These tools will help you blog like a boss

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Sparkle Writers, how are you doing? and your blog? Fine we hope.

You know how time consuming it is to manage a blog right? It’s even more difficult when you are trying to do things right. In between finding the right images for your blog, editing the images and posting on facebook, twitter and instagram time never seems enough. 

Here are a few tools that can help you blog like a boss.

Fiverr

Ever heard of this amazing community? It has a pool of experts that can help you with several blog activities. Logo design, template creation, programming and lots more. All you need to do is get started by signing in. What’s best? It costs $5dollars. Well you can get them for that amount or higher, depending on what you want. 

Grammarly 

Grammarly is a great tool  that helps you improve your writing. It helps to correct your typos and grammatical errors. What do you think about having something that helps you edit your work just as you are typing.  Well that’s if you sync it with your computer. Grammarly is that tool that can work for you.

Mailchimp

What serious blogger does not communicate with his reader via email? Not sure there is any. Mailchimp helps you send messages to your reader, talk about blog posts and grow your community. They have free and paid versions so you can choose what plan suits you.  

 

 

#WriterSpotlight – ”I have to win the battle against my thoughts and imaginations. The best way I can is to write.” Adewale Olayemi

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Thursdays on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub are for #WriterSpotlight interviews. Who is ready for today’s interview?  

Our guest today is Olayemi, a poet who believes that writers are one of the most blessed people in the world. You’d find out why in his interview with us. 

Hello Olayemi. Please introduce yourself:

I’m Adewale Olayemi Mudashiru, a writer, poet and a budding author. I am also an undergraduate studying Chemical Engineering at University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

When did you start writing?

I started writing before I could give the meaning of writing, before I actually could say “Oh! Okay, so this is what writing is all about.’ At least I can say now, to some extent, that I understand what writing is all about, unlike then when I was so naive as a child. I can remember then I had a small notebook and I would just write randomly in it with a little touch of art, you know all these childish sketches and sort of.

I started writing officially around December 2016, officially in the sense that I had to upload on Instagram and share on other social media accounts. Actually my first write-up to be posted on Instagram was a eulogy. I lost someone so close then I had to share something on my social media accounts, subsequently other write-ups and poems were uploaded.

Can you tell us what inspired you to write?

Source of inspiration? I just write, the inspiration comes. It keeps coming, anywhere, any day, anytime. Sometimes I have to think like the characters I write about or assume to be in such a scenario which will determine the theme of my poem. Other times, the kind of day I had or activities I see during a typical day inspires me. I wrote a poem tagged “The Cry of an African Child” a while ago. I got the inspiration from a documentary I saw about the dilapidated state of IDPs and the ill-treatment of the children of African descent. In a nut shell, I could simply put the “World” at large is my greatest source of inspiration.

You seem to love words so much you even tagged your Instagram page as the ‘city of words’. Why is this?

Like I said earlier, I don’t have any difficulties with writing, words just keep coming. Words are like the blood that flows in my vein, the air I breath. It’s something I could see even in the dark, something I could feel when I am fast asleep. As a matter of fact I could just probably wake from sleep and the next thing I do is to pick up a pen and start writing. I could be in the midst of my friends having a cheerful discussion before I know it, I would drop lines, beautiful lines involuntarily. I feel like “I am a vessel of words; a warrior word is my lethal weapon; I use it to fight against the demons of thought and imagination”.

In your opinion, how can writers make a difference in the society through their skill?

Writers are actually blessed, blessed with the art of words. I personally feel writers are potters. They mould the world into a beautiful shape with their craft. “If you want to change the world, it starts from your room, pick up your pen and write, just write, write what you feel, how you feel, don’t conceal anything, bare it all”. Your words might probably be the drug someone out there needs to get well. The only way writers can make a difference in the society at large is by divulging their thoughts with beautiful words. This could actually quench the fire consuming a fellow out there.

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We know you are working on your first book. Can you give us a brief on what it is about and why readers should anticipate its release?

I actually have a lot in store, I might probably decide to drop a collection of poems, or an inspirational novel. I am yet to decide on which to drop first, but I think I will stick to the novel. I just have to bridge the stress of engineering with that of converting manuscript into printed copy. Whichever way it is going to be, readers should expect greatness and uniqueness. Greatness in the sense that I have actually put in a lot of work; I write with my body and soul, everything. Uniqueness in the sense that I have my style. My style is my style; it is peculiar to me. I just can’t wait to share this greatness with the world.

People write for different reasons, why do you write?

I write because I have to win the battle against my thoughts and imaginations, and the best way I can is to write. It’s overwhelming! I have to free my mind and soul. There is a need to empty the river of thoughts which flows in my mind via my words. I write because I just can’t stop writing.

Can we do something fun? Fiction, non-fiction or poetry?

Anything, in as much as I would be free of a burden, and it will bless the world.

Reading a good book or listening to great music?

I would prefer reading a good book. I read a lot, hardly go a day without reading. “Readers are leaders” they say and I choose to be nothing else but a great leader. There is joy in being intellectually sound. Music is not bad too, but I am not really a lover of music.

Writing or football?

I am actually a bore when it comes to football. I am not a football type. I don’t have a favourite club and if I am right, it’s been about 4 years since I mindfully saw a football match. Writing, I can’t stop!

What do you love about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub?

Everything, Sparkle Writer’s Hub makes writing even more interesting and gives the zeal to write more. They make it seem like a surmountable task, which in actual sense it should be. But probably because there is lack of motivation, upcoming writers see it as the otherwise. I have screenshots of your daily quotes in my gallery, I read them to feel delight.

What do you love most about writing?

The ability to touch hearts with the craft of words. 

What’s your advice to upcoming writers who are scared to share their talent with the world?

My advice to upcoming writers who are scared to share their talent with the world is that they should overcome their fear and bless the world with their talent, otherwise the blessings in the world would be less their “untapped talent”

What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?

My ultimate goal is to never stop writing, to improve on myself and to bless the world with my writings.

Quote of the Day – Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter

Do you have a story lurking in your mind? Or a string of words are gradually forming in your sub-conscious? You should write them down. 

Whether on a sheet of paper or on a memo on your electronic device, make it a habit to document your thoughts and ideas. You’ll regret it if you don’t. 

Like the quote above says, keep a notebook or a journal, travel with it, slap into it every stray thought that flutters into your brain. Those stray thoughts might become a bestseller.

#WordOfTheDay- Learn what platitude means

 

pppIt’s Wednesday and time to learn a new word!

You already know what word we are learning so let’s begin. 

Platitude means the quality or state of being dull or insipid. It can also mean a banal, trite, or stale remark. Otherwise known as a cliche. 

These are examples of platitudes.:

Everything happens for a reason

Every cloud has a silver lining

But if you want to use platitude in a sentence You’d say something like: 

At my uncle’s funeral, I heard one platitude after another.

Your platitude is meaningless and does nothing for my anger

Now that you know, we hope you can recognize a platitude and use the word properly when you need to

 

#GrammarSeries – Abbreviations and how to use them

the rules of comparison

Hello Sparkle Writers, we know you have heard of abbreviations and you’ve probably used them a number of times but today we want to school you on the proper way to use them in case you’ve been making a mistake. 

Abbreviations are shorter versions of existing words and phrases. They’re designed to save time and take up less space (whether you’re typing or writing by hand) and can even make your writing easier to read.

We know that abbreviations are usually formed using the most recognizable letters from the word or expression. This makes them easier to remember, and easy for others to read. It’s almost like the letters are clues that point to the original word or expression.

Mister – Mr

Miles per hour- mph

New York City- NYC

Make sure to always pronounce abbreviations like you pronounce the original word. 

So if you have been pronouncing etc as etc, you are wrong. It should be pronounced as etcetera. 

Many people wonder whether or not they have to put the period mark at the end of an abbreviation. Our answer is this – although there is no rule that says you must put period, using it makes your words easier to read. 

That’s all for now. Until next week, keep your grammar in check

 

Write while the heat is in you

Sparkle writers

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

Hey sparkle writers, it’s Monday and as you already know on the sparkle writers hub, today’s post will major on writing. 

Today’s quote is not new to us, but we want to highlight a few things. When you get an idea, please write it down. Not because we don’t believe your mind is powerful and can retain information but because there is a difference between recording those thoughts as they come and trying to remember them hours after. 

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No matter how powerful your mind is, you are bound to loose a bit of information and the only way to avoid that is by recording the details of your thoughts as they come and how they come. These details may just be the fire that supposed to ignite your readers heart or help them 

This is why we always insist that writers have a journal where they can jot ideas that can come at any time. Never go out without a journal or notepad if you want to become a consistent writer. You may get inspiration while you are on the bus. It’ll be a shame to let that inspiration go away simply because you have no where to put it down.

This way you don’t serve your readers diluted messages and you can ensure that the core of your message is passed to your readers. 

How responsive is your blog design?

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Hey Sparkle Writers, did you know that mobile users spend more than 63 percent of their time on their phones accessing mobile websites and apps? 

So what do you think this means to you as a blogger? Your blog design must be responsive enough to accommodate all kind of users. 

Mobiles and tablets are now a primary source of web traffic all over the world.

If your theme doesn’t respond well to the smaller mobile screens there is a good chance you will be losing valuable traffic as people click away to find something easier to navigate

If you want to keep these people there’s only one way to do it, make your blog design responsive. 

You can use this to test to find out if it is responsive or not.

We’ve checked ours and its very responsive! 

 

 

 

 

#WriterSpotlight – “I chose to mend broken hearts and build soul bridges that have been broken back to God.” Itunu Taiwo

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Hey Sparkle Writers! Today’s #WriterSpotlight is absolutely amazing and that’s for lack of a better word. We have a writing powerhouse on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub today. She tells beautiful stories in the most unique and real way. Her name is Itunu Taiwo She’s a writer, blogger and pharmacist.

If you’ve been looking for someone to give you detailed advice on how to grow a blog community Itunu’s interview is exactly what you need.  We don’t want to continue talking just read up. 

Hello Itunu, please introduce yourself.

My name is Itunu Taiwo and I love to see myself as a modern day woman with Christ-fashioned values. I love Jesus and I aspire to be like him every day. I also love ice-cream, vintage and all things cute. During the day, I work as a practicing pharmacist while I love to read and write during my spare time.

We did a little background check so we know you’ve been writing since you were 9. At that what inspired you to start writing?

During my childhood days, I had a best-friend who brought some hand-written stories by her cousin to my house. After reading them, I felt I could try something similar. So I would draw pictures to illustrate my stories as much as I could while structuring white stories I’d gleaned from Enid Blyton. I also loved watching Tales by Moonlight and other shows that aired on TV back then. Before I knew it, the writing thing chose to stay and I discovered I found joy creating new worlds, scenes, characters and bringing my imagination to life.

So do you think you are a born writer?

Haha, I think it’s safe to say I was born a writer.

How has your writing evolved over the years?

Firstly, the more I spend time with God, my writing keeps taking shape. Intimacy with Him blooms into all kinds of expressions and writing is the best way I can express His love. I also observed that the more I read more books, the more my writing evolves.

You’ve grown a community via your blog. Can you give tips to bloggers who are struggling with this?

Patience and consistency are sisters. Over the years I learned this myself while writing. People appreciate consistency especially as a blogger or they’ll think you’re unserious. It’s also good to have a niche that people can use to identify you. My readers associate my blog with the following theme: God, Love and Life.

So whatever I’m providing to my readers, be it in stories or articles, all are centralized around this. You can’t be a jack of all trades. Also, your content must be good and be generous with it too. I realized people were able to trust me enough to buy my stories because they’d read stories from me in the past and they knew what to expect. These days, there are many things vying for people’s attention. So that you don’t get lost in the crowd, ensure you let people know how much they need what you want to give, and they’re willing to pay for it.

 

In your opinion, how can writers make a difference in the society through their skill?

Words are powerful. They can either make or marr a person. Now imagine weaving those words to reach the soul. That’s a powerful weapon if you ask me. I chose to mend broken hearts and build soul bridges that have been broken back to God. I chose to shed light and make people see the light in whatever darkness they may be dwelling in.

It’s left to each and everyone of us what we wish to do with our writing skill. Just remember you’ve got a powerful weapon that must not waste.

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Why do you write?

I write because it’s the perfect way I know how to express myself fully without restriction or inhibition.

Which would you choose;

  • Fiction or non fiction? Fiction
  • Reading a good book or listening to great music? Both!
  • Writing or pharmacy? Writing!

What’s your definition of having a great weekend?

A good book in hand or my tablet, tea or coffee and chocolate cake while I’m wrapped nicely in a warm blanket. A good movie (science fiction or drama) could come later in the evening though.

How has your love for books helped your writing?

The more I read books, the more I tend to pay more attention to vocabulary use, tense structure, body language, character development, benefits of research amongst many interesting things. Reading is very vital for a good writer.

What do you love most about writing?

The ability to create characters and make people fall in love with these imaginary friends of mine. It sounds like a Lego movie I know. And the beauty of this is I can express something vital through each story fascinates me. I don’t think I remain the same after I’m done writing a story.

What’s your advice to upcoming writers who are scared to share their talent with the world?

Just do it anyway! Perfection is a journey and this journey begins with a story. If you don’t begin, you’ll never have a story to tell. That in itself is a story!

What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?

To be a lighthouse with my stories and to take joy in the fact that I lived building God’s name above mine during my time on Earth.

We told you Itunu is awesome! If you would like to purchase any of her books, please click the links below;

#WordOfTheDay – You will not believe what this word means

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Hello Sparkle Writers, it’s another opportunity to learn a new word. and you just will not believe what today’s word means.

Today’s word is Peregrinate. Sounds tough? It actually means something very simple.

Peregrinate means to travel especially on foot. In other words, it means to walk.

It can also mean to wander from place to place.

Who would have thought? 

Now let’s use this word in a sentence.

There’s no way I can peregrinate in style and comfort if the sun is this intense. 

Success discovered several charming shops and eateries during her peregrination downtown.

It’s quite easy to use this word. We want Let’s see how many sentences you can form in our comment box! 

 

#GrammarSeries: Let’s talk about double comparisons

the rules of comparison

Hey Sparkle Writers. It’s Tuesday and as you already know on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, it’s time for our Grammar Series!

Who is excited?

Wondering why we are excited about grammar? It’s because every part of our lives as writers needs to be taken care of and grammar is definitely one of them.

Now to today’s topic. 

Double comparison simply means placing side by side two comparative words. Most people make this mistake unconsciously but it is not correct. Some are not aware that it is a grammatical error but as writers, we can’t afford to make such errors. Can we?

Let’s look at a few examples;

Spaghetti is more easier to cook than Jollof rice

Since the words ‘more’ and ‘easier’ are in their comparative forms, this sentence is grammatically wrong..

Corrected: Spaghetti is easier to cook than Jollof rice.

There are however some words that need more to be added to them to get its comparative form. This is an example. 

Example: ‘Beautiful’ is not in its comparative form until we add ‘more’.

She is more beautiful than her sister.

Hope you’ve got it. See you next week!