Archive for June, 2006

Blog whispering

Many writers and especially bloggers constantly face the battle to come up with new ideas for their writing. Desire on her blog The Conservatory of One writes that we need to be “blog whisperers.”

Successful bloggers are blog whisperers. They possess the ability to coax new and improved content from their blog…

This is an intriguing idea. Most successful bloggers will tell you that content in a blog is king. To be successful one must have good content, writing that will bring readers back to the site in their droves, eager to read the next posting. Most, however, fail to deliver on the important aspect of “how” to do this.

Over coming weeks Desire plans to reveal “7 Secrets to Writing Great Posts“. The first one is titled “Plan Your Posts”. Sounds simple enough. I know that this is one area I fall down on – I tend to take a scatter-gun approach, writing whatever comes into my head or I read what others are writing about. I did start off with a plan; I need to get back to it.

Read the whole article here.

Reference Materials Online

Research is essential for many writers. Where to start looking is often a major headache. Searching online can turn the headache into a migraine. There is just too much material.

High quality writing is the result of good research, following the rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as writing in a readable easy to follow style.

When working to accomplish this balance, the best writers know they must utilize their friends on the reference shelf, English usage and style reference books, composition guides and reliable writers’ manuals. If you cannot yet afford an extensive writing library, do not despair.

Desire on her site A Conservatory of One has a link to a vast library of online help.

Click here for the link.

Writing Success

Many writers yearn for success. Most writers want their carefully crafted words to be published. More than that, they also desire a large readership, people who enjoy their stories or are inspired by their words. Many writers look at the publishing world through rose-coloured glasses. They do not realise how difficult it is to get published, let alone be successful as an author. There are very few writers who make it to the big time, to number one on the best seller list. Most writers will never see their words in print. As for making money, even a modest amount, this is way beyond them.

It was against this background that I was encouraged when reading an emailed newsletter recently. The newsletter was the Writers’ Market, a production of the print magazine Writers Digest. The following quote struck a chord with me, just one amongst many thousands seeking publication.

…beginning and not-so-famous writers do get published. Bowker recently reported nearly 200,000 new titles were published in 2005. At best, only 20-30 titles were by “big name” personalities; hard-working writers wrote the rest. So keep your nose to the grindstone and keep at it, because writing success does happen—nearly 200,000 times a year!

Nearly a quarter of a million titles are published somewhere in the world each year. Only a very few are written by high profile names. The rest are written by writers like me, struggling to make a mark, small though it be, on the publishing world.

Just keep writing.

Using the Internet

The rapid growth of the internet of the last decade has been a two-edged sword for writers. Consider the following points:


  • Research information is often just a few key strokes away on Google.
  • Publishers and writers can communicate instantly via email.
  • The tyranny of distance is no longer a major issue.
  • Writers who blog can instantly publish their work and potentially have a world-wide audience for their writing.


  • Almost everyone, it seems, thinks they have the ability to be a writer without doing the many years of hard work to hone one’s skills.
  • The millions of blogs on the internet that display a chronic ignorance of basic spelling, punctuation and sentence construction skills means that the internet is in grave danger of becoming clogged up with fifth rate rubbish.
  • The internet has produced a proliferation of on-line writing courses with tens of thousands of would-be authors. The present day trend is for fewer books to be published. With thousands more writers submitting work to publishers, the slush piles in publishers’ offices are rapidly becoming mountains, making the discovery of worthwhile manuscripts even harder.

“I have to say I am a bit jaded by the Internet.” writes Sean
McLachlan. “I rarely surf for new sites anymore, unless it’s part
of my research, and while I’m a member of several writing-related
news groups, I tend to skim them as the majority of people on
them are rather amateurish. That said, the Internet is vital to
my writing career. I live in Spain, and all my publishers are
either in the U.S. or U.K. I simply couldn’t make a living if I
couldn’t cyber commute. I use the Internet about as much as I
did a few years ago, but my use is more work-related and
efficient. I don’t spend much time reading stuff that won’t help
my career.”

Sean is right. He also highlights an important skill one needs to develop, that of focus. It is easy to become distracted for hours surfing the net. Focus on the task in hand and ignore all the distracting, non-useful, sometimes poorly written garbage displayed on the internet. Sifting the wheat from all that chaff is a skill all writers need to develop.

Sometimes, however, I feel overwhelmed.

Trying to find relevant information is like finding lots of wheat in the haystack – but it’s the tiny needle you are looking for.

Photo Gallery



This posting has very little to do with writing or blogging.

My son has set up a family photo gallery. On this gallery we will be posting photos on the following topics:

  • travel and transport
  • birds, animals, insects and reptiles
  • plants, flowers and other natural wonders
  • parks, gardens, places of interest
  • landscapes, riverscapes and seascapes

To look at the photo gallery click here or use the Navigation link on the right.

Related sites:

Trevor’s Birding – my birding blog about Australian birds.

Trevor’s Travels – my travel blog about travel in Australia, Thailand and Nepal.