Full Circle Communications

January 2015
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past issues on such topics as design tips for writers and speechwriting.

ease in writing?
"Ease in writing" comes from a poem by Alexander Pope, the British poet:
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, 
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. 
Note he (and I) didn't say "easy writing." But just as dance lessons can help get you around the floor more gracefully, the goal for this newsletter is to share a tip or two to improve your writing.

Recipient of a 2012 Constant Contact All Star Award.

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Write-able Resolutions for 2015

Clouds Happy new year! Need a jumpstart to get through this week--or year?

A few years ago, I compiled a list of "write-able" resolutions. They will not take long, but they will improve how you write. Here it is again, back by popular demand and with a few new ideas thrown in:

1. Revise one more time. No matter how many times you usually revise something, go through one additional revision. You will catch all sorts of things that otherwise would slip by.

2. Ask one more person than you usually do for feedback (which means, of course, if you don't normally ask anyone, ask one person). Another set of eyes will give you a fresh perspective.

3. Attend one literary reading. Bookstores, the Library of Congress, and universities all schedule regular readings by poets and prose writers. I'm not suggesting weekly or even monthly attendance, unless that is what you enjoy doing. Just try one. It is very inspiring.

4. Read one book about the craft of writing. Two of my favorites are by William Zinsser (On Writing Well and Inventing the Truth). In 2014, I used Thinking Like Your Editor

5. Write one piece in a genre you have never tried. A poem, an op-ed, a travel article--something you don't normally try. Make it short. Don't spend a lot of time on it unless you get inspired. But stretch yourself a bit.

6. Read one literary classic. Go back to an author of your choice--Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, or any other author that you have been "meaning to get to." (In 2014, I finally read Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell and A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, inspired by trips to Barcelona and Paris.)

7. Bookmark one new reference website that you will actually use. A few possibilities: The Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online, Chicago Manual of Style Online, or the Mayo Clinic, depending on your needs and interests.

8. Schedule an artist's date that does not involve words. Those familiar with Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way know she suggests a weekly "artist's date"--a walk in nature, a museum, an interesting shop--to get the creative juices flowing. In this case, help your writing through something visual, musical, or tactile.
9. Write a letter (not an e-mail) to a friend or family member. You might even consider doing something really daring, like handwriting it.

10. Free-write 15 minutes a day. Use a prompt or a situation that sticks in your mind. React to a picture, a news headline, a snip of music, or your own day's events.

Nothing too bold, nothing too time-consuming. Just a few suggestions that get at both the art and craft of writing. Let me know other ideas--I would love to hear them. And best wishes for a healthy, happy 2015!    

pen and paper In this 24/7 world, those of us in deadline-driving professions like writing and editing are used to marshaling the resources to get an assignment completed on time.

Sick as it might sound, sometimes when a client tells me their project has no particular timeline, I almost beg for a deadline! Please, give me something to schedule around!

That's why our own creative projects are tricky. The deadline-czar is....ourselves. The requirements are....self-directed. The consequences for non-completion....our own personal disappointment.

A special wish of good luck to you this year as you embark on your own personal goal, whether writing-related or not. If you need to impose deadlines to get it done, do it! If you need to give yourself permission to spend the time, you deserve to do so.

Of course, I am hoping to inspire myself as much as I am you. We can do it!   
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