Writer’s Writing (a writing group in coastal North Carolina), I asked my colleagues to develop a list of  10 tips to share on the Cool Cat Writers blog:

  1. Use strong, active verbs to move the writing and reader forward
  2. Avoid passive voice whenever possible
  3. Make sure that your subject and verb agree (in person and number)
  4. Rework sentences to remove extraneous prepositional phrases
  5. Never end a sentence with a preposition
  6. Vary the sentence length readers can get lost in long sentences. Using too many short choppy sentences close together inhibit reading flow
  7. Say what you want to say using the least amount of words – get to the point
  8. Use short, simple terminology – no dictionary needed
  9. Never start a sentence with a conjunction—conjunctions are connectors—(examples: and, but, because, as, also, after, although, however, instead, nevertheless, or, otherwise, so, since, than, therefore, though, unless, until, when, while, and yet)
  10. Avoid vague words (examples: many, most, very, really, just, about, soon, et cetera)

Just keep writing,

~ Posey

Day 12 of the 30-Day Writing Challenge

Blogging: How to Benefit, Not Bore Your Reader

People ask me, “How do you find interesting things to blog about and how do you find the time?” For me, it is a regular battle to write consistent blog posts. Blogging is not difficult, but to produce content that counts (for the reader) takes time, thought and effort. As writers, we desire to produce content that others want to read and will enjoy. Put simply, we want our writing to benefit not bore the reader. If I just blathered on, ad nauseam, about the boring minutia of my life or any crazy thought that popped into my head, blogging would be a breeze. I do not consider that content nor writing worthy of a blog.  So why is it hard for me to blog? Perhaps, it is difficult to take time to consider the topic thoughtfully and write it in a way that the reader will appreciate. I find the following questions helpful as I plan the content for a blog post or any writing project.

What do I want to say?

The topic of the blog post must be settled prior to the commencement of writing. Finding inspiration is easy for me, especially for this blog. Everywhere I look, I see inspiration: the landscape around me, my children’s younger years, our pets, my earlier days, questions or thoughts I have, and information I would like to share. Inspiration is all around me; it is all around you, too. If you need more specific writing prompts or suggestions click here.

Why is the chosen topic important?

As writers, we need to consider why the chosen topic would be interesting or helpful to our readers. If the content bores the reader, we should use it as a private journal entry or delete, instead. Take a few moments to jot down why the blog topic would be important. Will it inspire, humor, inform, entertain, or cause the reader to question and ponder?

What do I want my readers to take away?

We are a busy population. Most people would tell you they have too many things to do on any given day. When you add that many “must dos” to all of the “want to dos” and factor in the “wish I could dos” there may not be enough hours in the day. If people are going to spend time reading a blog (article, story, or verse) they want to get something for the time they spent to read. Always, ask yourself, “If the reader could get only ONE thing from my blog post–what do I want that to be?” Write it down. Next, explain what you want to give them and how you plan to do that.

I mentioned earlier that it was easier for me to produce content for this blog. I have two other websites with blogs, and I must admit, I am woefully behind in posting to those blogs. The content on those sites requires more research and is less creative than this one. I find it more difficult to carve out the longer amount of time it takes me to prepare, research, and write those blog posts. My work and business require daily writing, but I was looking for something more. I wanted an outlet for a different type of writing, a channel that would allow written expression in more creative ways. On this blog, I DAILY make the commitment to write something every day for thirty days. When the 30-Day Writing Challenge is finished, I will continue the daily habit of writing. I will write and post to all three blogs (yikes!) on a regular schedule that will accommodate my life. I will consistently write the stories and poems that roam through my mind.

So what is the ONE thing I would most like you to take away from this blog post? NEVER scrimp on the quality of your content, the amount of work to produce it, and lastly the value it gives your reader.

Posey Salem March 12, 2015 ~ Day Five of the 30-Day Writing Challenge.

Has your advertising slogan got ‘it’?

Make “it” interesting, make “it” resonate, and we will share “it.” Thanks, Word Jazz, for an engaging read.

Word Jazz

ImageHave you noticed that, in the world of branding, there’s a lot of it about?

By which I mean, of course, the pronoun ‘it’ – the gender neutral, third person pronoun that can stand for just about anything.

Take, for example, Jaguar’s ‘Don’t dream it, drive it’ or L’Oréal’s ‘Because you’re worth it’. Or how about EA Sports’ ‘It’s in the game’. ‘It’ clearly gets around a lot.

But what’s it all about?

At its most basic, ‘it’ can be used as what linguistics call an anaphor, used to refer to something that’s already been introduced. For example:

Ronseal. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
VISA. It’s everywhere you want it to be.
American Express. Don’t leave home without it.
Red Bull. It gives you wings.

Other times, ‘it’ can be used to refer to that culturally-conventional concept of ‘desirability’, ‘sex appeal’ or ‘X-factor’…

View original post 379 more words

Mobile Devices: Changing our World, is it for the better?

Young girl with cell phoneWe love mobile technology but it isn’t so good for our life and health. As a population, we are allowing these wonderful devices to control or change our lives — and not always for the better. We remember when we didn’t have this technology.

 Do You Remember When…You had to get up and walk to the hallway to answer the only phone in the house? The more it rang the more you walked, who needed a treadmill?

Do You Remember When…You had to walk to the Library to research a topic of interest or when you wanted to borrow books to read? What a good way to whittle the waistline.

Do You Remember When…You wanted to change the channel on the radio or television and you had to get up off your @$$ and walk over to the device and make the change? Now we just get click-butt or swipe-hips.

Do You Remember When…A hand-written note or letter was your main means of communication for friends and family outside your home or neighborhood? Now you can Tweet’m, text’m, message’m, chat with’m or use more words and effort and actually send them an email. How long has it been since you wrote a letter and mailed it?

Do You Remember When...You had to turn the TV off at midnight because all the stations just went off the air? Between cable, satellite, and 24/7/365 internet access most people under 40 have no idea what I am talking about.

Do You Remember When…You had to wait days or weeks for the mailman to deliver the reply to the letter you wrote? Now we get irritated if the email we sent to Japan doesn’t arrive in a nano-second.

Do You Remember When…The only reason the phone rang in the middle of the night is because there was a family emergency? Not because your friend was awake and couldn’t wait to tell you about the latest facebook post or worse yet they were drunk and just wanted to talk and talk and talk.

Do You Remember When…You had to use the phone on the wall in the kitchen to call the restaurant to make a reservation? We never dreamed that cell phone apps would change all that, plus you can see the menu, hours, and more.

Do You Remember When…You played games (Life, Risk, Monopoly, Trouble, Parcheesi, Jacks, Marbles, etc.) with friends on the floor of your room? Not nameless, faceless, people playing from the internet superhighway.

Do You Remember When…The alarm clock was a device that wound up and sat on your nightstand — not an app on your phone nestled beside your pillow every night?

Do You Remember When...You took photographs with a camera and film then had to wait two weeks to get the prints back from the photo lab? Forget digital cameras–we now use our phones to snap, see, and send photos instantly. We can snap photos while we battle anaconda’s in the Amazon, are going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, preen in the rear view mirror, or while waiting in line at Starbucks and capture the funny looking old lady in line ahead of us, only to post it on Facebook and have it go viral moments later. /O\

Is it just us or are we losing more than the inventors thought possible…patience, rest, propriety, personal social contact, privacy, fitness, social graces, not to mention all the injuries and negative health affects mobile devices bring with them. We love mobile technology but we need to use common sense and moderation if we want to stay healthy in all areas of our lives.

Avi and Posey March 11, 2015

30-Day Writing Challenge day four

Adorable photo by FidlerJan on morguefile.com