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February 21, 2008

2,614 Reasons To Take A Leap With Your Writing

Taking part in Brian Clark's headline remix has been a writing challenge for me.  I felt it most acutely when I took part in December, but this time round it was the same mixture of anticipation, challenge, desire and an element of fear - sure signs that I was stepping out of my comfort zone.

But both times I've taken that stretch, that leap, it's paid off.  They're two of my five most popular posts in terms of comments and conversation.  The Hemingway piece sparked a fascinating discussion and 'teach in' with Larry W Philips, the editor of Hemingway's "On Writing" (and the source for the tips in the post).

And thanks to the wonder that is Stumbleupon it brought me a lot of traffic.  Way more than anything I've ever received before.  2,613 visitors to be precise, over the course of just two days.  So thank you, mucho, stumblers.

Oh but you're wondering how come the headline has 2,614 reasons?

Because I read yesterday that one of my favourite readers, Karen Swim at Words For Hire, had found this blog because I entered the December headline challenge. 

Ever since then Karen's been an enthusiastic reader and commenter, leaving the most thoughtful, inspiring, motivating comments for me.  I don't mean that's why she writes them, she's just saying what she thinks - but she's got the knack of saying just the right thing, at just the right time.  The words I need to hear.  Letting me know that my words make a difference. 

And as I follow her blog I notice her words start to move too.  Starting to dance.

And that feeling - that sense of connection, that belief that somehow our words are woven together - well that's worth more to me than however many thousands of fleeting visitors.

Despite my apparent obsession with numbers this week - don't worry.  I know what it is that really counts.

The two 'headline' posts were:

27 Secrets To Writing Like Hemingway
How To Be A Total Reader Magnet: Pulling The Readers That You Want

This post is a contribution to this month's theme of writing leaps and bounds.

If you're ready to take some leaps of your own I'm offering a 10% discount on my writing mentoring and writing critique services throughout the month of February for Confident Writing readers - which includes you!

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count


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Success stories like yours -- and Karen's -- are great incentives to take the plunge and really become involved in the blogging community, tracking and reading and commenting on the writings of others. When I first opened my blog I had no idea what RSS was or why I should get excited about (or even expect) comments, but opening my feed reader account was one of the best decisions I ever made. I'm now more plugged in than ever to, well, it seems like everything, and I genuinely look forward to afternoons when I've found something great and can share it with others to my heart's content. So thank you for posts like these, reminding everyone about what it is we do and why we do it.

Joanna, I am humbled by your kind words, thank you. Your post not only beautifully illustrates the power of words but the power of human connections. One of the great joys of technology is to reach far across the miles and form friendships with nothing more than words. Thank you so much for inspiring, encouraging and empowering me with your words. I will continue to read, comment and gleefully spread the word about Confident Writing.


Karen Swim

Hi G

It's nice to meet you, and thank you for taking the time to join the conversation :-)

That sense of opening up, connecting, sharing is phenomenal - I'm still in a blogging honeymoon myself for that very reason, and I hope I don't ever stop.

Enjoy your own journey of exploration and connection...


Karen, thank you.

I know you mean the words you leave here (and elsewhere), just as I mean every word I write.

I had to double check your comment this morning, that it was only since mid December that you'd been a visitor here, because in my mind it feels a lot longer, like a conversation that we've already been enjoying for a long time.

I think it must be because we recognise something of each other in our words :-)


Hi Joanna - that title jumped right off my reader and into my face.

Your Hemmingway piece was brilliant and well deserving of all the traffic.

It's great how words connect people. I've been encouraging as many people as I can to enter your competition, as I think that's going to be a lot of fun too.

Catherine, well it's extra thanks to you for stumbling the piece to begin with. I got so many stumbles it even got negative comments and thumbs down, which I took to be some strange sign of success in the social media world :-)

The more I experiment with headlines the more fun they become - I think you're finding the same thing?

Thanks for the encouragement on the group writing project too - you are such a wonderful reader, commenter and blogging friend!


I'm so glad you stepped out of your comfort zone because now I found your site through copyblogger. This is a great blog. Thanks and keep it up.

Thank you Steve - it's great to make another connection!

Good things do happen when we venture out of our comfort zones, don't they ? :-)


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