Writing is a craft; treat it as such

Medieval

Do you know that there has always been this argument about the difference between art and craft? Well, it has often been said that writing cannot fall into the category of craft because it does not produce something tangible like pottery, sculpting and wood-carving would produce.

It has also been mentioned that art comes as a result of a person’s innate talent while skill in craft can be acquired with experience. How wrong! 

You see, writing is art and craft all at the same time. It is true that writing, irrespective of whatever genre, first begins with your innate talent. However, it does not end there.  You’ve got to put in the work. Someone who carves wood for instance becomes skilled with experience. No wood carver becomes a legend overnight, irrespective of how talented he or she maybe. It takes time, lots of work, practice and experience to become a better crafts-person. The same happens with writing. Don’t see yourself as someone who just puts down whatever he feels like. You are a skilled person, setting hearts free, bringing joy and hope with your words.

It is high time you began seeing your writing as a craft. When you do this, it takes on a new shape. It becomes something tangible. You begin to see yourself as a crafts-person using his or her tools, which in this case are not concrete, to carve out images that people can relate with.

How do you get to that point where your writing becomes so tangible and real that your audience can almost touch your message? The answer is to keep writing to gain mastery of your craft.

One thing you should always remember is this: it is a good thing to be a talented writer. However, without practice and determination, you will never be a skilled crafts-person. Talent is just never enough.

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Google Analytics explained

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If you are a blogger and you do not know just how important Google Analytics is for your blogging thank us later. Google Analytics is a super important tool for any blogger. We know you may have heard people raving about it but this post will tell you how it can help.

If you’ve not taken it seriously before now, you need to change your ways and this is why. 

Google Analytics helps you to: 

  •  Track down daily and monthly visitors to your blog.
  • Track the time spent by visitors on your blog.
  • Track how quickly audience leave your blog.
  • Provide information on the trending keywords among your target audience.
  • Track the channel trough which traffic is generated to your blog.

Generally, Google Analytics is a necessary tool for monitoring the overall performance of your blog as well as traffic. Knowing all of the above information can help you as a blogger to improve the quality and performance of your blog thereby increasing its visibility on the web.

If you have not gotten a lot of traction on your blog maybe you should employ Google Analytics to help. It gives you raw data you can work with. 

 

#WritingQuote – “Don’t talk about writing. Don’t whine about writing. Write and then edit and edit again.” Nnedi Okorafor

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Don’t talk about writing. Don’t whine about writing. Don’t spend all your time obsessing over who wins what award. Write. And then edit. And edit again. Put in the work. Put in the time. Don’t try to get published too early. Don’t focus on making money or receiving praise, focus on been the best writer you can be.
Nnedi Okorafor, Author of Lagoon

We find this straight-to-the-point quote for today really refreshing. It is so relatable and that is what makes this quote relevant to us as writers. Think about it. How many times have you talked about writing, heard about writing and even read books about writing and yet, you haven’t brought yourself to write a single word, phrase or sentence about anything on your own.

Even when you eventually bring yourself to write, you still obsess about the award that you so badly want your writing to bring for you or the barrage of criticisms that may, most likely, follow your writing.

Nnedi Okorafor is speaking to you today dear writer.

Focus on your writing; focus on being the best writer you can possible be. Go beyond all of the talking about writing and actually write and then edit and edit again. There is no crime in editing. Remember, let your focus remain on you and what you can do to improve you. Seriously, no one becomes a great writer by doing every other thing related to writing except writing itself.

#WordOfTheDay – Egregious is a word you should learn

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Hello Sparkle Writers our word for today is ……egregious.”

We thought to bring this word to your notice today. So, the next time you write, you can find a new way of expressing old concepts or meaning.

“Egregious,” is pronounced as / i-GREE-juhs/.

It is an adjective used to mean, “Remarkable in a bad way; Exceptional, conspicuous, outstanding, most usually in a negative fashion; outrageously bad or shocking.”

The word actually has an origin. It is from Latin egregius (outstanding). Earlier, something egregious was one that stood out because it was remarkably good. However, over time, the word evolved and today it refers to something offensive

For example,

The boy’s narrative was marred by a number of egregious spellings.

 

 

 

 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Life as we know it

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Social media has changed the way life is and the earlier we accept it the better. Today’s title is dedicated to one of the posts we selected. You will love this week’s pick. 

This is one great thing writing does. It helps to pass strong messages across without causing so much trouble. Thank you Fawaz for sharing. 

brunch (1)Sue Chioma touches a very important point with this post. Home is where the heart is but we all agree that home means different thins to different people. While some have family members who make life beautiful, others have found succor in the arms of friends. Whatever home means to you, you will agree with us that there’s no place like it. 

brunch (3)Your work goes before you and speaks clearly. Not just your words. We’re with Muhamad on this one. brunch (4)Tomiwa blew our minds away with this post. Social media has made it easy for you to know that you are not alone. Going through something and want to find out who else is going through the same thing? Hashtag it! brunch

12 things to note when getting your domain name

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If you are a blogger considering moving from probably a wordpress.com account to hosting your own website, this post is for you. We will not be able to exhaust all of the dos and don’ts in one post but we can give you enough information that will help to shape your website decisions.

Here are the dos and don’ts.

  • Choose the right technology and hosting solutions in website building.
  • Use the smallest images you need, not the smallest images available.
  • Use software programs to compress large images or to resize.
  • Avoid complex designs. Stick with a simple design.
  • Use the same background images on every page.
  • Limit what your visitors have to download.
  • Open the site on a mobile using data connection and check how fast it loads.
  • Make the site mobile-friendly.
  • Make the icons clear and well-organized.
  • Make it easy to find addresses and phone numbers.
  • Make sure your web designer is cool with codes and scripts that is if you are not the web designer.
  • Do a test-run on as many browsers and devices as possible.

And you are good to go!

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Find out what procrastination, failure and pain have in common

Medieval

If you are new to the Hub you may not know about our #PickOfTheWeek series so we’d explain what it is. On this segement we feature amazing writers, whom you may not know because there are so many of them. 

If you are a writer and want to be on the segment, please tag us on instagram

The first post by Richard Dappa tells us the differnece between a man and a woman from a fresh perpective. Do you agree with him? brunch (4).pngMost times we are get upset when we feel like failed others but Muhamad Gbolahan reminds us that when we fail ourselves, fail to work on those big dreams, that is the biggest failure, although there is a way out of that too. 

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We told you there was a solution! Adebisi Olaniyi brings the solution with her post. Even when you fail yourself or make mistakes, don’t dwell in them. It is not wise. 

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The last post for today is by Sue Chioma. If you are a recurrent procrastinator this is for you. Whateever you have to do, do quick. 

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The difference between your blog and social media

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Do you know that there is a difference between your blog and social media? If you didn’t know, this post is just for you.  

This is why. 

Blogging and social media allow people to share their opinions and thoughts with the people who listen. They allow you to promote the links you want to promote, share that news status, and more. However, blogging and social media are also very different.

When you blog, your content is all by itself. There is no competition when someone enters the URL to your blog. It’s just your blog post followed by another one of your blog posts. With this method, you can develop a stronger community.

On social media, you will develop a larger community, but larger doesn’t mean stronger. If someone is following thousands of people, chances are they won’t see a lot of your tweets. Social media is also filled with competition because the timeline keeps on updating. A new tweet appears on your timeline every second, and millions of tweets are sent out every day. This is the same for Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and all of the other social networks. It’s also very easy to get fake followers although fake subscribers to a blog are less likely.

Blogging allows you to develop a strong community and social media allows you to build a large community. It’s quantity against quality. However, if you can mix the two together, you will have a big presence on the web.

 

#WritingQuote – “All you need is passion for your work and an overwhelming desire to tell a story you genuinely care about.” Sefi Atta

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You do not need attention to write. All you need is passion for your work and an overwhelming desire to tell a story you genuinely care about. Readers can sense your sincerity and it separates you from the pretenders. – Sefi Atta, Author of Everything Good Will Come

Before we continue, allow us to say this – Thank you so much Sefi Atta for this brilliant quote! 

You do not need any attention or validation from anybody. When the passion for what you do is present, it will invigorate you to keep on writing and to tell that story or to tell the stories embedded deep within you even when you get discouraged, which you will sometimes get as a writer. It is important that you do not let go of your passion and your desire. As a matter of fact, let it consume you totally.

Never write about something you do not care about. This is very important. Yes, you are a writer and you can always string words together, whatever the topic is. But there is always a palpable difference when you write about something you deeply care about. You pour in your very self into the writings until people can read your work and feel your person in it. That creates a connection that enables you to reach out and touch that person’s heart or need.

Never forget to hold on to your passion and desire for what you do. Be sincere and write what you need to write. Your readers will be glad you did.

Why you should stop publishing one post every month

 

You are busy and we understand that but if you continue posting barely once every month you will kill your blog. According to Neil Patel on Moz.com, the less you post, the less chance your newest post has at gaining traction. Sad right? 

That one blog post every two months is about as good as not blogging at all. The more frequently you post, the more traffic you are going to get. That traffic eventually slows and then dies when you stop posting.

Besides, if Google comes back to your site to check for more content and doesn’t find any, it will back off and it may be a long time before the it comes back to check. 

What qualifies you to be a blogger is if you are blogging actively. Except you really don’t care if anyone reads your post, you really should do something about your blogging consistency and the earlier you do so, the better for you and the next post you are about to publish.