10 Must-Have Tools for Writers

10 Must-Have Tools for Writers

10 Must-Have Tools for Writers
19
FEBRUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho
A surgeon without a scalpel has no business in an operating theatre and a sailor without a compass will soon hit an iceberg. In today’s fast-paced world where we swim in a sea of distractions, a writer needs more than a pen and a paper to truly survive and stand out. Tools give leverage which translates to speed, accuracy, and efficiency in the execution of our daily projects.
There is a school of thought that believes that writing is effortless and a lazy man’s job. This is why you get a weird look anytime you tell someone that you are a full-time writer. Writing is not for the fainthearted but these tools bring ease and comfort while you do what you love – writing. In 2018, there is a bevy of online tools provided by the soothing womb of technology to assist writers. All you need is to take advantage of them.
I hope these tools make life easy for you as much as they have assisted me.
Writing and Editing Tools
If I was an affiliate marketer for Evernote, I should have raked in hundreds of dollars by now. Ever since I fell in love with Evernote in 2013, I have introduced the writing app to almost every passionate writer that crossed my path. I just can’t stop talking about an app that has a variety of features such as work chat, photo editor, PDF viewer, MS Office viewer, voice recorder and many more. You can install the app both on your phone and personal computer; it syncs your work on both devices in seconds. You can create several notebooks depending on the number of projects you are presently working on.
Evernote is a must-have for spontaneous writers who would love to get their thoughts and ideas at the points of conception. In other words, I mean if a scene inspires you, take a photo or video using your Evernote, save it in a note and work on it later.

 

2. Google Doc

The most popular writing software is unarguably Microsoft Word but in some instances where you need to collaborate with a teammate on a project, Google Doc is a lifesaver. In December 2017, while working on a project with a friend in the United Kingdom, we had to settle for Google Doc because it allowed us to work on the project at the same time. It’s beautiful and amazing! Another feature on Google Doc which I find fascinating is its ability to incorporate Google Search especially when you are looking for external hyperlinks to support your arguments and facts.

3. Cliche finder

If you have read any of my articles on editing, you must have caught a glimpse of my hatred for clichés. I encourage writers to ditch clichés in their writings. This is one of the fundamental laws of writing that I learnt from the sagacious author of Animal Farm, George Orwell. Clichés and redundant statements rip off the wings of your articles, they squirm in places where they are meant to fly. Cliché finder will fish out the clichés in your writing and decorate your work in a stylish fashion.

4. Grammarly

Asides its growing popularity, it’s one of the world’s most accurate online grammar checker. After using your checklist for personal editing, Grammarly can assist in adding finishing touches to your article. It does more than just detect spelling errors, it contains explanatory notes that support its suggested corrections. It’s a cool way to learn more about English grammar.
In addition to improving the quality of your text, the premium plan has advanced features such as plagiarism checker and vocabulary enhancement. However, the free plan will polish your writing.

5. Hemingway Editor

If you want your writing to ride on the sophisticated wings of clarity and simplicity, then you need to run into the waiting arms of Hemingway Editor. Hemingway Writing App makes your writing bold, clear and direct. It’s two in one; you can use it for writing and leverage its editing features. It calls your attention to overly long sentences, passive voices and needless adverbs. The primary goal of the web application is to make the readability of your text excellent.
“True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who move easiest have learned to dance.” – Alexander Pope

6. OTranscribe

If you have ever worked as a journalist, you will agree with me that it could be very challenging to transcribe recorded interviews. Transcribing is a formidable task; it saps your energy and could be nerve-racking. OTranscribe makes life easy for you. The web application is a powerful tool because of its ability to process different audio formats. Let me show you the icing on the cake; it can create text from the YouTube videos and it’s all for free.

7. Hipster Sound

If you are a storyteller or a novelist, you will appreciate the artistic beauty of Hipstersound. It creates the sounds that characterize a real-life environment such as coffee shop, restaurant, heavy rainfall and many other fascinating scenes. In the comfort of your room, you can feel the pulse of the clumsy coffee shop and allow the garments of your imagination to get wet in the rain.

8. Online Thesaurus

Just like a thesaurus; it is a library of synonyms and antonyms that can add variety to your writing. It’s an online web application and it’s free.
Productivity Tools

9. RescueTime

Time is one of the most democratically distributed resources in life but very expensive because it’s irretrievable. Now, to the scary part: time is running out, you don’t have any control over it, you don’t have all the time and you don’t even know how much you have left on this planet.
When you install RescueTime on your phone and personal computer, it will create daily reports showing your productivity levels. The productivity chart is created using data generated from the time spent on different applications on these two devices. If you binge on Netflix or YouTube, it’s recorded as downtime. This can show you the lapses in your time management and hence initiate an improvement strategy.

 

10. Focusbooster app

Productivity comes at a price – discipline and effective management of distractions. Focus booster app was designed based on the Pomodoro technique and it has a proven track record of increasing productivity amidst freelancers, employees, and writers. Focus on a task for 25 minutes and get a break of 5 minutes at the end of each session. When you are done with the fourth session, you can embark on a break of 20 minutes to restrategize and plan your schedule again. I always advise people to do one thing at a time, focus booster will assist in maximizing focus and getting amazing results in a short period of time.
In conclusion, I only recommend tools that I have used personally. These tools will help you in achieving your writing goals in 2018. Let me know in the comments which tools you use in your writing that were not mentioned here. I’d love to check them out!

15 Inspiring Quotes from John Maxwell on Success and Leadership

15 Inspiring Quotes from John Maxwell on Success and Leadership

15 Inspiring Quotes from John Maxwell on Success and Leadership
12
FEBRUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho
Leadership is often regarded as a mesh of complex theories and a web of mysteries until Maxwell came on the scene. American author, John C. Maxwell, demystifies the indispensable concept of leadership with simple words and inspiring stories. His riveting message is specially designed for anyone who aspires to be a courageous leader in his/her sphere.
Maxwell has published over 30 books and sold over 20 million copies. He is a leadership coach and expert with a wealth of experience spanning over two decades of attending to the needs of world leaders and employees of Fortune 500 companies.
Photo Credit: www.johnmaxwell.com
When the going gets tough and you are wearied by the heavy blow of failure, words of inspiration may be all you need to awaken the strength within. Words are powerful, words have power, and words can be your power. These quotes from Maxwell are motivating nuggets – amazing balls of energy that can propel you to the next stage in life.
Let’s get started!
The Fifteen balls of energy

1.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – John C. Maxwell.

2.

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – John C. Maxwell.

3.

“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” – John C. Maxwell.

4.

“Live to learn and you will really learn to live.” – John C. Maxwell.

5.

“People’s capacity to achieve is determined by their leader’s ability to empower.” – John C. Maxwell.

6.

“Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you growing.” – John C. Maxwell.

7.

“You will never change until you change something you do daily.” – John C. Maxwell

8.

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” – John C. Maxwell.

10.

“Goals may give focus, but dreams give power.” – John C. Maxwell.

11.

“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” – John C. Maxwell.

12.

“A minute of thought is greater than an hour of talk.” – John C. Maxwell.

13.

“Leader become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” – John C. Maxwell.

14.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell.

15.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwell.

Bonus Quote:

“The only guarantee for failure is to stop trying.” – John C. Maxwell

It’s high time you focused on excellence and watch success chase you pants down. Steer your life in the direction of purpose and find the courage to smile in the midst of your worries. Fight through self-doubt and be a strong leader both for yourself and those who follow you.
It is your turn to share with me. I am curious! Which one of these quotes is your favorite? 

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA
28
JANUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho

As furniture subtly crept into our daily lives, a unique entrepreneur from Sweden made life easy for humanity. Kamprad blessed the world with Billy bookshelves, Friheten sofas, Kallax shelf units, Lack side tables and many more. Ingvar Kamprad, the brain behind the outstanding success of IKEA, a furniture-making company, has died at the age of 91.

According to his family, he died “peacefully” in his sleep on January 27, 2018. He left quietly but the echoes of his footsteps as he departed has woken everyone in the neighbourhood.

 

As the world pay tributes, I am here to share about the ingenuity of a young industrious man who climbed the slippery ladder of wealth with a fortune made from furniture. I am naturally attracted to creative and innovative people – Kamprad, a trailblazer belongs to this clan.

 

I want to write about the ambience of intelligence and creativity that beam with smiles when you stroll into a store full of IKEA furniture. I want to add letters to the simplicity that flows from the frugal life of the Swedish business magnate and the excellence he left behind for unborn generations.
He molded a company that “cares” about the needs of the common man who can’t do without a piece of furniture. Kamprad started a revolution that has outlived him – you can set-up your furniture (chairs, sofas, wardrobes, cupboards) yourself from a flat-pack in 45 minutes. He pioneered the flat-pack furniture series – an innovation that raised him shoulder high above his competitors.
Here are some interesting facts about the exceptional business tycoon.
The Eight Fascinating Facts

1. Kamprad made his first business deal at age five.

At a young age of five, Kamprad started developing his entrepreneurial skills by selling matches in his village, Smalad. He started this business when he discovered that he could buy matches in bulk at a cheap price from Stockholm and make appreciable profits from sales.

The farm boy with a bicycle at seven traveled to neighbouring fields to sell his matches. He later expanded his line of goods by selling fish, Christmas decorations, ballpoint pens, seeds, and pencils.

2. He started IKEA at age 17.

Kamprad started IKEA in 1943, four years into the bloody World War II. He used some money he got from his father as a gift for performing well at his studies despite his dyslexia. He started out by selling carbon copies of his Uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. Five years later, he diversified his product lines and added furniture. He retired as CEO in 1988 and stepped down from the company’s board in 2013 at the age of 87.

3. Kamprad lived a frugal life.

Despite the success of his company, he was the billionaire with a reputation for penny-pinching and an epitome of extreme frugality. During the inventory of his estate in 2013, it was reported that he had only two cars – a 2008 Skoda and a 1993 Volvo 240. He was known for flying economy class and shopping for second-hand clothes at flea markets.

 

4. He was the second richest person in Europe.

According to The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the worth of Kamprad before his death was $59billion. At the time of his death, he ranked as the second richest man in Europe behind Amancio Ortega and only seven men were ahead of him on the world map.

5. Kamprad left Sweden so he could pay lower taxes.

In a bid to reduce his taxes, Kamprad left Sweden for Denmark in 1973 and eventually settled for Switzerland in 1976. He lived in Switzerland for 38 years before returning home in 2014.
“Creativity and believing in your work is absolutely a necessary part of success.” – Ingvar Kamprad
Before I conclude, let’s look at some interesting facts about his multi-billion dollar company, IKEA.

6. IKEA is an acronym.

The first two letters of IKEA originates from his names – Ingvar and Kamprad while the two remaining letters came from the name of the farm he grew up, Elmtaryd, and the nearby village, Agunnaryd. His love for Sweden can be seen in the two main colors of IKEA which can be found on the Swedish national flag – blue and yellow. He placed Sweden on the world map.

 

7. IKEA is the world’s largest consumer of wood.

The furniture-making company has grown over the years with a total of 412 stores in 49 countries. To meet the demands of their ever-increasing customers, they munch wood and consumes 1% of the world’s supply of wood.

 

 

8. IKEA has a store on every continent except South America.

Well, there is an IKEA store in the Dominican Republic and this part of the world is often considered as the Carribean. Hopefully, South America will get an IKEA store soon.

 

Source: Store locations by continent as at Aug. 2016 (www.ikea.com)
In conclusion, this is the story of a young farm boy from the village of Smalad that rose through the ranks of life to become one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Kamprad’s life teaches about the discipline to stay focused on an idea until it blossoms.

It unravels the power of an idea successfully birthed by a visionary leader that understood the essence of consistency. I hope this inspires you to chase success pants down and remain undaunted in the face of challenges until you lay hold of greatness.

Welcome to 2018: What Will You Do Differently?

Welcome to 2018: What Will You Do Differently?

Welcome to 2018: What Will You Do Differently?
02
JANUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho
I started the new year in the midst of brethren, we prayed and worshipped Yahweh until 2018 strolled in like a new baby in swaddling clothes.

 

The whole ground reverberated because of the enormity of the ecstasy that filled the auditorium. The tremulous energy was inundating, to say the least.
I only wish that our determination to succeed this year would wear the same regalia as our physical acrobatics. Unfortunately, only a few carry the grit of the first minute of 2018 into the second day of the year.
New year resolutions crash even before the first day gets completed. 
The year 2018 will chart the same route just like its siblings – 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 if we keep doing the same things over and over again.
Sadly, you must have heard this before but its true – “Nothing happens until you change.” However, “change” is relative and means different things to all of us.

 

What will you do differently this year? 
Will you reduce the number of hours you waste on social media? 
Will you increase the number of hours you use for personal meditation, retrospection, and thinking? 
Will you read those dusty books on your shelf? 
Will you write that pending book? 
Will you create that blog? 
Will you start that business and give wings to your creative ideas? 
Will you start that saving scheme? 
Will you enroll in that online course?
The world is waiting… And time is ticking away.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. It’s just like saying that Arsenal FC will win the English Premier League when Arsene Wenger is still at the helm of affairs with his rigid tactics.

 

It’s not going to work. (Smiles)
Cheers to a prosperous 2018!
So, what’s the point of my admonition?
I have heard the mantras/prophecies for this year – “My year of awakening,” “My year of greater glory,” “My year of divine speed,” “My year of abundance.” […]
But these words may become slogans that fail to appear in your life if you fail to do one thing to your plans.

 

Execution!
I mean ruthless execution.  

 

It implies chasing your life goals with tenacity like today is going to be your last day on earth.
Create a plan for the new year with a room for the changes you want to implement. The plans will come alive when you take action – execution!
Planning and execution work hand-in-hand for the realization of your goals.
In addition, as you start the new year, there are two things you should watch carefully – comparison with others and negative people. 

The Two Things You Should Do

1. Stop Comparison
I know you have some fears, doubts, and worries but I am glad to tell you that your worries will die a natural death when you no longer measure your success based on the achievements of your colleagues. Social media fuels comparison because we often believe the manicured lies and pedicured deception. Friends, comparison shuts down the revving engines of euphoria within you. Comparison focuses on the needless things and manhandles your peace of mind.

 

When comparison and competition is your motivation, moments of rejoicing with others may become seasons of depression. Stop it! It kills you and renders your potential to pennies because you no longer focus on the strength within. So, what should be my motivation? Find your motivation in the scrolls of your purpose; let your purpose in life be your yardstick to measure success and progress. Oh! You want to leave a legacy here on earth; let that motivate you and spur you on to greater heights. Yes, it’s very possible!
“Negative people are very toxic, say goodbye to them because you can no longer be their clients.”
2. Stay Happy and Shut Out Negative People
I want you to choose a new path where there is no room for any form of complaints or space for murmurs. Climb to a unique terrain where you leap for joy and jump with a grateful heart. In the midst of this newly found cheerfulness lies the power to conquer new grounds and surmount the mountains of challenges.
In 2018, learn how to make yourself happy by doing the things that bring out the best in you. The happiest moments of your life are not in your past, they are days of ecstasy waiting to be lived in your future. The more you realize how beautiful your future is, the quicker you forget your irreparable past. Be happy and learn to shut out negative people. Negative people are very toxic, say goodbye to them because you can no longer be their clients.
In conclusion, avoid comparison, shut down negative vibes, find out what needs to change in your life, create a plan, and be intentional about executing your plan.

 

Welcome to your best year yet!
It’s a new book with 12 new chapters and 365 new crispy pages. Write a story of impact with the ink of time.
Expect explosive and insightful conversations from me in 2018.

 

How do you think I can be of help to you this year?  
I am reviewing my content and strategies. Your answers and replies will go a long way. 
Thanks in anticipation.

 

 

Top 10 Inventions of 2017 That Will Inspire You

Top 10 Inventions of 2017 That Will Inspire You

Top 10 Inventions of 2017 That Will Inspire You
24
DECEMBER, 2017
Samuel Osho
The best of entrepreneurs and innovators embark on a personal journey to find viable solutions to their pains and challenges. When compared to an ordinary nagging consumer, innovators see opportunities for scalable businesses where others scream because of a pinch of discomfort. Technology is moving at a top speed and gradually leaving trails that can create a desirable future for its loyal disciples.

Every creative mind knows that the birth of anything valuable is painful – it involves deep thinking, resilience and commitment. I totally agree with American Industrialist, Henry Ford, when he shared his thoughts about the price of thinking: “Thinking is one of the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”

Irresistible innovation that is often embraced by the world is a product of deep thinking. As usual, we enjoyed some bytes of progress from the castles of technology in 2017 because some creative thinkers went to work.

Here are my top ten inventions of 2017 and I think every creative person out there needs to see this list.

The Top 10 Inventions

1. Fidget Spinners

The popularity of fidget spinners surged in 2017 that it caused a disruption in the way people “handle psychological stress and nervousness.” In classrooms and offices, fidget spinners assisted individuals to indulge in a mild form of distraction. It’s surprising how the “toys” received wide approval from the teeming populace. The craze translated to a spike in sales and revenue for its manufacturers.

 

Although there is no scientific evidence to substantiate the claims, a school of thought opines that the spinners help in the treatment of patients suffering from disorders such as ADHD and autism. As of 2017, the inventor of the fidget spinner is unknown and the status of the patent claims is unclear. At this point, I really don’t care if the inventor is Catherin Hettinger or Scott McCoskery, all that matters is the fact that a spinner is raking in sales from a generation that struggles with low attention span.
Photo Credit: DJI

2. DJI Spark

In the past one decade, the ubiquity of drones is on the increase and on the lips of every digitally inclined mind. Its versatility and multi-purpose nature have made it the target of individuals from diverse sectors. You can use drones for rescue operations, surveillance, relief missions and of course, to capture a cinematic and aerial view of a place either in video or photo formats.

 

The China-based company, DJI have a strong presence in the drone market and its recent release of DJI Spark at a giveaway price of $499USD has changed the way millennials take selfies. I recently operated a drone from the DJI family and I can testify to the cinematic wonder that these flying goblets create. Spark is a smart drone with an average flying time of 16 minutes; sensitive to gestures, easy to operate and free from shakes. It has very impressive features that ensure safe flight and harmless landing.
Photo Credit: Ember Technologies

3. Ember Mug

According to the Cosmopolitan, “Ember Mug is the Apple Watch of tumblers” and I totally agree with this assertion because of its well-thought-out design. Ember Mug gives coffee lovers a completely new experience where they get to have their beverage at the desired temperature. The mug keeps your coffee at the desired temperature for two hours on the go; it retains and regulates heat. Its aesthetic appeal and intelligence have made it the cynosure of all eyes.

 

The ceramic mug which has a charging saucer was launched on Nov. 9 and it’s available for sale in 4,600 U.S. Starbucks stores. The Ember Travel Mug won the 2017 IDSA IDEA industrial Design Awards. These are the inventions of Ember Technologies and the founder of the Los Angeles-based company, Clay Alexander, definitely had his thinking cap on to pull this off.

 

Photo Credit: The Verge

4. Linktree

For lovers of Instagram, the launch of Linktree is a big relief and a shortcut to having a bio that can house more than one link. Linktree is a web application that can help you add multiple custom links to your Instagram bio. It uses your Instagram handle to create one umbrella link that leads to the “tree of links.”

 

If you are a writer or a brand ambassador that’s concerned about the conversion of leads and engagement metrics from your Instagram profile, you can create a free Linktree account. This is a lovely invention and a social media tool that makes life easy for digital marketers.
Photo Credit: Nintendo

5. Nintendo Switch

Gaming just got better with the new release of a hybrid video gaming console from Nintendo. The extra-ordinary gaming console, Nintendo Switch, hit the stores in March 2017 and it was welcomed with a roaring applause. With the new console, you can game on the go with its hand-held tablet format and revert to the normal playing style with its docking station when you get home.

 

The console’s flexibility accommodates both single and multiple players because it has two controllers. Within nine months of its release, Nintendo has sold over 10 million units of Nintendo Switches.
Photo Credit: Engadget

6. Molekule

This is an air filter that does not only trap harmful air pollutants but also destroys them. The physical product made with the aim of helping millions of people breathe better and easier uses a major component called the coated nano-filter. The inventor, Dr. Yogi Goswami started the company with his daughter, Jaya Rao, and son, Dilip Goswami.

 

The price of the air filter is nearly $800 USD, plus $99 USD per year for new filters. Till date, Molekule has raised over $15 million from investors who believe in the dream.
“Thinking is one of the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” – Henry Ford
Photo Credit: The Gadgeteer

7. Norton Core

This is more than just a WiFi router as it comes with security and parental control features to protect every device in the home, from PC to smart TVs. Norton Core is a high-performance router that utilizes advanced machine learning and Symantec’s global threat intelligence network to make your use of Internet a safe cruise.

 

If any device on the network gets a virus, the secure wireless router automatically shuts down the device in the similitude of a sick patient in need of a medical attention. If you have a myriad of smart devices connected to the Internet at home and in the office, then you need the intelligent Norton Core to be protected from hackers.

 

8. Tasty One Top

In 2017, the world got the smartest cooking assistant ever; a versatile appliance with an induction cooktop that looks like a hot plate but syncs with the Tasty smartphone app that contains a library of recipes of your most popular meals. The app in conjunction with the cooker guides the chef through the cooking process via a built-in sensor and a thermometer that tracks the cooking temperature.

 

This is a superb invention which is rare; it is going to change the way people learn how to cook their favorite meals. And above all, trying out new meals becomes easy even if you are an inexperienced chef.
Photo Credit: CNN

9. Oculus Go

Virtual Reality is now within your reach with Facebook’s Oculus Go. With no PC wires or extra gadgets attached, Oculus Go is an all-in-one VR headset made fit for you. This is a stand-alone computer that will blow your mind with a variety of spatial VR experience. It is set for release in early 2018 at a cheap price of $199 USD. You can pre-order here from authorized retailers.

 

It is portable and an intelligent attempt to make VR experience reachable to every technology enthusiast; designed with adjustable straps, breathable fabrics, and great lenses. You can literally immerse yourself in 1,000 VR games, social apps, 360-degree experiences, and more.
Photo Credit: The New Yorker

10. Ruggie Clock

This is a revolutionary clock for early risers; a simple but sophisticated reinvention of the traditional alarm clock. If you are tired of snoozing your alarms to steal more sleep on your bed, then you may need to trust the ingenuity packaged in the Ruggie clock. Ruggie clock was built to get you out of bed early because the sound of the clock won’t stop until you place your feet on the soft rug for three seconds.

 

It’s easy to set up; it has a touch activated LED display with powerful built-in speakers.

 

These inventions are bundles of inspirations to every creative mind or anyone that is poised to make a difference in a noisy world. I was humbled by the creativity embedded in these new inventions; kudos to the dogged inventors, the resilient research teams and unconventional product designers that made these things happen.

 

I am curious! I want to know your top three inventions of the year from this list.

 

What are your top three inventions of 2017 from this list? 

 

PS: All the inventions here were featured in TIME Magazine’s “25 Best Inventions of 2017” except Linktree and Ruggie Clock.

 Photo Credit: Tolu Babarinde (Featured Photo)

 

Top 10 Writing Lessons of 2017

Top 10 Writing Lessons of 2017

Top 10 Writing Lessons from 2017
17
DECEMBER, 2017
Samuel Osho
Oh! My good friend, the year 2017, is waving goodbye but its departure is never without the blessing of a diary filled with memorable events. From the swearing-in of Donald Trump to the death of Don Williams to the massive blow of Hurricane Harvey to the numerous sexual harassment scandals, 2017 will always be remembered.
To my utmost surprise, 2017 happened so fast. However, my major personal highlights have the recurring themes of learning, unlearning and relearning. As a writer, I conquered my fears of rejection and stepped out in grand style with my personal website. It’s crazy how I have to show up every week with new ideas fleshed out in fresh blog posts. Alas! This is my 11th blog post and I am still alive – that’s good news.
To be honest, I am still a rookie in writing but I have got some simple truths to share that will inspire you. There is a lot to learn in doing the things you talk or write about, you earn a wealth of experience that stays with you forever. Your experience is golden and it’s priceless.
I’ll be drawing lessons from my personal experience and daily interactions as a writer in 2017.
The Top 10 Writing Lessons

1. Don’t Be Scared of Starting

Just as a crawling baby gets scared of taking the first steps of walking, it’s the same way with life. Everyone feels that pinch of fear whenever there is a push to start a new adventure. Fear emanates from several quarters: risks, doubts, rejections, and uncertainties. It’s natural but you must not allow it to kill your dreams.

Starting a blog is not a child’s play and publishing your first book takes an amount of boldness but you just have to start somewhere. It’s funny how the majority of the things you worry about don’t eventually happen.

2. Choose Your Path

Writers churn out poems, novels, blog posts, non-fiction books and articles. A writer employs writing in creating several products which are all content related. It’s a fantastic idea to be multi-faceted and dexterous but it will be hard to make an impact as a writer if you want to be active in the creation of works for all genres of writing.

You cannot write for everybody. Choose a path you love, stick with the flow and grow till you become the best. I chose the path of creating blog posts on themes such as writing, public speaking, personal development, and productivity. I love writing poems but you will never see my poems here because it’s no longer my priority.

3. Stay Focused

The power of focus cannot be overemphasized. In a noisy world, there is a multitude of busy people but only a few productive persons. I have learnt that it takes concentrated focus to complete a task. Yes, you have chosen a path but you need to be focused on your path or else you start misplacing your priorities.

 

For instance, if you want to be a genius in the world of fiction, it’s time to stay focused on reading and writing novels. Focus is a key that unlocks the power within and unleashes the ingenuity in your brain. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to stay focused, the more reason why it works like magic when you switch on the light of focus.

4. Starve Your Distractions

The world is swimming in a sea of distractions. Attention spans are rapidly decreasing; we blame everyone including the social media except ourselves. People that attract success are individuals who have learnt how to detach themselves from distractions.

Distraction is a subtle killer and reduces the worth of your time from gold to pennies. I recently told a friend how I create my own night during the day in order to find time for writing – I shut down my phone and I switch off the Internet. Twice this year, I had to uninstall Facebook App from my phone when it was becoming a huge distraction for me.

5. Be Committed to Deep Work

In the school of content creation, the big players create quality works and not junks. Quality work is a product of deep work; the successful execution of a demanding task. Blog posts, articles, and books that often become reference points are creative works forged in a place void of distractions.

In the process of scripting solid and robust blog posts in 2017, I learnt the importance of personal commitment to deep work. The term “Deep Work” became popular after an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, Cal Newport, authored a book titled, “Deep Work.” You should consider adding the book to your library. Deep Work is intense and can be very demanding but it is the only way to stand out.

“You can make anything by writing.”
– C.S. Lewis

6. Be Consistent

Every creative mind knows the essence of consistency and its ability to earn you more followers. In 2017, consistency impacted my writing life immensely in two ways: improvement in my writing style and increase in the number of my readers. It’s true that things get better with time; showing up every week with fresh content is a profound way of honing your writing skill. The more you write, the higher your chances of getting better at it.

Regardless of the message you have, consistency is a flavor that attracts others and gives them an impression of the authenticity of your passion. Someone I have come to deeply respect for his consistency is the American author and marketing expert, Seth Godin; I get emails from him every day and they are always fresh and profound thoughts.

7. Chase Progress Not Fame

If the only reason why you write is to get famous or win awards, the chances are high that you’ll soon be frustrated. The social media is built in a way that people use fame as a yardstick for measuring effectiveness. Unfortunately, fame is ephemeral and it puts writers under undue pressure. I’ll advise you to avoid that trap.

Chase progress and improvement in all you do instead of pursuing fame. The worse thing about fame is that at the end no one wins the race, there is always a tipping point for any viral content and it’s unsafe to live your life based on the lifespan of a viral content. Enjoy the process of honing your craft and fall in love with the craft itself – writing.

8. Seek Personal Growth

The mind is created in such a way that there is always a room for new knowledge and a space for learning new things. In the quest to seek personal growth, it’s highly imperative to read relevant books and enroll in online courses. In 2017, I expanded my skill-set with courses from Shaw Academy, LinkedIn Learning, and HubSpot Academy. These decisive steps have been very rewarding. Be deliberate about your personal growth – it’s a sure way of reaching the apex in any chosen path.

9. Connect with Others in Your Tribe

When you find a member of your tribe, you’ll know. Often, people in your tribe share the same passion and do the same work you do. Connecting with your tribe is a fast way of learning solutions to challenges that are commonly faced by people in your field. Starting a blog as a writer was done with ease because I connected with the likes of Jeff Goins, Bryan Harris, Neal Samudre, Joel Friedlander, Michael Hyatt, Tim Ferris and Seth Godin. I have learnt so much from these virtual mentors and thought leaders; all I had to do was connect with their platforms and listen to them.

10. Everyone’s journey is different

At the end, you need to know and understand that everyone’s journey is different. Desist from comparing yourself with others but compete with the best version of yourself. I admire a lot of great writers but I sincerely don’t wish to be like anyone. I seek to be the best version of myself and that is why I stick to my path with a keen focus on my goals. It’s time to plan for 2018 and hit the ground running.

These are my top ten writing lessons for 2017, I hope it inspires and motivates you to do amazing things as a writer in 2018. Always remember that you only fail when you quit. Stay focused on your path and give wings to your ideas.
What are your writing lessons from 2017?

 

 

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