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Get published in 2018

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Get published in 2018

Get published in 2017. Contact Theresa for writing, editing and self-publishing services.

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Posture is Key

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Posture is Key

Since this is a blog post aimed at people who spend much of their time writing for pleasure or as a profession, you are no doubt reading this article while seated in a chair in front of a computer. And like most computer users, you’ve probably been in this sedentary position for quite a while, shoulders rounded and neck forward. Most of us are guilty of abandoning good common sense to balance our work routine with regular physical activity, even if it’s taking a ten minute walk on the treadmill, doing simple stretch exercises like the ones advocated by the Royal Canadian Air Force, or marching on the spot for about ten minutes. A litmus test if your sitting posture is forcing your spine out of alignment is the extent of back and neck pain you encounter at the end of the day. If you are experiencing fatigue and discomfort, and perhaps have difficulty walking without leaning forward, you may have “sitting disease”. Sitting disease is a new buzzword for a sedentary lifestyle that might be putting your health at risk; this syndrome affects people of all ages, including young children. Sitting Disease Maintaining good posture is vital. Humans are not meant to sit in one position for too long, slumped over a keyboard for hours on end. Our sedentary lifestyle often causes us to develop early arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, lethargy, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, cancer and obesity. In addition, curvature of the spine is a major health issue, contributing to a host of aches and pains and health problems, including behavior abnormalities. The skeleton is the framework of support for all the body’s systems, including circulatory, respiratory, and digestive as well as nervous system functions. Prevention is better, and easier, than cure. Today’s “sitting disease” also includes spending hours behind the wheel, sitting long hours at a desk or workstation, relaxing on the couch watching TV, and sleeping on a faulty mattress. For young children the problem of potential postural issues later in life often starts with having to sit in car seats and strollers. Healthy Muscles As a full-time writer and editor I find it frustrating to be constantly aware of the clock, but I’ve discovered it is imperative to take regular short breaks that involve some sort of physical activity. Of course the solution lies in maintaining a good posture at all times. As a teenager I recall my mother regularly admonishing me to sit up straight, but bad habits creep in when one is engrossed in computer work. The best position to sit at a desk is simply to push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair; adjust the seat height so your feet are flat on the floor and your knees equal to or slightly lower than, your hips. Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-110° reclined angle; also adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your shoulders are relaxed. It is my nature to get involved in a project and work at it without monitoring the time it takes to deliver a good end-product. Often, if the project necessitates, I follow a 16-hour a day schedule over several days or weeks, which is hazardous to muscle health. It is vital to keep our muscles healthy to be able to walk, run, jump, lift things, play sports; strong muscles also help to keep your joints in good shape.  However, of late my daily routines have clashed with my goals and I am forced to re-assess old physical and mental habits. I now work at my computer...

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Freelance Writers Wanted

Posted by on Aug 21, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Freelance Writers Wanted

These three words — Freelance Writers Wanted — instantly prompts any dedicated freelance writer into action. The opportunity to earn a living working from home and applying a skill that is also their passion, is a dream come true. While Confucius tells us to “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”, freelance writers must nonetheless follow a rigid work ethic if they want to establish a solid reputation of being competent and reliable. Research and writing can be demanding of one’s time and energy, but in the end producing a well-written piece is worth the effort. Different Rules Because time is a valuable commodity in most fields of endeavor today, only written material of an exceptional standard should be considered for possible publication. It is equally important to know that writing for print and online publication requires different approaches. Different rules also apply when writing academic papers, technical studies, scripts, manuals and book manuscripts. Writers Voice Do you have what it takes to build a career as a freelance writer? Apart from demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the topic by way of writing samples, it is critical that the quality of your writing consistently makes a lasting impression, and of course meeting every specification of the brief. A well-written report or article is determined by the use of appropriate words, flawless language, and accurate investigation. Also, in order to attract the attention of editors and readers in general, the writers ‘voice’ must be conveyed in the narrative, to sufficiently rouse and maintain their interest to want to continue reading. Lifelong Learning A big plus is opting for clear unpretentious prose that is easily interpreted by the reader; it is better to be understood than admired for an extensive vocabulary. The composition of good writing should feel like a one-on-one conversation with the writer, using words and techniques that allow the reader to mentally visualize their intention. It is imperative that the freelance writer develop deep expertise in specific industries, including a commitment to lifelong learning in areas of current interest such as encryption, cloud technology, the Internet of Things, lean and agile methods, content marketing, and social media. However, because writing is incredibly subjective, trying to appeal to every client or editor’s sensibilities can be challenging. For example, some online sites or publications claim online articles or blogs should not exceed 500 words, while others prefer long-form content to satisfy the scrutiny imposed by major search engines’ optimization benchmarks. Writers who are determined to make a career of freelance writing are encouraged by the growing demand for writers who can inform, entertain and create a one-on-one connection with readers. Personal Brand When I published my first book, “The Complete Guide to Working from Home” in 1990, the one business profile that made the most sense as a natural offshoot was Freelance Writing. I stepped into the wonderful world of freelance writing close on three decades ago. During this time I have been asked many questions by writers wanting to ‘test the waters’ as freelancers. The most ardent question to date has been “How do I put myself out there among a vast number of international freelance writers who have access to a recurring client base, are highly qualified, boast a versatile repertoire, and have the capability to produce well-researched, well-written plagiarism-free content on a quick turnaround?” Other equally important questions involve finding clients, setting up a dedicated website, building a portfolio, what to charge, contracts, secure payment options, and how to build a personal brand. Marketing yourself as a...

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Writing for children

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Writing for children

Writing for children

Imagnary House is a new boutique publishing house for children’s literature in Cape Town, South Africa. Founder and CEO, Brad Harris, says: “We are focused on building a larger market for African children’s authors and illustrators by both igniting the local readership and engaging with international readers.” Website: https://imagnaryhouse.com/. Imagnary House has just opened their submissions after launching their debut publication (Seven by B. D. Harris), and is now looking to build up their publication list for the next 2 years. What are they looking for? “We love stories that are fun and imaginative, but also address current societal issues for children. We want simple stories that mean something and can feed positively into our children’s futures,” says Brad Harris. Imagnary House will consider submissions in the following genres: Children’s long form fiction (think Roald Dahl and CS Lewis narratives) Picture books Rhyming verse books (think Dr Seuss) Writers and illustrators can submit their work on Imagnary Houses’ submissions page at https://imagnaryhouse.com/pages/submissions. Writing for children is a challenging endeavour; it demands swiftness, characters that appeal to the age group, fitting dialogue, and factual explanation. Many people today claim they don’t like to read, although there is a marked revival among young people who are finding works by contemporary writers appealing, as well as books from the past by well-known authors. While some non-readers are diagnosed as Dyslexic and may experience specific learning disabilities in reading, most others who seldom if ever pick up a book or magazine to read admit to finding reading for leisure boring, too difficult, not important and a waste of time. Children, in particular, with poor reading habits usually get poor grades at school; they are easily distracted, exhibit anti-social behavior, fail to achieve ego-identity during adolescence, and often fail to develop to their full potential. >...

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Brand Journalism

Posted by on May 22, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Brand Journalism

Brand Journalism

Tell your story! Imagine a video presentation with zoom-in and zoom-out functions with music and narrative that draws the viewers’ attention to your branding message. Businesses can grow their reputation and identity by telling their company’s brand story. Why? Because consumers have for so long been bombarded with blatant marketing and advertising propaganda, to the point where they are reluctant to accept much of anything on face value. People generally hate being sold. More so today’s consumer because they are more savvy at deciphering typical advertising jargon, instantly recognizing empty promises written in marketing lingo, and being duped into blind acceptance of just how much they would benefit from parting with their hard-earned cash. Build Consumer Trust Even though the commercial landscape today of supply-and-demand has been a constant since the Industrial Revolution, producers of goods continue to flood the already saturated market with new must-have items. Of course ever-evolving technological development is essential to the progress of mankind and to accommodate our fast-paced lifestyles, society continues to build on its adverse status as being wasteful. Our landfills are bursting at the seams with discarded possessions to make place for the next best thing. Many argue that this cycle is precisely what makes the world go round, keeping the wheels of industry [and consumerism] well-oiled and economically sustainable. Yet, some things have changed to make us re-think our current automated acceptance of a so-called ideal existence. Social Responsibility Consumers expect the companies that produce goods and deliver services to be accountable for the outcome it has on people and the environment. In fact, any action that has the slightest risk of threatening our future must be questioned. As a starting point, people whose job it is to influence consumers or decisions that impact society at large are obligated to step up their game. Waffling about good intentions that are watered down as time progresses or making bold promises beyond their capabilities is a death knell to many industry or political campaigners. Once they lose the trust of their target audience, future attempts to salvage collateral damage are doomed. Marketers, for example, recognize that simply running an advertisement with a few catchy lines to provoke a desire for ownership, are long gone. Consumer Involvement Consumers today demand in-depth insight into behind-the-scenes decision-making processes and policies that effect end-users. They want the freedom to evaluate the validity of what is on offer for themselves, and in particular the source. Successful companies endorse a collaborative relationship with their public. The modern consumer is diverse in their expectations, which means companies must build a lifelong relationship with them to keep track of evolving behaviors. But is telling a company’s story enough to significantly sway a consumers’ loyalty to that business? Business managers and entrepreneurs, even politicians and educators, should utilize brand journalism to tell their story to strengthen public perceptions and experiences of products, services and solutions to social ills. Authenticity promotes loyalty A presentation video, supported by a catchy tune and text or voice-over narration, uses storytelling to connect with target audiences. The power of a well-written story lies in bonding with people in an honest, transparent, responsive and above all accessible manner that explores the culture of the brand, appeals to buyers’ interests, and creates meaningful impressions. But is telling a company’s story enough to significantly sway a consumers’ loyalty to that business? The bottom-line return on investment for sharing an authentic story people can relate to, prompts viewers to want to know more. The essence of a compelling story starts with an attention-grabbing introduction, and continues through the body of...

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21st Century Business

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on 21st Century Business

21st Century Business

Question? A question people of all ages from all walks of life ask today is “Will I succeed in this new world of work?” I’ve been told by many human resource practitioners that success in any profession has three prerequisites: knowledge, perspective, and attitude. While I support this basic notion I also believe the ground rules to becoming successful and continuing riding the wave, is way more involved. It stands to reason that the individual must be competent in the particular skills the task at hand requires, but acquiring the relevant peripheral knowledge goes far beyond basic skills. It is important to not only know the concepts and principles of the project or process, one must also be committed to lifelong learning, be prepared to take spur-of-the-moment risks, and have enough insight to circumvent threats. Impending Excellence We all know that some skills can literally become obsolete overnight, and that keeping up-to-date is an ongoing challenge. While companies today are geared to identify and recruit highly talented employees, most do not know how to instill fundamental inventiveness or impel their staff to continually pioneer re-engineering strategies and rethink predictable approaches. The definitive workforce for emerging enterprises is expected to be multi-skilled, resourceful and practiced at adjusting to swift change. However, many people struggle to adapt to ongoing change. Our conscious mind interprets change as a significant loss of some sort, which makes us hold on to efforts already exerted. It’s the same when people hesitate to end a doomed relationship because it’s hard to accept the whole experience was an utter waste of time, even though in reality valuable lessons were learned. Consequently, change isn’t about having wasted time on past efforts but should rather be viewed as a leap forward in finding new fertile ground to assess the possibility of impending excellence. Elon Musk Resistance to change has no place in 21st Century business. Constant change should be embraced, not feared. If it was not for his aversion to accept anything less than outstanding, engineer and visionary Elon Musk might not have founded Tesla Motors and SpaceX, amongst other organizations. Colleagues and associates fittingly refer to Musk as the “real change-management man”. The success of 21st Century business depends on innovative process management, defined as “a systematic approach to making an organization’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment.” But what does that actually mean? And how does it help a business determine its goals? Incidentally, Business Process Management isn’t a new concept, although it needs to be re-introduced to today’s mode of business thinking if an amicable answer is to be forged for people worrying about whether they can succeed in this new world of work. Konosuke Matsushita I wonder how many people today would recognize the name Konosuke Matsushita. This remarkable entrepreneur began working for himself in 1918. Despite having limited funds, no real formal education, and no connections his small firm flourished. Matsushita founded Panasonic and set the business on a journey to become one of the largest electronics companies in the world. It all started with the invention of a two-socket light fixture. Powerful lessons from Matsushita – as applicable today as was the case close on a century ago – reasoned that for management to be effective it should be perpetually creative and dynamic.  He also stressed that one should never assume that something is impossible, and that bad times in business are crucial windows of opportunity to re-think objectives, recognize hidden imperfections, and capsize conventional thinking. Challenge the Absurd Like all true corporate giants, including Elon...

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