Take your Time, Make your Point

By , May 6, 2010

Remember Spelling tests when you had to know how to spell the word and what it meant? Way back when I was just learning to read and understand words, my mother would quiz me on my weekly list.¬†She told me back then, that you never define a word with the word or a form of it. That meant I couldn’t take the lazy way out.

Really it’s only logical. Consider this fictitious conversation:

Person A: Obfuscate?! What is that? What does that mean?

Person C: Obfuscate? You don’t know what that means? Man! It’s a verb–you know, to obfuscate…the act of obfuscating? Dang! Don’t you know anything?

Writing copy is an important endeavor. The smart writer knows this and knows enough not to underestimate their readers or disrespect their clients by trying this. It takes time to make your point and it makes all the difference to your clients and your reputation. And if you do a shabby job, be grateful if someone takes the time to let you know you suck!

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Efficient Writing is Quick Writing

By , May 5, 2010

Writing to people is a joy. But make no mistake, it’s a job too. It requires focused attention and the desire to learn and teach. And throughout your writing, for various types of clients and subjects, you can develop routines to improve your efficiency.

Particularly when you are writing about a new topic, you need to ask the questions to fill in the wholes in your knowledge base. It’s helpful to know the questions that are important to your subject matter. Being inquisitive is a big help when you need to find answers. Another thing that helps is knowing what points will resonate with your target audience. With these two traits present, you are well on your way to cranking out your assignments.

Once you write a few articles for your client, and read what good things they’re already using, you begin to get a feel for the writing that works for them. Your goal isn’t to ghostwrite unless that’s what you’ve discussed. You do, however, want to maintain the flow of the site by delivering a document that strikes a tone similar to the other good quality articles that are on the site. You can develop a writing routine to easily deliver documents that are in keeping with your client’s favored means of communication. And you can make them as uniformed or different as suits your need.

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Technology: Is it our Friend?

By , March 5, 2010

Writing longhand is GREAT! I’m all for editing, note taking, and drafting on paper. Over the years, I’ve invested a lot in composition notebooks and Moleskines. But writing longhand is only the beginning if I have any intentions of sharing my writing with the public.

Sending snail mail is always an option. Aside from personal or in-house use, it’s counterproductive to leave things in your handwriting, even if it is really pretty.

There is a time and a place for technology. If your goal is to free up time to smell the roses, to share your work with many, via publishing to print or the web, technology holds the bevy of tools you need. If you want to send an email, scanning and faxing what you write may be faster than regular mail, but it’s not your most efficient route. Now, you can guess what my answer will be to the title question, right?

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10 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

By , March 1, 2010

I am a fan of keyboard shortcuts. And the more I write and research, the more they come in great hand (no pun intended). Even after I got my fancy trackball mouse with a ton of buttons, (4 to be exact), I still like my keyboard shortcuts.

It’s often quicker to use the keyboard than to find the pointer and set it to where I need. Some examples are closing tab and opening tabs. Say I need to search for something related to a page I’m on but I don’t want to change the current page. I use these keys: Ctrl T to open a new tab, then TAB over to my search box to type my search.

Believe me, that was longer to type than to execute. And quicker than using the mouse. The reason it beats the mouse is because there’s no need to reorient yourself. I’m already on the keyboard. I don’t have to navigate anywhere to find the tab or button to add a new page. I don’t have to reposition the cursor to the search box to start typing.

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Make the Most of Your Résumé

By , February 28, 2010

It’s important to keep your resume up to date for several reasons beyond job hunting. It takes work to focus on the work you do, and then to sell it to others. It’s your most important sales letter and you need to be very familiar with it.

Connecting with Where You Are

When you review your resume, you have to closely consider what you do. Look at the work you choose to do. Note what you love about it. Those details will provide you the selling points you need to include in your sales document, your resume.

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