Three Annoying Email Habits And How To Fix Them

The Game Has Changed

Email has changed our lives. Foremost, it has added to our busyness. Before, we gave colleagues information in person, or picked up the phone. Now, we send an email. If you start off the day with 30 emails in your inbox and it takes five or six minutes to answer each email, it will take up approximately three hours of your work day. That doesn’t even include the time it will take to send emails of your own. 

The New Rules

This new communication game has new rules. The first rule is: prioritise. Prioritising well will save your corporate hide on a busy day, as you figure out which emails need to be answered now, and which can be answered later. To do this, you need to be able to see at a glance what an email is about. This is where the focus shifts from you as reader of email to you as writer of email. 

Serve Them Well

One of the greatest ways you can serve your readers well – and ensure your emails are read and answered quickly – is to make your emails highly readable. Please don’t fall into these three annoying email habits:

1. Having blank or poorly written subject lines

If you’re going to leave your subject line blank, expect to have your email answered last. If you’re going to write, ‘Urgent! Need answer today!’ in the subject line of every single email you send, you can expect that your messages will lose their punch and you will lose credibility with your audience. If you are going to write a generic subject line, like ‘Staff announcement’ or ‘From [insert your name here]’, you can expect that others will come to your email with the same ho-hum attitude with which you wrote the subject line. 

Your subject lines need to be clear, informative, and to the point.

2. Sending visually overwhelming e-mails

Can the emoticons. Get rid of sparkly GIFs. Pare down your e-mail signature so it doesn’t take up half the screen. Please don’t write your email in one big, unbroken block of text. Break it up into paragraphs of not more than five lines a paragraph and, as far as possible, no more than three points per email. Visually overwhelming emails, even if they contain important information, are read last. 

Your email needs to look ‘clean’ so readers can scan it at a glance.

3. Writing ambiguous, convoluted, jargon-ridden sentences

One of the things that frustrates me most is when I’ve read a whole email, reached the end of it, and I still don’t know what the sender is trying to say. People don’t have time to play Sherlock Holmes. Write succinctly. Keep your sentences crisp and free of jargon. Make sure your readers know exactly what action you expect them to take. 

Your email needs to read more like journalistic writing, and less like War and Peace.

What You Will Find

What you’ll find is that paying attention to these three areas will increase the time you spend on email. This is temporary. As you become ‘fit’ at writing plainly, you will actually decrease the amount of time you spend on email. Plus, your readers will enjoy receiving and answering your emails. 

If you want to learn how to write for business, join us for  The Plain Language Programme.

  by Donna Radley

If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

Donna is a creative writer who has tinkered with words for years. She has written newsletters and online articles, translated a book, and edited a variety of documents. She also reviews books. She owned her own training business and now facilitates The Plain Language Programme for Writers Write. She is currently working on her novel, which involves drinking lots of sweet tea. You can view her profile on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.  

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

Robert A. Heinlein's 19 Predictions For The Future

7 July is the anniversary of Robert A. Heinlein's birthday. Heinlein was an American science fiction writer who published 32 novels, 59 short stories, and 16 collections during his lifetime. He, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke are known as the 'Big Three' of science fiction.

In 1949, Heinlein compiled a list of predictions for the year 2000 that were published in Galaxy magazine in February 1952.

19 Predictions For The Future

This is what he wrote.

So let's have a few free-swinging predictions about the future. Some will be wrong - but cautious predictions are sure to be wrong.

1. Interplanetary travel is waiting at your front door -- C.O.D. It's yours when you pay for it.

2. Contraception and control of disease is revising relations between the sexes to an extent that will change our entire social and economic structure. 

3. The most important military fact of this century is that there is no way to repel an attack from outer space. 

4. It is utterly impossible that the United States will start a "preventive war". We will fight when attacked, either directly or in a territory we have guaranteed to defend.

5. In fifteen years the housing shortage will be solved by a "breakthrough" into new technologies which will make every house now standing as obsolete as privies.

6. We'll all be getting a little hungry by and by.

7. The cult of the phony in art will disappear. So-called "modern art" will be discussed only by psychiatrists.

8. Freud will be classed as a pre-scientific, intuitive pioneer and psychoanalysis will be replaced by a growing, changing "operational psychology" based on measurement and prediction.

9. Cancer, the common cold, and tooth decay will all be conquered; the revolutionary new problem in medical research will be to accomplish "regeneration," i.e., to enable a man to grow a new leg, rather than fit him with an artificial limb.

10. By the end of this century mankind will have explored this solar system, and the first ship intended to reach the nearest star will be a-building.

11. Your personal telephone will be small enough to carry in your handbag. Your house telephone will record messages, answer simple inquiries, and transmit vision. 

12. Intelligent life will be found on Mars.

13. A thousand miles an hour at a cent a mile will be commonplace; short hauls will be made in evacuated subways at extreme speed. 

14. A major objective of applied physics will be to control gravity.

15. We will not achieve a "World State" in the predictable future. Nevertheless, Communism will vanish from this planet.

16. Increasing mobility will disenfranchise a majority of the population. About 1990 a constitutional amendment will do away with state lines while retaining the semblance.

17. All aircraft will be controlled by a giant radar net run on a continent-wide basis by a multiple electronic "brain."

18. Fish and yeast will become our principal sources of proteins. Beef will be a luxury; lamb and mutton will disappear.

19. Mankind will not destroy itself, nor will "Civilization" be destroyed.

Here are things we won't get soon, if ever:

-- Travel through time
-- Travel faster than the speed of light
-- "Radio" transmission of matter.
-- Manlike robots with manlike reactions
-- Laboratory creation of life
-- Real understanding of what "thought" is and how it is related to matter.
-- Scientific proof of personal survival after death.
  • -- Nor a permanent end to war.
Source: Galaxy magazine via Lists of Note 
Author Photograph

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Pinterest,  Google+,  Tumblr  and  Twitter


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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Writers Write - Write to communicate

The 30 Most Influential People On The Internet

Time published this article about The 30 Most Influential People On The Internet. I decided to use it to see if it would help me understand why they are successful.

The list is in no particular order. Hoping it would shed some light on what makes an internet success story, I put it in a table and looked for similarities.

What did I learn?

It obviously helps if you are famous. Many of the people on the list are actresses and singers. Importantly, eight are famous only for internet related activities as bloggers or as internet celebrities.

Their ages vary: Two are in their teens, seven are in their twenties, eleven are in their thirties, five are in their forties, two in the fifties and two in their sixties. The topics or themes of their social media have very little in common. 

What they do have in common is passion. They are insanely passionate about what they do. And that is the key to succeeding on the internet. Don’t choose a topic just because it is popular or because someone did really well with it, make sure that you are enthusiastic and passionate about whatever you choose.

If you want to learn how to write for social media, email news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

 

Name

Age

Occupation

Famous for…

Blog/Website

1.       

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg

25

Video Blogger

PewDiePie – Video game commentary

PewDiePie

2.       

Taylor Swift

25

Singer

Everything she does

Taylor Swift

3.       

The Jester

-

Computer vigilante

Hacktivist

Jester's Court

4.       

Nash Grier

17

Social media phenom (His words)

Vine Videos

Nash Grier

5.       

Barack Obama

53

44th US President

World leader

Barack Obama

6.       

Kim Kardashian

34

TV Personality

Reality TV

Kim Kardashian

7.       

Joy Cho

35

Graphic design blogger

Beautiful products

Oh Joy!

8.       

Janet Mock

31

Writer and Activist

Transgender activist

Janet Mock

9.       

Justin Bieber

21

Singer

His fringe?

Justin Bieber

10.    

Ta-Nehisi Coates

40

Writer

Senior Editor at The Atlantic

Ta-Nehisi

11.    

Grace Helbig

29

Comedian/Actress

itsGrace You Tube Channel

Grace Helbig

12.    

Vani Hari

35

Healthy Food Blogger

Food Babe

Food Babe

13.    

Beyoncé

33

Singer/Actress

 

Beyoncé

14.    

Gwyneth Paltrow

42

Actress

Goop

Goop

15.    

Tyler Oakley

26

Internet celebrity

Activist of LGBT youth

Tyler Oakley

16.    

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

62

President of Argentina

World leader

Casa Rosada

17.    

Matt Drudge

48

Commentator

Creator and editor of The Drudge Report

Drudge Report

18.    

Yao Chen

35

Actress

Largest number of fans Sina Weibo

Yao Chen

19.    

Bethany Mota

19

Fashion blogger

Aéropostale clothing line

Bethany Mota

20.    

Alexei Navalny

38

Lawyer

Russian anti-corruption campaigner

Navalny

21.    

Brittany Furlan

28

Comedian/internet personality

Most followed female Vine star

Brittany Furlan

22.    

Shakira

38

Singer/songwriter

World baby shower

Shakira

23.    

Denny Januar Ali

52

Intellectual entrepreneur

Record holder in academic, political, social media, literature and cultural worlds in Indonesia

Denny J A

24.    

Anita Sarkeesian

32

Media critic and blogger

Feminist

Feminist Frequency

25.    

Josh Ostrovsky

30

Actor

The Fat Jew

thefatjewish

26.    

Brandon Stanton

30

Photographer

Humans of New York

 Humans of New York

27.    

J.K. Rowling

49

Novelist

Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling

28.    

Narendra Modi

64

Prime Minister of India

World leader

Narendra Modi

29.    

Jimmy Fallon

40

Comedian

The Tonight Show

The Tonight Show

30.    

Caitlin McNeill

21

Guitarist and singer

The Dress the broke the Internet

Canach Music

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. How Long Should Your Blog Post Be? - Eight Tips For Writing Posts People Want To Read
  2. Social Media Chill Pill - 15 Top Tips For Writers On Social Media
  3. Dealing with deadlines - Five tips to keep you on track
  4. A Writer's Friends - How To Build An Author Platform

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    The Top 10 Writing Posts for June 2015

    These were the new Writers Write posts you enjoyed most in June 2015:

    1. Six Questions To Ask Before You Even Start Your First Draft
    2. Three Lines That Will Help You Write A Better First Draft
    3. 30 Inspiring Blog Post Ideas For Writers
    4. Seven Invaluable Lessons For Writers From James Patterson
    5. The Nine Best Apps And Tools To Help Writers Boost Productivity
    6. Confessions Of A Troubled Writer – Four Questions To Ask Before You Quit
    7. A Tense Situation - Five Tips To Help You Write A Gripping Read
    8. How To Turn Your Messy First Draft Into Something That Resembles A Novel
    9. Why Reading Books Is Vital For Human Development
    10. Five Ways To Use Setting To Advance A Plot
    Previous Posts

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    Make Me Care - Nine Ways To Ensure An Unforgettable Read


    What makes a novel unputdownable and unforgettable? 

    For me it is when the author has managed to make me care, sometimes desperately and irrationally, about the characters and the stories they have to tell. I am concerned about them and emotionally invested in their ability to move forward despite the odds. 

    More than that, the best stories are the ones where I think - ‘That could happen to me’ – even if the story is set in space, in another dimension, in the future or the past, I am still able to put myself into the story.

    Six Simple Requirements

    If you want to write a book like this, you need to consider the following:
    1. Is my story plausible?
    2. Does it have emotional appeal?
    3. Can readers empathise with my characters?
    4. Have I given my characters compelling story goals?
    5. Do I have enough uncontrived conflict to write a full-length novel?
    6. Given that there are no original stories, am I able to write with my authentic voice to give my story a fresh twist?
    When I read a book that leaves me reeling, I realise more often than not that it is simply saying something familiar in an unfamiliar way. It is also about something that matters. It reaffirms, or makes me aware of, things I’ve known but have never been able to put into words. And yes, it is also entertaining.

    To entertain, a novel should be technically sound. The best idea written by a talented author disappoints me if it is badly executed. I am so upset that I will not read another book by that author. To become a technically sound writer, you need to look after the basics. 

    Three Tough Questions

    To do this, you need to answer three questions:
    1. Have you learnt the basics of grammar and punctuation? Never underestimate this. Well-constructed sentences are impossible to write without this. If your sentences don’t work, you won’t be able to write paragraphs that become chapters and full-length novels. 
    2. Have you bothered to learn the rules of fiction? It is arrogant and unprofessional to believe that you can write without learning how to do it. Every decent writer has spent years perfecting his or her craft. A beautiful idea is quickly derailed when there is no technique to keep it on track.
    3. Have you done the time? There is no quick fix in writing fiction. You have to work hard to finish writing a novel, then rewriting and editing it. You need to realise that your first novel is unlikely to be published and you should set yourself the goal of writing two or three more before you submit a book to a publisher, or decide to self-publish.
    If you make me care and if you write technically sound books, you will write unforgettable novels, and I will become an avid reader of your books.

    If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

     by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on PinterestFacebook,  Google+,  Tumblr  and Twitter. 

    If you enjoyed this post, read:

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    Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

    Writers Write - Write to communicate

    Who Are The Three Characters Driving Your Plot?


    Sometimes deciding what role a character is going to play in your story is tricky.  If you want to cut through the confusing labels used for characters, try this simple method: focus only on three biggest characters in your story and rank them in starring order.
    1. Character # 1. She can be good or bad or somewhere in between — the point is, this is her story. She’s the star. The focus is mostly on her. We don’t have to like her, but she’s the one you want the reader to identify with. She must be exciting, intriguing, and we must understand what drives her decisions and her emotions.
    2. Character # 2. He may be the second most important character but that doesn’t mean he always plays second fiddle in the story. He can either with or against your main character — either a rival, a lover, a sidekick. His actions move the plot forward in a major way. He has a story of his own and you’ll spend quite a few pages telling this story.
    3. Character # 3. She may be coming in at number three, but this a catalyst character. This character causes change — brings suffering for the main character, or joy. What she does or doesn’t do will make the reader feel differently about the main character. She’s the character who can surprise the main character — and the reader  — when she comes out of the left field.
    So …where’s the antagonist?

    While all stories have an antagonist or bad guy, you may not always have a neatly formed character that plays this role – or you may want to keep him hidden from the reader and your main character.
    For example: Say you want to keep the identity of the shadowy leader of a terrorist group until the last pages, you could have a skilled assassin or bomber doing his bidding in the role of C#2 and we follow his story as a major part of the story.
    For example: Say your main character is up for a promotion at work — and so is his friend and co-worker. The two are competing, but the co-worker doesn’t hate his friend or want to destroy him like a classic villain would want to.  He’d simply be C#2.
    In third place …

    C#3 is a character you can have great fun with — because they’re a little further in the background, they can deliver the greatest surprises. 
    For example: Say you have a main character who is a criminal underworld, but he loves fishing in the country. He forms a friendship with an older man who also loves fishing. At the end of the story, it turns out the older man is an undercover cop who has tricked him into revealing his confidences.
    For example:  Say your main character is a married man who is having an affair. His mistress is the only one he can be open with, talk to, and be himself. She may be C#3 and we he decides to leave his wife for her, she turns around and says she doesn’t want a husband. She can surprise him by showing him the decisions he’s made have consequences.
    If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

         by Anthony Ehlers

        If you enjoyed this post, read:

        Anthony Ehlers is a reluctant blogger. A child of the 70s, he’s a late converter to the (sometimes scary) world of social media. As a creative writing facilitator, he loves sharing ideas around storytelling and the blog post is another way to reach out to fellow writers no matter their stage of the journey. He always encourages delegates with energy, humour and his insights into novels, short stories and scriptwriting. He sometimes lurks on Facebook and flits on to a branch of Twitter  when his Inbox is empty (which isn’t a lot these days).

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        Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

        Writers Write - Write to communicate

        So You Want To Be A Writer?

        There is so much that steals time from a writer. Work, family, friends, life. They are all important and it is easy to say I’ll write tonight, tomorrow or this weekend. Then when I finally sit down to write there are days when I am overwhelmed and daunted by the blank page. I question my career choice. I doubt my passion. And then I found this poem:

        so you want to be a writer?
        Charles Bukowski, 1920 – 1994
         
        if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
        in spite of everything,
        don’t do it.
        unless it comes unasked out of your
        heart and your mind and your mouth
        and your gut,
        don’t do it.
         
        if you have to sit for hours
        staring at your computer screen
        or hunched over your
        typewriter
        searching for words,
        don’t do it.
         
        if you’re doing it for money or
        fame,
        don’t do it.
         
        if you’re doing it because you want
        women in your bed,
        don’t do it.
         
        if you have to sit there and
        rewrite it again and again,
        don’t do it.
         
        if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
        don’t do it.
         
        if you’re trying to write like somebody
        else,
        forget about it.
         
        if you have to wait for it to roar out of
        you,
        then wait patiently.
        if it never does roar out of you,
        do something else.
         
        if you first have to read it to your wife
        or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
        or your parents or to anybody at all,
        you’re not ready.
         
        don’t be like so many writers,
        don’t be like so many thousands of
        people who call themselves writers,
        don’t be dull and boring and
        pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
        love.
        the libraries of the world have
        yawned themselves to
        sleep
        over your kind.
        don’t add to that.
        don’t do it.
         
        unless it comes out of
        your soul like a rocket,
        unless being still would
        drive you to madness or
        suicide or murder,
        don’t do it.
         
        unless the sun inside you is
        burning your gut,
        don’t do it.
         
        when it is truly time,
        and if you have been chosen,
        it will do it by
        itself and it will keep on doing it
        until you die or it dies in you.
        there is no other way.
        and there never was.
         
        Depressing, right? Well, no. It works like reverse psychology. Every time I read “Don’t do it” everything is my soul cries out “screw you”. I do not write under the perfect circumstances. Sometimes the writing flows, sometimes it doesn’t. I have difficult days and I have brilliant days, but I know I want to do this. I want the struggle. I want the blank page. I want the blinking cursor. I want to write. 

        No one will tell me how to do it or what it should be like. It works for me. I am learning. I am growing. I don’t have a tea-toting wife who brings me sarmies between scenes. I fight for every minute I spend writing. But I will keep fighting. I will keep writing until it is ‘truly time’. I will do it. So screw you, Charles. Stephen King said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” Or I can go all Nike on you and say, “Just do it.”

        If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

         by Mia Botha

        If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

        1. Three Lines That Will Help You Write A Better First Draft
        2. Identify Your Protagonist And Antagonist
        3. Six Questions To Ask Before You Even Start Your First Draft

        Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest  and Facebook and  Tumblr  and  Twitter.

        ~~~~~

          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

          Writers Write - Write to communicate

          Is There Merit In Telling And Not Showing?


          A Woman Of Steel

          Danielle Steel has written 94 novels, 17 children’s books, four works of non-fiction, and a book of poetry. She is published in 43 countries in 69 languages. She has sold 650 million copies of her books. Each one – each one, ladies and gentlemen – has been a bestseller. 

          In a 2006 interview, she mentions how she started out writing her books at night, often coping with only four hours of sleep, so that she could be with her children in the day. When I have only four hours’ sleep, followed by a day of alternating yowling and squealing all while I’m being jumped on and am holding a half-eaten banana in my hand … I shudder to think. All that hard work seems to have paid off, though, considering her success. 

          The Mantra

          In writing circles, we often hear (and repeat) the mantra ‘Show, don’t tell’. There’s a reason that showing is an effective way of storytelling. It uses the senses, characters’ thoughts and emotions, and the immediacy of what is happening in the setting to convey details in a way that makes the reader feel present in and enveloped by the story. 

          I read Steel’s book Friends Forever a while ago, and it struck me how she so doesn’t follow this mantra. Her whole book was telling. Even stranger was the fact that I couldn’t put the book down. This made me wonder even more at her success. What makes her writing so popular, when she doesn’t follow the same mantra other bestselling authors do? 

          Why, Danielle, Why?

          After some thought, I came to the following conclusion. I found her storytelling style to be like sitting at your best friend’s kitchen table, hands wrapped around a mug of tea, having a good chinwag. Her telling style is like discussing mutual friends' predicaments, discussing the latest developments in their life dramas and their reactions to them. I’m not talking about nasty gossip or schadenfreude (pleasure derived from another’s misfortune). It’s more the kind of talk that carries the feeling of mitgefühl (a response of compassion or empathy at someone’s misfortune). 

          Her characters are stereotyped, but the stereotyping means we as readers can all shake our heads, together with Danielle, at the alcoholic husband who beats his wife and is hard on his son. We can feel both frustration and understanding for the young, successful woman who throws it all away because her daddy-issues keep sabotaging her, and she constantly falls for older, married men. Danielle is the friend at the kitchen table, and as terrible as it is, we have to hear her tell the latest saga while we fire up the kettle. 

          Tea, anyone?

          Why do you think Danielle’s books sell so well? Do you know any other authors who do a good job of telling instead of showing?

          If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

            by Donna Radley

          If you enjoyed this post, you will like:

          Donna is a creative writer who has tinkered with words for years. She has written newsletters and online articles, translated a book, and edited a variety of documents. She also reviews books. She owned her own training business and now facilitates The Plain Language Programme for Writers Write. She is currently working on her novel, which involves drinking lots of sweet tea. You can view her profile on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.  

          ~~~~~

          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to  news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

          Writers Write - Write to communicate

          The Nine Best Apps And Tools To Help Writers Boost Productivity

          Guest Post

          Reaching the ultimate point of productivity is a concern of every writer. Regardless of the efficiency you have at a certain point of your career, you inevitably notice a decline in your motivation and ability to write at one point or another. Among all apps and tools available today, these can help you the most:

          Apps That Facilitate A Writer’s Work

          1. Evernote is a tool you’ve probably heard of. If you learn how to use it, it will help you do your work at any time. Consider this app as your idea book, where you jot down ideas and thoughts anywhere. The main difference is in the ease of usage. In addition, the app synchronizes the data with your account in the cloud, so you can access it at any time. Waiting in line won’t make you nervous anymore; simply get your phone and note what inspires you.
          2. As a writer, you must care about grammar and vocabulary. Don’t stop working on your progress. Grammarly is a great tool that will save you from embarrassment. It identifies and corrects up to 10 times more errors than the grammar and spelling feature of your usual word processor.
          3. Grammarly is efficient, but it’s an automated tool. It cannot replace a real editor. PapersGear, on the other hand, is a platform where you can hire a professional editor for an affordable price. The editors from this writing service do a great job without affecting your unique voice. Thanks to this website, you no longer have to spend a fortune on editing services.

          Tools That Boost A Writer's Focus

          1. When you have an important project to work on, social media platforms are more alluring than ever. Don’t fall into that trap; use a tool that will block the distracting pages. Anti-Social is an awesome tool that helps Mac users work in a safe online environment, without access to social media like Twitter and Facebook, as well as all other websites they specify.
          2. Now let’s get to the real writing tool: use OmmWriter if you want to be able to ignore every possible distraction you could think of. As soon as you launch OmmWriter, you will be teleported into a focused environment that will make you a more productive writer.
          3. Here is another app that will enable you to focus on the task at hand: TeamViz – a timer that works in accordance with the Pomodoro technique. This method is based on the principle that you’ll work better if you make short, frequent breaks in between writing sessions.

          Ultimate Efficiency Boosters for Writers

          1. When you are limited with deadlines, it is extremely important how you manage your time. Try Write or Die 2 – an app that creates a stressful situation for writers. Yes, stress can be a positive thing, especially when it pushes you to write more content in less time. If you don’t meet the goal you set when using this platform, you’ll face some consequences, depending on the mode you choose.
          2. Of course, you also need to type like a maniac if you want to follow the fast progress of your thoughts. 10FastFingers is a tool that will improve your typing skills with awesome games. You can try different typing tests that will show you how accurately and quickly you type.
          3. How about another test for your ego? A little criticism will help you improve serious flaws in your work. AutoCrit is an automated manuscript editing tool that will warn you about excessive use of passive voice and adverbs, as well as repetitive diction.

          Now that you are aware of the most efficient apps and tools you need, start experimenting with them and you’ll boost your productivity in no time.      

           by Melinda Osteen - professional blogger and an editor, who features the latest writing trends in her articles, intending to share valuable experience and knowledge with young specialists.

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          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

          Writers Write - Write to communicate

          The Writers Write Interview - Janet Fitch

          Author: Janet Fitch

          People ask me which authors I still want to meet. There aren't many because I've been lucky enough to meet so many of my heroes. But, I gave it some thought and decided to approach Janet Fitch, the author of my favourite book - as a reader and as a writer - of all time, White Oleander. I sent her a message and asked her if she would answer my questionnaire. She was gracious and lovely and said 'yes'. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

          The Writers Write Interview 

          Date of Birth: 9 November 1955 (Scorpio, Capricorn rising.)
          Date of Interview: 6 May 2015
          Place: Los Angeles (via Email)
          The BookPaint It Black
          1. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
          My favourite characters aren’t necessarily heroic… just ones who I can’t get enough of.  Leopold Bloom. Sabina in Spy in the House of Love. Every character in Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet—the Nessim’s mother. The old sailor, Clea. The whisky priest in The Power and the Glory. The narrator of Duras’ The Lover. Thomas Fowler inThe Quiet American.

          2. What is your most treasured possession?
          A silver letter opener in a flowing abstract shape I’ve use every day since I bought it as a teenager. 

          3. Which living person do you most dislike?
          Either of the Koch brothers. 

          4. What is your greatest fear?
          The loss of the biosphere. It’s such a beautiful, fragile web.  The planet will survive, but life on it, the plants and animals… looking pretty dire.

          5. Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?
          The life of the imagination. 

          6. What is your greatest regret?
          Having been so attached to being romantically gloomy and difficult as a young person. I could have had a much sunnier and more fulfilling life early on if I hadn’t been so damned Byronic.

          7. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
          Things end so badly for most of my favourite chararacters… I’d say it would be fun to be Queen Titania in Midsummer Night’s Dream. But that’s not a book… probably Wart (later King Arthur) in The Sword in the Stone.

          8. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
          The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

          9. What is your favourite journey?
          Moving very slowly through Italy, spending days and weeks in places, off-season, drawing and painting.

          10. What is your favourite quotation?
          Look up—the hawk will not be walking in the road. 

          11. Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?
          I love dogs but I live with a cat. I'm getting used to him, and vice versa.

          12. What do you most value in a friend?
          No drama.

          13. What quality do you most admire in a woman?
          Creative energy.

          14. Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?
          LIke a mother choosing among her children, I like them all for different reasons. I like the one that’s difficult because it’s harder for others to see its merits.  I like the one that’s most approachable because it’s nice to be popular.  I like the one that’s still a baby, because there’s no knowing what it will do in the world.  I like my first one because I waited so long for it to be born. 

          15. What are your favourite names?
          It so depends on the purpose.  Is this a character name? Then it has to be appropriate, memorable, have connotations for me. A name I’d pick for my own child? I prefer a conventional name, on the long side, spelled conventionally.  (For myself, I might like a name like Sunshine or Rain or Marigold, but for an actual child, I put “Dr.” in front of it, to make sure it’s got enough gravitas to go wherever she or he would want to go.) 

          16. What do you do as a hobby?
          Read, paint, draw, go to museums. Travel. Dance crazily to a variety of music all by myself. 

          17. Which are your three favourite books?

          1. The Alexandria Quartet (four books… oh well.) by Laurence Durrell
          2. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
          3. Under The Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
          18. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
          While I'm writing.

          19. What is your Writing Routine?
          Work every day. Read for an hour, hour and a half. Write until about four. Walk. Read poetry, fiction, watch movies in the evening.

          20. What are your Top Writing Tips?

          I wrote a blog article about this—“Ten Writing Tips that Can Help Almost Anyone”—check it out!

          Visit Janet's website to find out more.

          Interviewer: Amanda Patterson (Follow her on Facebook and Pinterest and Google+ and Tumblr and Twitter)

          We have started a new interview for guests called The Writers Write Interview. This is based on Amanda Patterson's old format of 17 Questions and Answers for Authors. We've added a few more to make it 20 Questions. We hope you enjoy it.)

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          Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. If you want to learn how to write a book, write for social media, and improve your business writing, send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

          Writers Write - Write to communicate