Saturday, February 28, 2009

How You Can Improve Your Songwriting Skill

by: Mantius Cazaubon

Are you a beginning songwriter who strives towards writing songs that become hits? Do you need to know how you can improve your songwriting skill?

It's not too complicated. Don't try to re-invent the wheel. As far as I'm concerned the best way to improve your songwriting is to study what hit songwriters do. Forget about the mediocre stuff and learn from the leaders in the songwriting and music industry. Study what works.

As a songwriter who has written quite a few number one songs in my country, one thing that has helped me and continues to help me is the radio. I listen to the radio all the time so I know what type of song is happening. I know what people like, what they want to hear, and what is current. This gives me a good idea of what kind of song I should write to target a particular market.

When you listen to the radio, take notes on what hit songs have in common. Study the structure of these songs. What tempo seems to work? Are the chord progressions complicated or are the songs based mainly on riffs? What kind of chords are used? That way you can write songs that appeal to today's audience. No matter how good your song is, if it sounds like something that would be better suited to ten or twenty years ago, you can forget it.

It is a shame how some songwriters treat the songwriting craft. I'm sorry, but if you do not spend time at developing your craft you are bound to fail. I don't care if it's baseball or dancing, those people who come out and top are the very same ones who practice everyday. Those who spend years at perfecting their craft. So learn form those who were there before you. Study and write songs everyday. Lay hold of songwriting books, get songwriting software, do anything to take you to the next level.

To improve, a songwriter needs to become more knowledgeable everyday. The more things you know about, and the more you can relate to different aspects of everyday life, the better for you. I never heard of a novelist who didn't read constantly. The same applies to songwriting and great songwriters. You must put in a lot of work if you want to excel.

Nothing comes easy in life. Work, work, and work some more. Pattern your writing after what has been proven to work, but never copy. Do it everyday and reap the rewards.

About The Author

Mantius Cazaubon offers lots of valuable songwriting tips, techniques, suggestions and advice on his site Visit for the ultimate truth about lyric writing and songwriting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Make Money as a Ghost Food Writer

by: Pamela White

Like high pay? Have self-confidence? Know food; write well? Ghostwriting may be a career move for motivated writers who are willing to write for high pay but no credit or byline.

Simply put, a ghostwriter is someone who writes a book, speech, article or editorial that will be published under someone else’s name. Celebrity autobiographies are usually written by ghostwriters and established novelists have been known to supply the plot and outline to a ghostwriter who takes the book the rest of the way to publication.

People who need ghostwriters are those who have a recognizable name or business and either cannot write well enough for publication, or do not have the time to write for publication. In a ghostwriting foodie’s dream, a celebrity chef will give the idea, notes, outlines and rough drafts to the writer who will write, rewrite, research, interview and edit the manuscript heading to a publisher.

The celebrity chef’s name and photo will grace the book cover. Her recipes and tips, and the ability to get her book in bookstores everywhere as well as the cachet to get booked on Oprah will get the book published and marketed.

What’s in it for the ghost writer? Anywhere from $100 per finished page to a split of the royalties.

Ghostwriters need to keep their connection with their work confidential, and have a willingness to work around the client’s travel and work schedules. As in every writing assignment food writers win, strong writing and editing skills are essential. Most ghostwritten books are promoted as written by the client, so a strong ego able to withstand reading the praise of the client’s writing is also a must.

When looking for ghost food writing work, be cautious with the auction sites. Neophytes bid low for jobs; you don’t want to bid a book that nets you only $1 a page. Instead, visit sites that list jobs –,, – or find an editorial firm that does ghost writing and see if they are hiring out any work.

Break into ghost food writing by contacting trade magazines with your writing samples. Dazzle them with your writing and the editors are likely to match you with an executive chef or restaurateur who can’t write but will bring prestige to the magazine.

Food writers can turn their culinary knowledge into ghost writing by looking for jobs ghostwriting cookbooks for famous chefs, penning speeches for food executives, writing trade articles for food research scientists, blogging for a local culinary artist, and creating “autobiographies” for owners of food manufacturing firms and Food Network hosts. Keep working behind the scenes and you can build up a lucrative career as a ghost food writer.

About The Author

Pamela White is the publisher of Food Writing, an online ezine and the author of's Guide to Becoming a Food Writer . She teaches an 8-week online food writing class to novices through published authors . Visit her at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Writing Help

by: Jack Thompson

Whether you are working for a small business, large corporation, or are a student, there are numerous sources that you can turn to for help with writing. Businesses need to be able to effectively communicate with their customers, their employees and their potential customers. Effective verbal communication is equally important, but nonverbal communication in the form of copy writing, article writing, press release writing, and more requires a certain level of expertise and experience. The typical small business wants to focus their efforts on their core business activities without spending too much time on projects that can easily be outsourced to consultants or freelance professionals. Many small businesses turn to freelancers to help them save time and money. For example, a certified public accountant opened his own accounting practice after working in another accounting firm for the last ten years. One of the ways he decided to search for new clients was to embark on an advertising and promotional campaign. Although some of his previous clients followed him to his new practice, he wanted to increase the number of accounts he currently handled. These accounts included various individuals and small businesses from around the town. Rather than hire new employees or handle the projects himself, he decided to hire a consultant through a freelance web site to work on copy writing for a local newspaper ad campaign as well as to help with press releases and company news distribution. By outsourcing these non-core business activities to an independent consultant, he is able to save himself time and money and also gets the expertise of an established professional who specializes in the types of writing that he needs assistance with. He decides to list his writing projects in a freelance marketplace and receives bids from independent consultants and freelance writers. He was able to choose a service provider based on factors related to cost, the service provider’s experience, references, and previous feedback from clients. All small businesses have a decision to make about whether to outsource certain projects or to complete the work in house. Using economics as a deciding factor, it makes sense economically for businesses to outsource writing projects when the projects are non-core business activities that do not contribute to the company’s bottom line.

Small businesses also need to be able to effectively communicate with their current customers. Some of the more effective ways to get help writing effective communication for current customers involve using tools such as newsletters, email lists, and articles written by outsourced consultants. Newsletters are very effective ways to keep customers informed of current events and happenings within the company. They also offer you the opportunity to gain new clients as the newsletter gets passed around and is often seen by more than one person during its life cycle. It makes sense and is a smart move to outsource corporate communications instead of keeping it in-house. Hiring a separate professional will save your business money and time. For less than the cost of hiring a full time employee, and because it will contribute to allowing more concentration on the activities that will earn your business money, contracting with a consultant or freelancer for your corporate communications (writing of press releases to distribute company news, getting publicity through pieces in newspapers and magazines, and getting help writing newsletters or articles) simply makes sense. An expert in the field who has amassed many years of experience with business writing, persuasive writing, and copy writing in addition to having experience writing press releases, articles, essays, and possibly academic or technical research and term papers will have a lot to offer you and your business.

Large corporations use writing to effectively communicate on all levels of business. Business writing and corporate communications are essential elements that keep the public informed and give companies their corporate image. A company’s image, or its publicly perceived notion of credibility and reliability is extremely important to its bottom line. For example, upon its introduction many years ago an American car company introduced a car known as the “Nova”. After some time, it was discovered that the car was not selling well in many Spanish speaking countries. Because in Spanish, “No va” translates to “doesn’t go”, the car sales in these countries were dismal. Effective corporate communication can have far reaching effect. Ineffective corporate communication can result in lower sales as shown in the car sales example. Large corporations also need to be effective communicators with their current employees. Internal corporate communications are equally important and keep your employees abreast of company accomplishments, events and human resource issues.

Finally, students also need to be able to write effectively as well. Writing assignments can include writing essays, writing term papers, report writing, and thesis writing not to mention having to demonstrate writing ability in other subjects outside of English class. For example, law students need to be able to write not only persuasive but argumentative writing as well. Foreign language students need to be able to translate into their native language and then back again. Science and technology students need to be able to demonstrate scientific writing ability. Taking writing tips from college professors that teach correct formatting and usage, including APA style, and improving your proofreading and editing skills will result in quality writing assignments. For the student that is looking for writing help and homework assistance for their assignments, freelance marketplaces that allow you to hire a consultant or tutor could be a productive and time saving solution.

From a freelance or independent consultant’s standpoint, marketing writing skills to potential service buyers is important to keeping any consulting business thriving. Registering with freelance marketplaces will enable you to showcase your writing skills, talents and abilities. Previous experience with all kinds of writing ranging from grant writing, fiction writing and interactive writing to writing short stories, articles and ebooks or even technical pieces, in addition to all forms of business writing will enable you to prove your varied background and skills. All of which can be showcased in your freelance marketplace profile. Creating and managing a profile is important to make you stand out from the crowd of freelance writers competing for new writing projects. All in all, those looking for writing help can find a vast array of resources in the form of consultants who are more than willing to lend a helping hand.

About The Author

Jack Thompson is a freelance writer, business consultant and entrepreneur. He has helped thousands of individuals and businesses across the world realize the benefits of outsourcing. Independent consultants, freelance service providers, and companies looking to outsource service projects can post or bid on projects at

Where to Find Writing Jobs Online

by: Abdallah Khamis Abdallah

A freelance writer’s best resource of finding jobs online are Job boards or sites. While some boards are geared specifically to the freelancer, many others also list other type of jobs.

Some job boards allow freelancers to register their profiles and credentials for prospective employers to peruse, others allow resumes and classified ads to be posted. Other sites such as enable employers to post jobs and freelancers to bid fees for the jobs. The site earns a place for any jobs awarded. There are other sites similar to such as

There are many writing job boards online and it is not that difficult to discover them. Some Jobs boards provide links to other job sites and the list could be a bit long.

Searching through the major search engines can also provide an exhaustive list of writing jobs. Use key words such as:

  • Freelance writing Jobs boards
  • Writers Wanted
  • Writing Jobs
  • Copywriting Jobs
  • Technical writing Jobs
  • Submission guidelines.

To make your task of searching for writing jobs online, we have provided you with the following list of sites. We hope you will find what you want.

If you have checked the above sites a number of times in two or three months and you have not got any job. I suggest you assess your skills and consider taking some relevant writing courses. You may also supplement these with a college degree in a relevant field to enhance your marketability. While doing so do some writing exercises and write articles on a wide variety of topics and post them on to articles submission sites online.

About The Author

Abdallah Khamis Abdallah is a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter. To learn more about how you and your business can benefit from viral and credibility marketing solutions visit his website at:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Benefits of Journal Writing

by: Richard Chapo
The benefits of journal writing are fairly well established due to the long history of journal writing. From Anne Frank to Di Vinci, journal writing has proven itself.

Benefits of Journal Writing

When considering the benefits of journal writing, it is important to set a few parameters. First, there is no age limit to using journals. There are distinct benefits for children of all ages, but journal writing is equally valuable to adults. The reason for this is journal writing is an act of personal reflection. Whether it is a teenager reflecting on the social nightmare of high school or an overworked parent taking twenty minutes a night to write is irrelevant. The point is, all age groups benefit from stepping back from their life for a few moments and reflecting on things.

Whether you recognize it or not, journal writing provides you with an anchor in your daily life. In the journal, you are free to write what you want without restrictions, to truly address the issues in your life without fear of criticism. Put another way, one of the benefits of journal writing is it acts as a self-help psychiatrist, but for MUCH cheaper!

As you write in your journal over time, you’ll also start to ascertain a second benefit to doing so. This benefit is one of self-criticism. Inevitably, you’ll read through past entries and review your life. Doing so will lead you to self-reflection as well as thoughts on how you might act differently should certain situations rise again.

Of equal importance, journal writing has health benefits. Before you click away from this article, consider a time in your life when you were extremely frustrated. Hopefully, you spoke to a friend to “get things off your chest.” Didn’t you feel a lot better afterwards? Getting things off your chest helps relieve stress, one of the biggest killers in our modern society. Journal writing acts in much the same way since you are able to write your thoughts without fear of criticism.

There are other benefits to journal writing, but all boil down to one simple fact. Writing in a journal allows you to express yourself without being judged. With the lack of privacy in our modern, digital world, that is hardly a small benefit.

Rick Chapo is with Nomad Journals - makers of writing journals.

This article is free for republishing

Rick Chapo is with Nomad Travel Journals - makers of writing journals and - recoverying overpaid business taxes for small businesses.

Writer’s Web Resources

by: Janet K. Ilacqua

The Internet has truly revolutionized the careers of writers worldwide. Now you can work for publishers, corporations and a whole range of other clients on a truly global scale. Whether you are in the heart of a big city, or in a remote mountain village, all you need is an Internet connection to run your writing business.

The opportunity is fantastic, and so is the writer's life that you could enjoy. But where can you find the jobs you need to establish a full-time writing career?

One way to start is through working the Internet job boards. Here aAlso included and listed separately are resources for business and technical writers, editors, journalists, and translators.

Writers’ Resources--General

Absolute Write - freelance writing, screenwriting, playwriting, writing novels, nonfiction, comic book writing, greeting cards, poetry, songwriting. One stop shop

Emily's Writing for the Web Emily A. Vander Veer gives professional writers the tools needed to promote, publish, and sell work to the largest and fastest-growing market in the world: the Web.

e-Writer's Place For writing inspirations, motivations and prescriptions.

Freelance Writers is a searchable database of writers from all around the world.

Freelance Writing This is the ultimate job board for freelance writers.

Freelance Writing Organization - Int'l This site hosts one of the largest free writing resource links databases in the world! It offers education, daily news, a writer's store, creativity advice and forums, to name a few of the resources. Over 2,000 free writing resources in 40+ categories of writing

FundsForWriters - A plethora of sources where freelance writers can find paying jobs

Momwriters A community of professional and new writers ... who face the unique challenges of writing with children underfoot.

National Writer's Union 'The only U.S. trade union for freelance and contract writers.' We offer contract advice, grievance resolution, health & dental plans, member education, Job Hotline, and networking. See also: Writers Union Job Hotline

Published! Articles and resources...from Marcia Yudkin, author of eleven books and hundreds of magazine articles, syndicated columnist, public radio commentator, writing coach

Published - The Directory of Independent Writers & Artists. searchable directory of independent Writers & Artists

SharpWriter Grammar. Complete writing resources. Lot of good stuff here but not geared expressly for freelancers

Suite101 This is an online community for writers. Not only is this a great site for work-at-home resources. You can apply to become an editor for them and get paid for your work.

Sunoasis Jobs for Writers, Editors, and Copywriters Employment opportunities for writers, journalists, new-media types on-line off-line in reporting feature writing reviewing editing free-lancing editorial content providing etc. ... Recently submitted job offers: Copywriter, Freelance. Monarch Design, a design and advertising agency,

The Burry Man Writers Center freelance job links, resources for fiction and nonfiction writers, working professionals and beginners

with particular support for writing about Scotland

The New Writer - the monthly magazine with the best in fact, fiction and poetry. aimed at all writers: the short story writer, the novelist, the poet, feature writer, anyone with a serious intent to develop their writing to meet the expectations of today's editors.

The Writers Home A Web Site For Writers, Editors And Lovers Of The Written Word.

TrAce Online Writing Community trAce connects writers and readers around the world ... with the focus on creativity, collaboration and training. New media writing, web development

Worldwide Freelance Writer How to sell your writing overseas. Find out where to sell your freelance work. Detailed guidelines for paying writing markets all over the world.

WriteCraft Writers Resource Center Companion to the WriteCraft Critique Group - where writers learn the trade.

writejobs Job Title. Company. Location. Proofreader/editor. Bioedit Ltd. Freelance. Digital Photography Writers ...

Writers Unbound Writing resources, Internet resources related to writing, writers, publishing, epublishing, authors and more. Articles and resources related to creative writing.

Writer’s Software SuperCenter Writer's Software SuperCenter has software for writing books, articles, novels, and screenplays, including Writer's Blocks software, StyleWriter editing software, StoryCraft, and more!

Writing World - Moira Allen provides writing tips, markets, news, contests and more.

The Writer’s Gazette Writing resource site for writers on freelance and publishing, including articles, job board, contests . Nice, comprehensive list of writers’ job boards.

Business and Technical

Copywriter world Freelance writers bid for writing projects such as resume writing, documents in APA style or MLA style writing, poems, sonnets, research papers, business plans, your biography, free e-books, your business proposal, essays, marketing plans, web content, ghost writing, ad copy, catalogs... virtually any form of writing.

Freelance Online - a professional online service for freelancers in the publishing and advertising fields. Free for employers; freelancers pay $15.00/year for membership.

Freelance Success Freelance Success is a community of professional, nonfiction writers who subscribe to a newsletter that guides them toward well-paying markets and editors. There is not a job board located on this site.

Techwriters Employs technical writers on and off site. The pay is excellent, but you must have a lot of experience with the topics Provides local freelance technical writers for projects such as manuals, policies, software documentation, and work flow integration.

Children’s Literature

Institute of Children's Literature offered the premiere writing course, books, and a newsletter to adults interested in learning how to write and be published for children and teens.


Manuscript Editing Fiction and Non-fiction; Serving writers, literary agents, and publishers since 1976.


Fiction Factor - The Online Magazine for Fiction Writers. NEW!

International markets

Australian Writer's Marketplace The essential resource for getting published in Australia and New Zealand.

Author Network - resources for writers including links, articles, monthly columns and ePublishing services.

Canadian Writer's Journal Canada's Independent Writer's Magazine.

Freelance Spain - the online Spanish resource for editors and journalists. Helping journalists build a presence on the web. The web directory for UK freelance journalists. offers you the complete guide to freelancing for publishers as a copyeditor or proofreader.

New Zealand Writers Website Writing Resources for New Zealand writers WritelinkPRO is the content provider for top UK monthly newsletter and website. We pay on acceptance for writing articles, fiction, poetry, reviews. We offer free e-book workshops, free e-book on travel writing, exclusive Members Area.


International Federation of Journalists - The world's largest organization of journalists, representing around 450,000 members in more than 100 countries.

News Jobs Network Journalisms resources and News jobs in US, Canada and Utah.

UK Links 4 Journalists the most useful sites on the web. This is the journalist's section.


ProZ: Freelance translators, translation services, agencies, jobs and directory ...

Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia Fostering creative writing and the profession of writing in Nova Scotia.

Writerfind New Zealand Linking New Zealand writers with local and global markets.


writernetwork. We provide dramatic writers with the tools they need to build better careers and redefine the

SEO Article Writing 101

by: Marsha Maung

SEO writing is very different from content writing, article writing, story writing and news writing. When I first realized my innate talent for writing stuff and putting thoughts into words, I was still reading Mills and Boons, and it was during this time that my romance storybooks were confiscated by my classroom teacher because I was reading in class.

Writing is a very personal thing, I discovered. Some people have the talent for writing creative stuff. Some people have the talent for writing ads. Some write excellent factual stuff. Well, I fall into the factual stuff category. The boring-writing-technical-mumbo-jumbo writing stuff. How I fit into this category, I don’t know.

Well, SEO article writing is very much like that. First, you decide what topic or keyword that you want. For instance, you’re selling decorative lamps, right? in the SEO article writing process, list down ‘decorative’ and ‘lamps’. Then think about other words that relates to ‘decorative’ and ‘lamps’…words that people use all the time to describe them. This is a very important part of SEO article writing because these are common words that your potential site visitors will use to find you.

How about ‘light’, ‘bright’, ‘pretty’, ‘lighting’?

Ok, now your SEO article writing keywords are:- decorative, lamps, light, bright, pretty and lighting, right? So, on to the SEO article writing process. First you write everything that you need to write down first. Beef up the article. As a general rule of thumb, SEO articles should be no less than 300 words and no more than 500 words. Any more than that, you’re wasting your writing a novel for your SEO article. Read through the SEO article now and replace words and reword sentences to fit in those keywords. Yes, you’ll have to restructure some the SEO keywords here and there, but do it anyway.

Make sure the sentences make sense, ok? Because although the search engines won’t know bad grammar from good grammar, your site visitors will. And most of them, site visitors who visit your website based on those SEO keywords DO mind the bad grammar. And once you turn them away, it’s almost impossible to bring them back!

The final step to SEO article writing is…..proofread your SEO article and make sure they flow. The problem with SEO writing is that your thoughts might come in buckets….a splash here and a splash there. So, during the SEO article proofreading process, you’ll have to make sure one paragraph flows on to the next.

Good luck!

About The Author

Marsha Maung is a freelance graphic designer and copy writer who works from home. She designs apparel and premium items at and is the author of "Raising little magicians", and the popular "The Lance in freelancing". More information can be found at

How To Overcome The Lyric Writing Hurdles That Are Keeping You Behind

by: Mantius Cazaubon

The lyric writing side of songwriting is known to create an enormous number of problems for some folks. No matter how hard they try, they are unable to write a single line that they can be pleased with.

In many cases these very same people make phenomenal advancements in writing music and melodies. However they just can't seem to figure out how to come up with suitable lyrics to match them.

If you are facing such a situation, there's probably no need to worry. By taking certain appropriate steps you should be able to overcome lyric writing hurdles and write songs that deliver.

(1) Here are some essential ideas for overcoming these hurdles.

1. Collaboration

If you're very good at writing melodies but can't seem to write a single line, one solution might be collaboration. Instead of beating your head against the wall for ideas, find someone who is very good at writing lyrics and work together. You may be surprised at the wonders that can emanate from a combination of his excellence at writing lyrics and your brilliance at writing melodies.

2. Lyric writing tools

Perhaps you may be hoping for some other solution. While you don't mind the idea of collaboration, you want to allow yourself to get better at writing lyrics, instead of leaving it to someone else.

As far as I'm concerned, the importance of laying hold on good songwriting "tools" should never be underestimated. Educate yourself as much as you can. Make use of songwriting books, programs, courses, software, articles or whatever valuable resources that you have at your disposal.

3. Motivation

You've probably heard it said a thousand times ... Without motivation, you won't go very far. This also applies to your lyric writing. While the songwriting "tools" outlined above can help you improve, without adequate motivation failure is inevitable.

(2) Here are a few tips to help you generate lyric writing ideas.

1. Use different lyrics to bring the same message across.

Choose a theme which is known to have made a few hits. What message does this theme bring across? Write different lyrics that bring the same message across. A typical example of this is John Denver's "I'm Leaving on a Jetplane" and Wyclef Jean's "Gone till November". These songs made hits in different eras. Their basic message was similar ... Baby, you don't need to cry because I'll return.

2. Add a unique twist to a cliche.

Turn on your radio and you will hear cliches being repeated over and over. Using these very same cliches is simply a futile exercise. My suggestion is to add a unique twist to these cliches. This is something I am focusing on more and more.

A typical example of adding a unique twist to a cliche is found in Dianne Warren's "Unbreak my Heart" made popular by Toni Braxton. The ever popular cliche, "break my heart", was twisted.

(3) Here are three lyric writing suggestions.

1. Write a song about a particular incident. Your song should tell a story.

2. Write lyrics that have absolutely nothing to do with anything you've actually experienced.

3. Get lyric writing ideas from newspapers, magazines, movies, TV and so on.

Overcoming lyric writing hurdles involves a lot of determination, hard work and perseverance on your part. Implement the suggestions presented above and move one step closer to lyric writing success.

About The Author

Mantius Cazaubon offers lots of valuable songwriting tips, techniques, suggestions and advice on his site Visit for the ultimate truth about lyric writing and songwriting.

The Written Word

by: Iscrizione Disimbol

The Art of Writing

Very few people can avoid writing on a daily basis. Of course, some people really enjoy writing, others do it out of necessity. Writing, essentially, involves placing a series of words together to convey a certain message or meaning. To write in its basic form is not a difficult task. Some people are natural writers, others find it a lot harder and have to work at the process in order to convey what they are trying to say. Writing is normally done by an individual.

For certain individuals, writing their feelings down is a choice form of self-expression. The mere process of keeping a written record of one's daily trials and tribulations, in the form of a personal journal or blog (in electronic form) has a healing effect. Blogging is now big, in our electronically-driven society. Some people write for a living such as journalists, advertising and commercial copywriters and ghostwriters for publishing houses, as well as novelists. Careers in writing range from producing page-turning style pulp fiction to works of great literary significance. The bottom line is that writing as a career can be lucrative for those with talent, as well as those in the right place, at the right time.

Not everyone finds writing easy. Generally speaking, practice makes perfect, so keep trying and your writing style is likely to improve. Writing requires the use of your brain and as such the brain must be trained to produce written work.

There's no getting away from it

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Are Writing Exercises Effective?

by: Lana Hampton

It was reported that the great American author Sinclair Lewis was once asked to give a lecture on writing to a group of college students: "Looking out at this gathering," he said to the assembled students, "makes me want to know how many of you really and truly wish to become writers?" Every hand in the room went up. Lewis looked at them for a moment and then folded his notes and put them away. "If that's true," he said, "then the best advice I can give you is to go home and start writing." He then turned and left the room.

If the first secret of writing is to write and if you've set up some sort of writing schedule, the next step is to figure out what to write.

Opening a brand new file and looking at a blank screen often results in a kind of brain-freeze; we feel as idea-less as the empty screen we're staring at. Writing exercises can help us thaw our idea bank. The goal of a writing exercise is to open your mind and allow you to hone your skills and experiment. The joy of such an exercise is it's not 'for real.' That is, there's no thought of pleasing an editor or finding a publisher or meeting a deadline or getting paid. You're just writing, with your internal editor turned off.

Some freelancers find writing exercises so effective and freeing they actually begin every writing session with a 10 or 15-minute exercise. Others use them more sporadically. But however you do it, writing exercises will help you with your writing. Use writing exercises in your writing schedule, as a natural part of your writing discipline; use the exercises often and watch your writing improve.

Ideally, a writing exercise is short, requiring you to spend no more than 10 or 15 minutes writing, thinking and feeling about something that's unrelated to the rest of your writing work. In a way, they are like mini-meditations and mini-vacations because they clear out the cobwebs and give you a new view.

It's that new view, that different way of seeing, of expressing, that's the key to a good writing exercise. Naturally, not every exercise blows your mind every time. Sometimes you are just not ready for the challenge presented, but even then, the seed is planted. Sometimes you are simply not up for doing a writing exercise, which is okay too. Again, simply reading can set some new thoughts in motion.

About The Author

Lana Hampton makes it easy to improve your writing skills. Visit today for the latest writing tips and information.

Writing Help for College Students

by: Tamara Owen

Your literature professor has asked you to write a 7-page essay comparing Medieval and Renaissance poetry; your economics professor wants 15 pages on how globalization is affecting the economy in three different countries; and your mathematics professor has forgotten this is a mathematics class, and wants 5 pages on the quadratic formula. And you have been staring at the computer screen for over an hour wondering how on earth you are going to do all of this in the next four days.

This is an all-too-familiar scene to many students. Many students learn of these large assignments at the beginning of the semester when they receive their class syllabi, and immediately forget about them because November seems like years away. Other students are busy with extracurricular sports, trying to adjust to being away from home for the first time, and other events and issues. Still other students are quite frankly terrified of the writing process, believing the blank page to be worse than their worst nightmare, and so these assignments get shoved aside to remain untouched until the last minute.

It is an interesting fact of college life that all students, regardless of major or discipline, are asked to write about their subject matter -- often quite extensively. While it is certainly important that all individuals be literate, and know how to read and write in a variety of capacities, styles, and genres, it is also the case that not everyone has to be a professional academic writer ( Engineers need to know how to design bridges or better towel racks; pilots need to be able to take off and land safely and smoothly; and physicians need to be able to diagnose illnesses and injuries and to prescribe the correct medical interventions. None of these people needs to know how to write a term paper.

What, then, are the options for the poor student struggling in the first paragraph? What will happen to the student who is a prodigy on the piano but is facing failure because she cannot write 10 pages on Beethoven? What will happen to the next Frank Lloyd Wright who is stuck in his psychology seminar, unable to write a series of vignettes portraying various mental illnesses?

There are a few options. Most college campuses have writing labs, where many students are helped with researching and writing their papers. Many students form study groups, where they help each other through the tough assignments. Some students write their custom essays and term papers (see: and then pay an editor to polish them. Still others turn to professional writing services for assistance with their assignments. This is where services such as come in. We have a large staff of professional writers who specialize in writing papers about a wide variety of disciplines ranging from economics to ecology, marketing to Mozart, Hemingway to heart murmurs. We can also assist students with related projects, such as PowerPoint Presentations. In the many years of our existence, we have found tremendous success helping students with assignments of all sizes, all levels of difficulty, and all subjects.

Regardless of what type of help you choose, the important thing is that you get through college as quickly and effectively as possible. College is a step leading up to the rest of your life -- don't let a term paper be the skateboard in your path.