Reasons to Write

Have you seen the movie Freedom Writers?

Based on true events, it tells the story of English teacher Erin Gruell in a recently-integrated high school where gang violence and racial conflict are a fact of life. Her classroom of at-risk students isn’t particularly interested in what she has to say.

freedom writers

 

Why should they be? Shakespeare and literary essays aren’t going to help them survive the next drive-by shooting.

Until she connects them with words and writing that do have meaning for them—stories with disturbing parallels to the hatred and racial tensions these kids deal with every day, such as The Diary of Anne Frank.

Gruell challenges her students to write their stories and, in the process, shows them that they are more alike than different.

All of them have lost friends and family in interracial conflicts.

All of them have been affected by gang violence.

All of them would give about anything to change their world.

I bring you this story today to inspire: the words we write and the stories we tell MATTER. Stories help people to understand in a way nothing else can. Stories can heal wounds, bridge gaps, and nurture tolerance.

This is why I write.

  • To make sense of the world
  • To spread light and hope
  • To connect with others
  • To show others they aren’t alone
  • To explain
  • To understand

Writing can be wonderful—but there are also times when writers feel lonely and discouraged. What keeps you writing?

Daphne Gray-Grant, Publication Coach

I’ve recently started with working with a writing coach

And I’ve found it so beneficial, I wanted to share the love by introducing you, dear readers, to a broad spectrum of coaches with a broad range of expertise.

For today’s guest, please offer a warm welcome to Daphne Gray-Grant

Daph-jacket-02-HI REZI discovered Daphne on Twitter, where she tweets inspiration and information for writers as @pubcoach. She also writes a blog chock-full of writing and productivity tips. Read on as Daphne shares some of her tips for writers, as well as information about how she works with her coaching clients.

How can a writer decide if working with a coach would benefit them?

I think it comes down to this: You have to ask yourself whether it’s worth it to pay money to learn how to become a better, more effective writer. For some people, the immediate answer is ‘yes!’ They’ve suffered so much pain from writing, (or more usually, not writing!) they want the pain to stop. For others the answer may be no. Perhaps they have the time and discipline to read books on writing and work at teaching themselves. (Although, I have to note that this is not an easy task!) For still others – usually those who write for corporations – their boss or company may be willing to pay for the coaching, and for them the answer should be a rapid “yes!”

What sort of goals or skills do you work on with a client?

I work with corporate writers, bloggers and would-be authors of books. Every client is an individual and I’m very flexible but, generally, people want to work with me on one of the following areas:

  • How to beat writer’s block
  • How to write faster
  • How to become a better self-editor
  • How to self-publish

Continue Reading

10+ Sure-Fire Ways to Find Blog Post Ideas

Are you ever stuck for what to write?
Tambako the JaguarPhoto Credit

I frequently am—until, of course, I start working on something else, like that novel, or a big medical writing project that due the next day. Something about facing a bigger, tougher piece of work makes blogging ideas flow like the Colorado River.

But that’s not the recommended strategy for coming up with blog post topics.

In fact, skipping from one project to another is an ineffective use of time. Plus it bears a remarkable resemblance to procrastination. So how do you come up with fresh content for a blog you’ve been writing for more than a week, a month, or a year? Read on for ideas….

Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Find Blog Post Ideas

Continue Reading