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February 01, 2008

Are You Ready To Take a Leap With Your Writing?

"We must walk consciously only part way towards our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success"

(Thoreau)

Are you up for taking a leap with your writing this month?

I'm hoping it won't be too much of a leap in the dark... perhaps a leap of faith... or maybe you'll find when you leap that a net appears...

Inspired by the leap year - and the extra day this month - February's theme at Confident Writing is leaps and bounds.

We'll be looking at what it means to take a stretch and a leap with our writing – and just what happens when we do. 

I’m hoping to take a few leaps with my own writing and blogging.  I hope you’ll join me, and maybe take a few leaps with your writing too.

As a starter for the month ahead here are 5 things you could do to take a leap forward with your writing:

Learn from feedback

One of the things I do with my coaching clients is provide detailed writing critiques.  It’s a great way to get a second opinion with constructive tips and suggestions about ways that you can:

  • clarify your message for a more powerful impact
  • structure your writing so it's easier to follow
  • create rapport with your readers
  • cut out excess words
  • simplify your language

I’m now offering this as a stand-alone service – and am offering a 10% discount to all Confident Writing readers during February.  Maybe it's just the thing you need to kick start your writing?

Work with a writing mentor

There are times when we know we want to move out of our comfort zone – but just aren't ready to leap.  I’ve introduced a new writing mentoring programme, which is based on e-mentoring (it means we exchange e-mails!) for those times when you could do with someone who can

  • take a quick look at your work
  • give you some feedback
  • talk you through any writing fears and anxieties - and hopes and dreams
  • help you stick to your deadlines, meet your targets and achieve the goals that you've set yourself
  • give you the extra confidence to take a leap forward

It’s an affordable way to get the extra impetus to take that writing leap… and again I’m offering a 10% discount to all Confident Writing readers during February

Come to our Absorbing Writing workshop in Sardinia

Okay, we’re still debating whether it’s a workshop or a holiday… I think it might be both – a workshop within the context of a holiday… either way Absorbing Writing will be a fantastic opportunity to

  • learn new approaches to your writing
  • experiment with new writing styles
  • grow from constructive feedback
  • play with the possibilities of your own words
  • write with a burst of Italian confidence

You can find out more about the holiday at our Absorbing Writing blog, including information on early bird booking rates.

Take a stretch as a guest author

Writing as a guest author is a simple but most effective way to get out of your comfort zone.  I’ve taken a stretch (not always comfortable!) each time I’ve done it – but learned, stretched and grown each time too.  Guest writing is also a great way to showcase your work, and to build and consolidate relationships with other bloggers. 

So what are you waiting for? 

I'd love to have some more guest authors writing here in February - or return visitors of course.  You know you're always welcome.  The theme is pretty open - you guessed it, some combination of "writing" and "leaps and bounds".

If you’re interested just drop me a line at joanna@confidentwriting.com and we can take it from there.

Or maybe there's another blog where you've always wanted to see your name in print?  Then why not make February the month to make a leap - contact the blog owner, ask them what they think and how you could make it happen.  What have you got to lose?

Join the Confident Writing community

Why? Well, it’s a chance to share writing tips and suggestions, learn from other writers and bloggers including many people who (like me) don’t think of themselves as ‘writers' - just people who want to write. 

I try and showcase the best writing tips at the end of the month as well as linking out to the work of readers and commenters – and spending time at their blogs.

It’s easy to keep in touch (by subscribing via RSS feed) – but even more fun if you join in with some comment and conversation. 

I’d like to make February as interactive as possible – with some ideas in mind for a group writing project or some other activities.  But maybe you've got your own ideas?

To kick start the month please do let me have any suggestions you’ve got for a ‘leap’ that we could take together here, or something I could cover that would help you take a leap of your own.

Just leave a comment in the comment box below - and then we'll see how far we can jump.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

Photo credit: squacco

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Comments

Joanna,

I've been reading your blog since January, but this is the first time I've had a comment to make. I'm excited for this month. I am finally trying to pursue a writing career and am VERY wet behind the ears on how to get my name out there and find "jobs". Even the idea of jumping out of my comfort zone makes me nervous, but I've already been doing it some on my blog by posting a weekly creative writing post. I'm looking forward to what's to come.

Now Joanna - if you'd told me about the Sardinia course earlier, I might not have booked the Arvon one.

I love Arvon courses, but Sardinia sounds far more exotic than Devon. Are you planning to run these every year?

I always enjoy group writing projects. I'd love to see a Confident Writing group writing project related to leaps and bounds (though at the moment I have no idea what I'd write about!).

Hi Deb

It's lovely to hear from you, and nice to know you've been reading here for a while. I'm glad today's post prompted you to comment.

Stepping out of your comfort zone will be easier and more fun with blogging friends to be sure... and there are lots of great sites and networks that support the work of freelance writers. I'm sure you'll find practical suggestions as well as motivation and support.

Taking action like writing on a blog and commenting on new sites (thank you) are all ways that we can stretch and grow, push the boat out a bit, build up our confidence muscles.

I look forward to hearing where it takes you in February - and beyond

Joanna

Catherine,

It does sound exotic, doesn't it? Emma was writing the other day about food and drink in Sardinia and my mouth was so watering - I just wanted to jump on the plane and be in Alghero there and then!

We'll see how this one goes, but yes we'd be hoping to run them in future years, and perhaps more than one a year too. I'll keep you posted.

Joanna

Hi Lillie, thanks for the vote for a group writing project. I've got something in mind but I'm going to leave it to mull for a little while (plus I don't want to clash with What I Learned From which will be kicking off again next week). I think this is definitely going to be the month for something a little bit different though!

Joanna

Oh, I so want to come with you to Sardinia! It sounds just fabulous. Also I must say how exciting you have made February sound. I often find it the most difficult month of the year, and now I'm positively looking forward to it! Thank you, Joanna :-)

Your post makes the idea of "leaps and bounds" in February look very appealing..and rightly so!

I am hoping to organize my creative interests and narrow it down in order to fully pursue those topics.

THERE! Those are my big leaps that need to be made!

Sylvia C.

@ Amy well I hope we can make February a little more fun for you. I'm looking forward to it, and as January's one of my worst months (why does it go on for so long?) I'm feeling a new spring in my step now we've got to February.

Oh and yes, Sardinia is going to be fabulous - and will set us up nicely with some late sunshine before November (another gruesome month)

@ Sylvia That sounds intriguing... I know what you mean though about having so many interests - I'm the same sometimes, pushing so many things at once that none of them ever make that big leap forward...

Maybe that would make a good blog topic... meantime I'll keep a watch on your blog to see where you take things :-)

Joanna

@

Excellent post, Joanna! I've stumbled it. :-)

Smiles,
Michele

Hi Michele, thanks for the stumble, much appreciated :-)

Joanna

Joanna, Sardinia sounds soooo tempting. I have already talked to my husband about it - and told him I would so love to be there! (I love Italy, but it is soooo far away).

I love your leaps and bounds theme for the month, there is something about that that really inspires me. I am looking forward to it.

Karen, I'm so glad I'm already going to Sardinia otherwise I'd be tearing at the bit trying to work out how to get there! I know it is a long way... but a wonderful adventure if you could manage it...

I'm pleased that leaps and bounds has touched a chord with you and others. I think maybe we all have words inside us that we want to bring out, to develop, shape and share... maybe it's a different tack, different style, medium, audience from what we're used to... but we know we want to. I'm hoping that the collective support will give us the oomph we need (me included!)

Joanna

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