This is what it means to write from the heart

Your ideas are valuable

”Write from the heart.”

You must have heard this line before. You are probably still wondering what it means and why people insist that you must write from the heart. The answer is not far fetched. It is the best place to write from! 

There is a difference between writing because you have to or because your job demands that you write and writing a piece from your heart – something that resonates with you and literally brings fire to your bones.  That’s the reason they say: ”No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” When you write, write from a place of understanding, passion and if possible experience. It reflects and ultimately affects how your readers will respond to your piece.

We are not saying you must always write about something you went through. We are asking that you write about topics you are passionate about; talk about what makes you tick and hey, make us love it too.

It makes your work easier and your readers will also have a good read!  

#GrammarSeries- What you need to know about sentence length

the rules of comparison

Hey grammar lovers, are you ready to learn?

Let’s talk about sentence length and its significance in writing.

One of the simplest ways to spice up your article is to vary the sentence length. With varying sentence lengths, you can capture your readers’ attention more quickly.

However, you should avoid using very long sentences. If you must, make sure that it is unambiguous. A sentence becomes too long when it is incomprehensible. In most cases, very long sentences can be broken up into shorter ones.

On the other hand, your article should not comprise only simple sentences. If you do this, your article will be boring. Short sentences can be used on occasion. For instance, short sentences in an article or write up help to draw the attention of the reader to the information in that sentence.

We hope that helped.

Why writers need some form of training.

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We know writing is known to flow organically and naturally. Most writers don’t admit to getting any form of writing training.

They just tell you that the words come naturally so they write. But we can’t all be like that. A number of writers need training to fine tune their writing skill, others need training on how to identify their writing niche and develop a voice.

Some stubborn writers need a form of training because they have been stuck for years and don’t know what to do.

Here are a few other categories of people who need training. 

 

If you are a new writer, you’ve never written anything before but you believe strongly that you know how to write and want to do something about it. It would be advisable to you take a course. Preferably a basic writing course so you can have a feel of what is expected of writers.

Just write, they tell us.

Fair enough. Write just like  J.K Rowling if you can. But it helps to know what J.K Rowling knows. How can you do that? By going for training. 

If you have been writing for a long time and you suddenly don’t feel excited anymore, you may need some training. Wondering why? You are probably stuck, nothing new seems to be happening and you are now disinterested. 

A writing course can help infuse new life, get you all excited, fired up and ready to write again. 

Wouldn’t you love that? 

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We bet you will. 

You can try any of our writing courses or coaching consultations to help improve your writing. 

To register for any of the courses, send a mail to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com

We are waiting.

 

 

You’re not weird…you’re a writer!

Do you ever see writing as a burden? Why couldn’t you have been given any other gift; something simpler perhaps? You see, it’s not as if being a writer is not exciting. It is. It’s just that it comes with certain peculiarities that may make you seem weird among the so called ‘normal’ people.

Here’s what we mean. A typical writer tends to be deep; introspective more often than not. We think a lot and are often stuck in our heads. It’s not that we are anti-social (it can be argued that some of us are), we just tend to reflect a lot. This is what allows our creative juices to flow. How can we come up with those though-provoking articles, if we lack the ability to step back and reflect?

Depending on the social circle, a writer may be perceived as being boring. Can you blame people? When they want to engage in light-headed conversations, the writer wants to go on the deep path. If they are in the mood, they can be the life of the party. If they are not, you might as well have not invited them out because they may just sit still and observe.

The thing is, when a writer does this, he doesn’t consider himself as being anti-social. He’s observing what going on and might as well be formulating the basis for his next though-provoking piece. 

For a writer, inspiration can come from anywhere. While walking down the street or having a conversation with your favourite cab driver. You never know what will cause that light bulb in your head to go on so you have to be open to everything.

Unfortunately, unlike music artists, writers don’t have the privilege of making two-syllable words to become the trend of the day. You know how musicians sing things like ‘doro’, ‘mama eh’ and the like and it’s ok? Well we can’t do that; at least serious writers can’t. We need to engage our readers and even help some escape reality. If you don’t have inspired words, you won’t be able to achieve this.

No one ever understands what you are doing as a writer. Asides from calling you weird, only very few people consider it to be an actual job. The conversation is usually weird;

What do you do?
I’m a writer.
Oh ok. So what do you do to earn money?
*confused look*

Have you ever had this kind of conversation> Many writers have. Again, we don’t blame such people. Being a writer in Nigeria doesn’t pay as much as it does abroad. Saying that you are a writer alone makes you look jobless and will definitely earn you a long speech from parents who are wondering whether this is what they actually sent you to school for. To become a jobless writer. Isn’t that exciting?

Nonetheless, being a writer sis such a priceless gift. Nothing compares to it. If writing is what you are passionate about please, don’t be ashamed of it. People may not understand your gift; that’s not your problem. Just stick to what you do best and you will the reap fruits. The people who look at you funny will be the same people who will want a share of your success when it comes – when your bestseller can be found on bookshelves across the nation. 

Don’t abandon your dream for anybody. It’s never worth it.

3 mistakes you must avoid when setting your writing goals

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You have been told that you need to set writing goals and now you are pumped and can’t wait to start writing. So you pick up your pen and paper (or journal), and write away.

By the time you are done, if those goals have any of the following errors we are about to mention, you need to correct them immediately.

Copied goals.

If you are setting writing goals just because somebody else is, there is a problem. The reasons why you write your goals will go a long way in determining if you will achieve them or not. Write your goals because you want to, not just because somebody else is writing.

Another thing you should not do is copy someone else’s goal. That is just wrong. Your friend’s writing goal might be to finish writing her book in one month but your love for her does not give you enough reason to copy her goal. Write your own.

Set your goals based on what you want to achieve, not what somebody else wrote.

Small goals

This is a no no. Never ever set small goals just because you don’t believe in yourself. You are shooting yourself in the leg.

As much as we don’t encourage setting unrealistic goals like writing 100 books in a year, we do not approve setting small, or lazy goals either.

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Timeless goals

If you do not add timelines to your goals there is a high possibility that you will not achieve them. You want to publish your first book, when?

Set a deadline for yourself and start working on it immediately. A goal without a deadline is  a dream.

If you have missed any of our posts on setting your writing goals,  you need to check them out.

This is the difference between good and bad writers

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What do you think makes a writer good or bad? His writing style? The number of words he writes in every blog post or the number of books he has written or even sold?

You are about to find out!

A good writer is first identified by his perseverance and dedication to the craft not his skill. Good writers don’t quit. Let’s explain what we mean.

An amateur writer who decides to write everyday and keeps to this will eventually become better than a writer who had gained some skill but stopped writing at a point. Bad writers quit. Good writers keep going.

You must be writing to be a writer. Some people see ‘Writer’ as some kind of title but it’s not.

If you want to be a good writer then keep writing, through the rejection, writing block and frustration. That’s how we know you love what you’re doing.

Good writers know there’s nothing like an overnight success

There’s no how this will happen. There’s a process and you must respect it. It’s that simple.

A good writer knows his audience. 

How will you write well if you don’t even know who your audience is, what they want and what language they understand? A good writer focuses on who he is presenting his piece to and makes the piece appealing to that audience.

 A good writer knows that there’s always room for improvement 

No matter how fantastic your work is there is always something better you can do. The point is that no one is perfect. A good writer realizes this, but doesn’t give up there. A good writer continues learning, and he brings in knowledge about everything from appealing to his audience to learning about different writing styles and everything in between.

There are other things that make a good writer, can you tell us some of them?

 

Want to be a phenomenal writer? Here are some qualities you need to have

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Hello Sparkle Writers. Have you ever wondered if you’ve got what it takes to become the writer of your dreams? We are starting this week with tips on qualities every writer must imbibe to become a phenomenal writer .

Patience

A writer needs lots and lots of patience. Different things will test you; clients, writers block or even your readers.

Completing a manuscript also takes time, you can’t afford to rush the project and discover errors later. There will be days you will have to research, other days you may need to observe. There are even times you’d have absolutely nothing to add to your script but that’s not good enough reason to dump the work and move on.

Keep writing. Although it is not always easy, your patience will ultimately pay off.

Attention to detail

A good writer cannot afford to be careless. Sometimes little grammatical errors and omissions can mar a beautiful piece. Learn to pay attention to detail. It would be terrible to write a scene that was set in the morning and along the line you say the event happened around 6 pm. When forming your characters details are necessary. This helps your readers connect more to your story. Good writers can vividly describe their characters, while allowing their readers to see in detail the scene (including locations) they are describing.

A people watcher

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You must have heard or read this quote by Judy Blume; “a good writer is always a people watcher.”

This is absolutely true. Writers must be able to observe people, their nuances, cultures and preferences. This does not only give you ideas of what to write but observing people helps you develop your stories properly. Some writers complain of never having the ‘inspiration’ to write, when they are just not paying attention to their environment.

Self motivation

This is extremely necessary. If you want your writing career to last long, you must be self motivated. There will be times when you don’t ‘feel’ like writing but when there is a deadline. You’ve got to deliver and on time.

We want you to be a phenomenal writer and we hope you will begin to exhibit these important qualities. 

 

#ChroniclesofAWriter – Let’s talk about your writing goals for 2016. How many have you achieved?

In a few days, we will enter into the month of November.  About eight weeks later, 2016 will come to an end.

I’ve been very amazed at how quickly the year has gone by and 2016 has been quite an eventful year.

This is a good time to do a review of 2016 and start planning for the next year.  I don’t believe you should wait until December to plan for the next year. It’s good to set your goals early.

Have you achieved all your writing goals for the year?

Did you complete that book? Did you event start?

Did you launch your blog? Did you post consistently?

Did you share the message that has been lingering in your heart through your articles?

What have you achieved with your writing gift this year?

I’ll tell you what I have achieved.

I’ve been able to write to inspire people to do more with their writing gift.

I’ve been able to inspire women around the world to aspire for greatness through my position as the Editor/ Content Manager of Leading Ladies Africa.

I have written articles to help startups and entrepreneurs manage their business better thanks to being a contributor for 234Finance.

I have mastered the art of creating and writing social media content. As a result, I have managed content and social media for awesome brands like Black Opal Nigeria and I was part of the content and social media team for the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit. I am currently working with the Communications team at WIMBIZ, in preparation for their annual conference next month.

Through The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, I have created and written different types of content to help all writers to master their craft. I have also been privileged to teach a good number of writers how to monetize their writing skill. The icing on top of the cake is that those writers are now flourishing and earning income from writing.

Although it looks like I have done a lot, there is one thing I haven’t done yet.

I haven’t written my book.

This has been a goal for two years now.

I coach people through the book writing process and I have ghostwritten several books so it’s not about not knowing how to write a book or having the time to write one.

You know what’s missing? It’s that ‘eureka’ light bulb inspiration. There’s a lot for me to write about but I want to write what God wants me to write. Writing a book for writing sake isn’t my desire. I want to be led by God as I write my first book.

So let’s come back to you.

Have you achieved your writing goals?

If you haven’t what’s stopping you?

Why haven’t you written your book? Why haven’t you started your blog? Why haven’t your articles been featured on different newspapers and websites?

We have two more months left in 2016. It’s not too late to take action.

You can start today. Don’t end the year wishing you had started your blog earlier.

If you need help getting started, you know you can always get in touch with us at The Sparkle Writer’s Hub.

The Sparkle Writer's Course

On Saturday, I’ll be teaching a group of writers how to express themselves through writing and monetize their writing gift. I invite you to join us. Register today and take advantage of our 25% discount. It will be worth your time. Send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com to be a part of the class.

See you next week!

 

This is why you should stop comparing yourself with other writers

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Admit it. You sometimes compare yourself with other writes. You find yourself checking out another writer’s work and you wonder how ‘cool’ it would be if you could just write like them.

Most times you can hardly see what’s so special about your work or writing skill because you have not stopped checking out that writer’s latest work.

When a post has several comments, likes or shares there’s a tendency to want to compare and see what makes theirs so ‘popular’,

You are not weird. It happens to the best of us. Well at least those of us that chose to admit it.

Even though a lot of writers do it, here are a few reasons why should stop comparing yourself with other writers;

  • You don’t know the full story

Most times when you compare yourself with other writers, you do so in ignorance. The writers you admire most likely have more writing experience than you do.

Take a moment to see the big picture. Most of them have probably gone through years of training (which comes with consistent writing). Instead of sulking, focus on your writing / learning experience. You’ll get better with time.

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  • Constant comparisons won’t allow your ‘awesomeness’ shine through

If you keep comparing yourself with other writers you will never write well. You’d be too discouraged after concluding that your article does not meet the standard (whatever standard you have set).

Since you are so preoccupied with other writers’ progress, you may not notice that you also write pretty well. If you keep at it, your writing will slowly come to a halt which is not what we want right?

  • You can’t learn from other writers when you compare yourself with them.

Bitterness shuts down the parts of your mind that are otherwise open, observing and adapting. If you envy the way another writer in your group disciplines himself to write consistently, you’re less likely to ask him how he does what he does, and less likely to do it yourself.

Do you have any other reasons why you think comparisons are dangerous? Please share them with us.

Read this great writing advice from a renowned writer

Chinua Achebe, Writing, Writing Advice

I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it. Just think of the work you’ve set yourself to do, and do it as well as you can. Once you have really done all you can, then you can show it to people.

Writing Advice, Writing Quote, The Sparkle Writer's Hub, Writing

But I find this is increasingly not the case with the younger people. They do a first draft and want somebody to finish it off for them with good advice. So I just maneuver myself out of this. I say, Keep at it. I grew up recognizing that there was nobody to give me any advice and that you do your best and if it’s not good enough, someday you will come to terms with that.