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Al Graham

Author & Blogger

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Learning

If only my words would set me free…

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My legs hurt, my back aches and my head pounds.  My feet hurt, I’m exhausted and I’m incredibly cranky.  What is it that is wrong with me, why do I feel like a train wreck on such an, otherwise, lovely day?

I’m just home from another gruelling day at work.  My job.  My families roof and food provider.  My means to survive.  My lifestyle maintainence.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great job.  It pays well and its very satisfying.  I am responsible for leading, managing and developing a large team of people.  I’m accountable for ensuring the satisfaction of thousands of customers on a weekly basis.  But, I have to answer to my boss, and his boss and his boss and his boss…

I’m tired and beaten.

I want to write.  I want to create imaginary worlds that people can disappear into.  I want to write insightful, useful articles to help people.  I want my words to be my means of living and surviving.

I AM a writer, but. I want TO BE a writer.

I won’t ever give up.

#livetowritewritetolive

 

My Blog is dead

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Less than a week ago, my blog stats were booming.  My readers were reading what I had written.  Liking what I had to say.  Commenting on my posts.

A week later.  Nothing.

The stats graph on my WordPress App shows nothing more than a roller coaster that peaked a week ago.

The truth is, I’m back into reality.  A week ago, I was on holiday from work and I had far more free time to sit and write.  I was relaxed and my ideas flowed from my mind, down my arms, into my fingers and ultimately onto the key board.  It was a great week.  I was feeling confident about my blog.

I went back to work and within two days, my desire to come up and sit and post anything onto my blog had withered.  I worried that I was losing interest and all that hard work last week was a fluke.

I had to remind myself that the desire to be a writer has always been there and always will be.  Realistically, to have any success as a writer, I’ll need to work hard on the balance of ‘real life’ and the life of me, ‘the writer’.

It’s amazing how hard it can be to get yourself back into something that you know you love, yet, the reality of working to live can overpower the desire of writing to live.

However, I will not be beaten.  I mean, Ive posted 2 blogs already tonight.

My blog isn’t dead.  It was merely resting.

Photo Credit

500 and Counting…

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Yesterday I reached a bit of a milestone.

I was sitting having lunch with my wife and my parents.  My iPhone bleeped, notifying me of a new alert.  The alert was from the WordPress App, ‘Congratulations, you’ve reached 500 likes!’

Everyday, my blog that I started only a month ago, continues to surprise me and make me smile.

You just never know what kind of response, that the post you happen to be typing, will actually get.

Who knows if anybody will even read this?

I’m a firm believer in hard work paying off, you reap what you sew and that if you want something badly enough, come hell or high water you’ll get it.

My WordPress blog continues to be a foundation of the hard work and imagination that goes into my writing, it’s also a showcase for the world to read it, if they choose.

In life, if you praise somebody when they’re doing a good job, it’ll motivate them to continue and get even better.

Yesterday afternoon, the alert on my iPhone was my praise and motivation to ‘keep going, you’re doing alright’.

To the next 500 likes.

Photo Credit

The ‘likes’ & ‘views’ Roller coaster

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My blog is fairly new.  In fact, its very new.  Like most people, I’m using it as a vessel to get my writing out there, to showcase my abilities and share what I have to share.

I have the WordPress App on my iPhone, on my iPad.  I sit in front of the iMac at night, as I am now, and I look at my stats, I study what has been read, what has been ignored.

I find that it bothers me, when an article is viewed, but, has not been liked.  Which is ridiculous, because not everybody will like what I have to say or what story I like to tell.

Some mornings, especially after posting a blog, I’ll wake up to notifications galore, likes, followers and comments.  Some mornings, there’s nothing.

Before I go to bed, I’ll look at my stats and wonder why I’ve only had 3 visitors and 5 views all day.  Other nights, I can’t believe that I’ve had 15 visitors and 30 views in one day.

If I have a ‘bad’ day, statistics wise, I find it motivates me to get back in front of the keyboard and batter away at a new article.  Other times, I feel disheartened and steer clear of the keyboard.

I’m not criticising my readers or my followers.  I’m criticising myself, for being too critical on my work and my blog.  But, when you want to succeed at something you love, its impossible to switch off.  You constantly raise that ‘barr’!

Until tomorrows view count and like counter…

 

More on the importance of Copyrighting your work

We established the importance of Copyrighting your work and some simple steps to achieve it, on my post, here.

While these are all simple, yet effective methods in ensuring your work is protected, there are still some important detail to cover to ensure that your work remains protected and potential bootleggers are deterred.

Point 2 on Important Tips on Copyrighting your work, described printing a small copyright notice on the body or at the end of your article.  These are known as Copyright Notices.

So, where should I place or print my copyright notice?

1. If you’ve written a book or manuscript, your copyright notice must be printed at the start of your book, inside the front cover, on the first page, or on a page before any other content appears.

2. If you’ve written an article, essay, blog or a poem (single page documents), your copyright notice should appear at the foot of the page or document.

Readers should be fully aware that your work is protected as quickly as they begin to read it.

 

 

13 Top Tips to becoming a successful Writer

  
Becoming a successful writer is not without hard work, perseverance and the inevitable rejections. However, your determination and practice will dictate how much or how little success you receive from your efforts. Below are 13 top tips for beginners to help you get started.

1. First of all, sign up to WordPress to ensure that you begin exposing yourself and your work to your audience.

2. Read, read and read. When you’ve finished reading, relax with a book. It is truly amazing how many aspiring writers forget to read. Your reading should not be limited to what you would normally read. Read widely and keep an open mind. If you normally read thrillers, then read a romance and science fiction novel. Read woman’s magazines when your at the dentist or the back of a cereal box when your at the supermarket.

3. Write everyday, even if its just a few sentences. It doesn’t matter what you actually put on paper, it will keep your mind fresh and focused on writing, rather than just building it all up for a power session at the weekend.

4. Always carry a notebook. You never know when that idea for that blockbuster novel will pop into your head. Carry it every where and keep it by your bed a night.

5. Be a sponge. Observe what is around you and take everything in. If you are a serious writer, you should always be thinking about how to describe what you see in words.

6. Keep a scrapbook and paste cuttings from newspapers into it. The cuttings should be stories of interest that you may use for possible future writing.

7. Experiences, yours and others, large and small, should be seen and examined as potential writing material.

8. Keep a writing schedule. Set realistic targets and goals and stick to them.

9. Copyright everything that you create. This ensures that nobody can steal and claim any of your work as their own.

10. Treat your writing as a business. Keep records of everything that you submit and the returns that they generate. It is essential that if you are sending manuscripts to publishers that you keep an accurate postage record.

11. Don’t give up. The quickest way that you can recover from a publishers or editors rejection is to keep on writing.

12. Finally, don’t forget the most important part, that most of us forget: Put pen to paper and start writing.

These are just the basics, but it should be enough to help you understand and to get started.

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