Teaching Article Writing - Help Writers Create Compelling Articles

Are you looking for somebody who can teach you how write compelling articles? Then, you came to right page. In here, I'll try my best to help you create compelling articles. You can use these as proofs that you are an expert on your chosen niche or to drive high quality traffic to your website. Here's what you need to do:

1. Write for your readers. Keep in mind that your goal here is to make your readers happy. You can do this if you impart knowledge that they'll be able to use in their lives or in their current situation. Use their language and consider their level of comprehension to help them better understand your content.

2. Get straight to the point. Your readers will surely not like it if you keep on beating around the bush. Remember, nobody has the time to waste here. Give these people what they need ASAP. If possible, include the information that they need on your first paragraph.

3. Create an outline. This is something that you would want to do to lessen the errors that you commit along the way. An outline can help you create a structure or foundation for your content so you can be assured that it will sound powerful and stronger once it's done.

4. Relax and enjoy. If you consider article writing as a repetitive, burdensome task, there is no doubt in my mind that you will not be able to produce quality content. Always find ways to enjoy what you do and don't write if you are not in the mood or not feeling well.

Teaching Article Writing - Another Money-Making Opportunity For Great Writers

People who have great writing and teaching skills can make enormous money by sharing what they know to aspiring writers. Right now, there are so many people who are trying their hardest to learn the process as article marketing still reigns supreme as the most trusted traffic and lead generating tool.

Here's how you can make money by teaching other people the ropes of article writing:

1. First thing to do is to build your own website. This is the best thing that you can do to mark your online presence. You can use this to showcase your great writing skills and your in-depth knowledge in this endeavor. It's very important that you have something, like this website, to show to your prospects so they can easily gauge your skills and talent.

2. Choose your target market. Who are the people that you would like to teach? You can target those who are just starting out or those who haven't tried their hands in the field of article writing yet. You can also target those who just need to patch the rough edges of their writing. Knowing your prospects early on can help you make your teaching sessions more focused to their learning needs and demands.

3. Be patient. It's not enough that you have compelling website and all the needed skills. It's also important that you have a truck load of patience to excel in this endeavor. Be willing to repeat the tips, techniques, and even lessons that you've already discussed just to make sure that your target audience is getting the ideas that you're trying to get across.

How To Be A Freelance Writer - How To Make Money Writing

One of the first questions that we are asked by those who want to learn how to be a freelance writer is, "How much money can I make as a freelance writer?"

The answer is, the sky's the limit, but you may have to wait for it.

There is money to be made all around you as a freelance writer. Magazine article writing, Work for hire projects, Speech Writing, Copy writing, Teaching writing, Writing books, the list goes on and on. The question should be, "How can 'I' make money as a freelancer?"

If you're needing money fast, writing books is not the answer. That will probably take years. Writing magazine articles could be a faster route to income, but again, it's not an immediate solution.

Your best answer may lie in work-for-hire projects in your own back yard. Go to local businesses. Let them know that you are available to write their business letters, ad copy, marketing materials, website copy, catalog product descriptions, etc. Be sure that you have a firm grasp of the writing styles needed for each of the areas listed above, but then get out and let them know you are available.

Don't limit yourself to one source of income. One of the biggest obstacles that I see when people are learning how to be a freelance writer is that they often only consider one avenue for income. They often think that the only way to make money is by having a book published. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Look around. What do you know? Do you have a skill as a writer that would be useful to others? Is there a topic that you could write about and publish as an e-book on the internet?

These are all viable methods for making money as a writer. Sit down today and make a list of all of the ways that you could make money with your writing. Once you've completed the list, take some action that will lead to some potential income. That's how to be a freelance writer.

Teaching Your Child to Read

Every step a child takes toward learning to read leads to
another. Bit by bit, the child builds the knowledge that is
necessary for being a reader. Over their first 6 years, most
children

Talk and listen.

Listen to stories read aloud.

Pretend to read.

Learn how to handle books.

Learn about print and how it works.

Identify letters by name and shape.

Identify separate sounds in spoken language.

Write with scribbles and drawing.

Connect single letters with the sounds they make.

Connect what they already know to what they hear read.

Predict what comes next in stories and poems.

Connect combinations of letters with sounds.

Recognize simple words in print.

Sum up what a story is about.

Write individual letters of the alphabet.

Write words.

Write simple sentences.

Read simple books.

Write to communicate.

Read simple books.

Children can take more than one of these steps at the same
time. This list of steps, though, gives you a general idea
of how your child will progress toward
reading.

Talking and Listening

From the very beginning, babies try to imitate the sounds
that they hear us make. They "read" the looks on our faces
and our movements. That's why it is so important to talk,
sing, smile, and gesture to your child. Hearing you talk is your
baby's very first step toward becoming a reader, because it helps her to love
language and to learn words. Hearing you talk is your baby's
very first step toward becoming a reader, because it helps
her to love language and to learn words.

As your child grows older, continue talking with her. Ask
her about the things she does. Ask her about the events and
people in the stories you read together. Let her know you
are listening carefully to what she says. By engaging her in
talking and listening, you are also encouraging your child
to think as she speaks. In addition, you are showing that you respect her knowledge and her ability to
keep learning.

Reading Together

Imagine sitting your baby in your lap and reading a book to
him for the first time. How different from just talking!
Now you're showing him pictures. You point to them. In a
lively way, you explain what the pictures are. You've just
helped you child take the next step beyond talking. You've
shown him that words and pictures connect. And you've
started him on his way to understanding and enjoying books.
While your child is still a baby, reading aloud to him
should become part of your daily routine. Pick a quiet time,
such as just before you put him to bed. This will give him
a chance to rest between play and sleep. If you can, read
with him in your lap or snuggled next to you so that he
feels close and safe. As he gets older, he may need to move
around some as you read to him. If he gets tired or
restless, stop reading. Make reading aloud a quiet and
comfortable time that your child looks forward to. Chances
are very good that he will like reading all the more because
of it.

Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day reading to and
with your child. At first, read for no more than a few
minutes at a time, several times a day. As your child grows
older, you should be able to tell if he wants you to read
for longer periods. Don't be discouraged if you have to skip
a day or don't always keep to your schedule. Just get back
to your daily routine as soon as you can. Most of all, make
sure that reading stays fun for both of you!

What Does It Mean?

From the earliest days, talk with your child about what you
are reading. You might point to pictures and name what is in
them. When he is ready, have him do the same. Ask him, for
example, if he can find the little mouse in the picture, or
do whatever is fun and right for the book. Later on, as you
read stories, read slowly and stop now and then to think
aloud about what you've read. From the time your child is
able to talk, ask him such questions about the story as,
"What do you think will happen next?" or "Do you know what a
palace is?" Answer his questions and, if you think he
doesn't understand something, stop and talk more about what
he asked. Don't worry if you occasionally break the flow of
a story to make clear something that is important. However,
don't stop so often that the child loses track of what is
happening in the story.

Look for Books!

The books that you pick to read with your child are very
important. If you aren't sure of what books are right for
your child, ask a librarian to help you choose titles.
Introduce your child to books when she is a baby. Let her
hold and play with books made just for babies: board books
with study cardboard covers and thick pages; cloth books
that are soft and washable, touch-and-feel books, or
lift-the-flap books that contain surprises for your baby to
discover. Choose books with covers that have big, simple
pictures of things that she sees every day. Don't be upset
if at first your child chews or throws a book. Be patient.
Cuddling with the child as you point to and talk with great
excitement about the book's pictures will soon capture her
interest. When your baby becomes a toddler, she will enjoy
helping to choose books for you to read to her. As your
child grows into a preschooler and kindergartner, the two of
you can look for books that have longer stories and more
words on the pages. Also look for books that have repeating
words and phrases that she can begin to read or recognize
when she sees them. By early first grade, add to this mix
some books designed for beginning readers, including some
books that have chapters and some books that show
photographs and provide true information rather than
make-believe stories. Choose books with covers that have
big, simple pictures of things that she sees every day.
Keep in mind that young children most often enjoy books
about people, places, and things that are like those they
know. The books can be about where you live or about parts
of your culture, such as your religion, your holidays, or
the way that you dress. If your child has special interests,
such as dinosaurs or ballerinas, look for books about those
interests.

From your child's toddler years through early first grade,
you also should look for books of poems and rhymes. Remember
when your baby heard your talking sounds and tried to
imitate them? Rhymes are an extension of that language
skill. By hearing and saying rhymes, along with repeated
words and phrases, your child learns about spoken sounds and
about words. Rhymes also spark a child's excitement about
what comes next, which adds fun and adventure to reading.

Show Your Child That You Read

When you take your child to the library, check out a book
for yourself. Then set a good example by letting your child
see you reading for yourself. Ask your child to get one of
her books and sit with you as you read your book, magazine,
or newspaper. Don't worry if you feel uncomfortable with
your own reading ability. It's the reading that counts. When
your child sees that reading is important to you, she may
decide that it is important to her, too.

Learning about Print and Books

Reading together is a perfect time to help a late toddler or
early preschooler learn what print is. As you read aloud,
stop now and then and point to letters and words; then point
to the pictures they stand for. Your child will begin to
understand that the letters form words and that words name
pictures. He will also start to learn that each letter has
its own sound--one of the most important things your child
can know when learning to read.

By the time children are 4, most have begun to understand
that printed words have meaning. By age 5, most will begin
to know that not just the story but the printed words
themselves go from left to right. Many children will even
start to identify some capital and small letters and simple
words. In late kindergarten or early first grade, your child
may want to read on his own. Let him! But be sure that he
wants to do it. Reading should be something he is proud of
and eager to do and not a lesson.

How Does a Book Work?

Children are fascinated by how books look and feel. They see
how easily you handle and read books, and they want to do
the same. When your toddler watches you handle books, she
begins to learn that a book is for reading, not tearing or
tossing around. Before she is 3, she may even pick one up
and pretend to read, an important sign that she is beginning
to know what a book is for. As your child becomes a
preschooler, she is learning that When your toddler watches
you handle books, she begins to learn that a book is for
reading.

A book has a front cover.

A book has a beginning and an end.

A book has pages.

A page in a book has a top and a bottom.

You turn pages one at a time to follow the story.

You read a story from left to right of a page.

As you read with your 4- or 5-year-old, begin to remind her
about these things. Read the title on the cover. Talk about
the picture on the cover. Point to the place where the story
starts and, later, where it ends. Let your child help turn
the pages. When you start a new page, point to where the
words of the story continue and keep following the words by
moving your finger beneath them. It takes time for a child
to learn these things, but when your child does learn them,
she has solved some of reading's mysteries.

Early Efforts To Write

Writing and reading go hand in hand. As your child is
learning one, he is learning the other. You can do certain
things to make sure that he gets every opportunity to
practice both. When he is about 2 years old, for example,
give your child crayons and paper and encourage him to draw
and scribble. He will have fun choosing which colors to use
and which shapes to make. As he holds and moves the crayons,
he will also develop muscle control. When he is a late
toddler or early preschooler, he will become as eager to
write as he is to read. Your preschool child's scribbles or
drawings are his first writing. He will soon begin to write
the alphabet letters. Writing the letters helps your child
learn about their different sounds. His very early learning
about letters and sounds gives him ideas about how to begin
spelling words. When he begins writing words, don't worry
that he doesn't spell them correctly. Instead, praise him
for his efforts! In fact, if you look closely, you'll see
that he's made a pretty good try at spelling a word for the
first time. Later on, with help from teachers (and from
you), he will learn the right way to spell words. For the
moment, however, he has taken a great step toward being a
writer.

Reading in Another Language

If your child's first language is not English, she can still
become an excellent English reader and writer. She is on her
way to successful English reading if she is beginning to
learn many words and is interested in learning to read in
her first language. You can help by supporting her in her
first language as she learns English. Talk with her, read
with her, encourage her to draw and write. In other words,
do the same kinds of activities just discussed, but do them
in your child's first language.

When your child first enters school, talk with her teacher.
Teachers welcome such talks. They even have sign-up times
early in the year, though usually you may ask for a meeting
at any time. If you feel that you need some support in
meeting with the teacher, ask a relative, neighbor, or
someone else in your community to go with you.

When you do meet, tell the teacher the things that you are
doing at home to strengthen your child's speaking and
reading in her own language. Let the teacher know how
important you child's reading is to you and ask for support
for your efforts. Children who can switch back and forth
between languages have accomplished something special. They
should be praised and encouraged as they work for this
achievement.

READ TO YOUR CHILD EVERY DAY!!!

Prayer to Ganesha: On Religion and Writer's Block

For those who are unfamiliar with the Hindu gods, Ganesha is the elephant-headed god of overcoming obstacles. He also happens to be the patron god of writers. Apparently writer's block has been around for quite some time.

I realize that a belief in multiple "gods" is considered sacrilegious by some. Both Christians and Muslims, for example, are quite strict about their belief in the One True God. But these arguments have arisen more from semantics than from any underlying philosophical divide. Even if there is only One God, still there are many aspects of God--truth, justice, honor, integrity, trust, faith, joy, peace... Using the word "god" to depict the Hindu representations of the divine is really a misrepresentation of Hindu beliefs.

Hindus believe that all reality is One. There is only One God because there is only One Everything. So I'm perfectly happy to call Ganesha the divine aspect of Mighty Faith--just one of many aspects of the One True God--if that will keep us all on the same page.

Here's a little prayer I wrote myself that I like to offer up to Ganesha whenever I'm stuck on a writing project: "Beloved and Mighty Ganesha... I'm stuck... Please help me... Amen."

Hey, if anyone in the Heavens is going to accept a minimalist prayer, it's Ganesha. Writer's bock is His Thing. I'm sure he understands.

If you happen to know that I was born in New Jersey to Caucasian parents and that I am currently writing this blog from the heart of the Bible Belt, you might wonder what I'm doing praying to an elephant-headed Hindu god-slash-divine-aspect in the first place.

Well, I read a lot. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam, with over 800,000,000 followers. The Vedas, The Ramayana, and The Mahabharata--including The Bhagavad Gita--are all available on Amazon.com. Read enough about Hinduism and eventually you'll run across Ganesha, also known as Ganesh or Ganapati.

If you're a writer, and you discover a god for overcoming writer's block, you file that information away, just in case. If you pray to that god and you start writing again, that's what's known as conversion.

But in all seriousness I haven't converted to Hinduism. I don't see the need. In fact, I refuse to belong to any one religion because after a while, the ones that want you to "convert" start asking you to give up all the others. I'm not giving up Ganesha. But I'm not giving up Jesus either. Or Mary or Archangel Michael or the Buddha or Kwan Yin for that matter.

I believe in the One True God, and I believe in all His vast and beautiful religions. I guess that makes me a pan-religious monotheist.

If that sounds like a mouthful, you could call me a Christian Buddhist Hindu Gaian follower of the Tao.

I don't mention Judaism or Islam because I haven't yet felt called to study much about them, but I do believe in Moses and Abraham and I do believe that Muhammad was a True Prophet. I just don't see what all the fuss is about in refusing to "take sides."

Somehow I can't see the Great Masters of Earth all standing around in heaven arguing with each other. As far as I'm concerned, they're standing around together and shaking their heads in perplexity.

"They just aren't getting it," they're saying to each other. "What are we going to do about all this arguing? That's not what we were trying to do at all!"

The real problem is this underlying attitude we hold to so tightly--this belief that one thing always has to be better than another. Why can't we accept the fact that everything has its place? "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Well there's a purpose for every matter under heaven too. And it's time we made a little room in our minds--and in our hearts--for that idea.

So here's a prayer for the world tonight, another prayer I wrote myself, and I offer it up to the Heavens in all earnestness:

"Beloved One True God,

in all Your myriad Divine Aspects,

please help us all who walk the Earth

to learn to Love, Honor, and Cherish one another

without any barriers of fear

and without any errors of exception,

as You have in Your Infinite Wisdom

sent so many of Your children

to teach us to do in Your name."

Amen.

New Writers - Podcasting to Sell Your Book

New writers face many challenges when starting their transition from writing to promoting and selling their book. As a matter of fact writers aren't salesmen they are not taught podcasting and they are not taught how to advertise or market their work.

What makes this challenge even more impossible is the fact that none of the worlds best colleges offering professional writing or journalism teach self marketing or self promotion. In these courses it's assumed that the student writer will work for a corporation or organization as an employee and therefore will not need to learn how to sell anything.

That puts quite a challenge on anyone who desires to generate income through product creation. In today's high speed technology driven world its presumed that every professional writer knows how to create content and can price and package their work as well.

Requests for proposals can come at any time day or night via the internet, therefore its a requirement that systems are in place to streamline the client experience. With that being said the systems would encompass several specific components, such as lead generation, relationship building and lead conversion.

One of the most effective ways to establish the know, like and trust factor is with podcasting, a simple recording of a conversation that you give monologue or via an interview of an important person. The material on the recording can prove valuable to your prospects, and if the recording is created as serial content - where every recording is interconnected with the following ones - the writer can literally create pent up desire to stay in touch and follow the authors writings and recordings.

Now if you were to share behind the scene details about the book, interview people who inspired you to write and even what you plan on working on next you will be building relationships with your audience. They will begin to know you, what you sound like, what you focus on etc. this alone can move a prospect to converting into a client.

Now once you have created a podcast, you can upload it into a directory that specializes in audio shows and programs. This will give you maximum exposure and massive opportunity to generate leads, build relationships and convert them into clients.

May This Help And Encourage You Greatly In Your Writer's Circle And At Your Next Retreat!

Being willing to share what has been gleaned, gathered, and garnered over the years is important.

Why should what has been learned from so many reliable sources be kept to myself? Everything is for sharing.

When asked if one would be willing to come and speak and teach and share at our Writer's Retreat or Writer's Conference or Writer's meeting, and it need not necessarily be writers, but to share at some other group, the reply has shocked the organisers.

Yes, it would be a privilege and joy to attend and be present and share what is for sharing but no fee! It should be mentioned that expenses are required, but that is all.

Some are aghast at that, but why? Why should there be a charge for what you have freely learned from other over a span of thirty years or so? Why should there be a financial fee for what one was taught at University and taught to the very highest standards? There was no sloppiness in these days, at Edinburgh. Essays were essays, and had to be written in the best possible English and presented on time. One never considered the possibility of handing in the article late.

Having been writing a weekly newspaper column for over thirteen years now, it is interesting to look back and reflect.

Styles have changed as the months and seasons passed, but the piece still has to be written and has to be in the hands of the Editor in good time.

Every six weeks or so, six daily comments have been submitted to our national newspaper, and that has been ongoing for thirty years.

The question may arise about what happens when three or four weeks are spent speaking and teaching in Uganda and Kenya. These articles have always been written in advance, and dated, to make things as easy as possible for the Editor.

There is one secret in writing. Make things easy for the Editor.

Articles on travelling around Kenya are longer and fairly detailed, and it is essential to have something fresh to share with your readers and that is where note taking is crucial, when visiting cities, villages, slums, prisons, and even airports. People want to hear you say something different at the Teaching Seminars and they also wish to read your account from a unique angle. There is always that perspective, or smell, or view, or conversation, or experience, which readers want to read. Always!

If you seek to make things easy for the Editor and there is nothing wrong with that, do continue to remember that writing is hard work.

Seldom is it easy to prepare a 300 word article, but that is where sheer discipline comes in. That is also where your notebook comes in! It is so obvious, but people will return from visits to other countries or states and wish they could remember what was said where and why. If it is written down, then you can refer to it, and it will remain authentic and accurate.

Over and above this writing aspect, there have been two addresses to prepare each week and usually a full manuscript is prepared. Occasionally, when invited to address a group, where the topic is familiar, a few headings will suffice, and that is where illustrations are highly relevant.

People are interested in people, and people are interested in stories, and people can learn from the experience of those who have been down the road before them.

The big questions remain. How do you do this? Can it be taught? Yes, of course it can be taught. Raw talent can be honed and polished and developed, and can be done comparatively easily.

Is this word 'easy' and 'easily' being used too often? Well, it is written with the intention of encouraging you in your writing career.

May this help you in your writer's circle and at your next writer's retreat!

Teaching Your Children to Read and Write Better - 5 Reasons Why Parents Must Start Early

Parents who take the time to teach their children to read and write better will see the following results in the development of their children

Your children will have an increased enjoyment of reading, which will in turn give them better literacy skills

In order for your child to build their language and understanding, they will need to be exposed to new words. Reading books will give your child an opportunity to find new words. This will also increase a child's curiosity, which will in turn build on their existing skills as they look for more and more new words.

Children who are familiar with books and stories before they start school are better prepared to cope with the demands of formal literacy teaching.

Better exam results

Children who have problems reading begin to show signs from second and third grade. By starting to teach your children to read and write early, they are less likely to have these problems.

Children who start to read before the first grade keep up their lead in reading and understanding over children who have not been taught how to read and write form an earlier age.

Children who read early are also more likely to do better in other subjects as well.

Better school attendance and behaviour

When a child struggles to read and write their enjoyment of this activity decreases. This can lead to children disliking school, and as a result become disruptive as an outlet to their frustration.

By reading and writing with your child, you give them an early start. Teachers can teach your child only a percentage of what they need to learn and you will be letting your child down if you do not spend time with them teaching them how to read and write from an early age.

It has been shown that starting early will not hurt your child. Most children can begin from age four. In fact, the opposite is true and studies conducted on these have concluded that teaching your child to read and write early gives them a significant advantage in school.

Higher quality of later relationships

Reading together is fun and helps build relationships. As you interact with your child during your teaching sessions, they learn how to listen and develop a sense for other points of view. This becomes invaluable as they go out to school and meet other children as it helps them interact better. This skill tends to last as they grow older and build other relationships.

Better mental health and increased self-esteem

The impact of teaching your child to read and write lasts a lifetime. Children who read are more confident and have greater job opportunities.

Children whose parents have taken the time to teach them how to read and write have increased chances of being more confident. They are more likely to volunteer to read out during class and participate more as they are familiar with the words. This in turn makes them better readers and writers and reinforces their abilities. The opposite is also true. Teaching your child to read and write is therefore the most important thing you can do to help your child succeed.

Research evidence has shown that your involvement in your child's reading and learning is more important than anything else in helping them to fulfil their potential

Andrew Carnegie - An Inspirational Figure in Teaching and Literature

A very wealthy entrepreneur, Andrew Carnegie is mainly known for his wealth and leadership during the late 19th and early 20th centuries - but many people may not be aware of some of his very influential writings. After immigrating to the United States with his parents from Scotland, his family was not always wealthy. In fact, he started out as a normal factory worker in a bobbin factory. It wasn't long before he worked his way up in the company and then rose up the ranks in a telegraph company. After learning how to operate a business, he build Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company. Later, he would merge this large company with several others to form U.S. Steel. With this venture, he made a fortune and later in life, he concentrated more on philanthropy and helping those less fortunate than he was. He founded many different corporations, museums, universities, and more and also gave away mountains of money to libraries, schools, and universities - both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Of course, on top of his massive wealth and business savvy sense, Andrew Carnegie was also a brilliant writer that penned many essays, articles, contributions, and even wrote several novels. He was a frequent contributor over labor issues to many well known publications, helping businessmen and women all over the world understand their workers and help to provide a better working environment for everyone. His novels include: "The Gospel Of Wealth", "Triumphant Democracy", "Round The World", "The Empire Of Business", "The Secret Of Business Is The Management Of Men", "James Watt", "An American Four-In-Hand In Britain", and "Problems Of Today". His literary works became so well known around the world that they inspired both writers and business men, world leaders and poverty stricken peoples, and anyone that they touched.

His writings were so important to business and the world in general, that his own personal papers reside at the Library of Congress where they can be viewed by those wishing to read them in the Manuscript Division. Of course, most of his writings are public domain today, and can easily be found over the internet. The written work he did helped to inspire so many business people all over the world and helped to change relationships between both workers and their managers. His way of viewing the workplace, especially industrial areas, aided in so many different organizations being founded to help continue his work, his beliefs on business, and his giving nature.

Some of the different organizations that he founded included the Carnegie Foundation For The Advancement Of Teaching, which was created to be an independent research center that would help those in any teaching area. The organization's primary activities include writing and research over every different level of education to help promote higher education and a higher standard for education for every child all over the world. One of the main things that the Carnegie Foundation For The Advancement Of Teaching helped to create was federal aid for higher education as well as Pell Grants, to help those lower income students that could not afford to go to college otherwise. Without these grants and financial aid, millions of college students and graduates would never have risen to the areas that they are now. Many people don't even realize that Andrew Carnegie and this organization were the driving force behind what financial aid is now for college.

Another organization that he founded that touches many peoples lives is the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace. This think tank is based in Washington DC and is not associated with any political party, yet continues to help promote international engagement by the U.S. into peaceful cooperation between nations all around the world. Andrew Carnegie believed that war could easily be eliminated by stronger international laws and better international organizations. In 1907, he wrote: "I am drawn more to this cause than to any,". In fact, on his 75th birthday, he announced the establishment of this organization with a $10 million dollar gift and charged the trustees of the organization to help fund the abolition of international war and gave them the widest discretion as to their measures and policy that they should adopt when needed.

One of his best known organizations is the Carnegie Corporation Of New York, which was founded in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to help "promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding". This organization is one of the most influential American organizations and they have contributed so much to the world, including: a massive expansion of higher education and even adult education, advancement of research on early childhood learning and development, major promotion of educational and public broadcasting, advancement of women and minorities in higher education, helping to raise public understanding of both education and health needs of children and young adults, and to help further the investigation of risks of superpower confrontation, ethnic and civil strife, as well as nuclear war. Along with all of these influences upon education, international relations, this organization also helped to establish several other institutions, including the Carnegie libraries, the National Research Council, the Russian Research Center at Harvard, the Children's Television Workshop (including Sesame Street), and so much more.

In fact, his constant contributions to libraries, schools, and universities as well as his literary works prompted the United Kingdom to create the Carnegie Medal for the best children's literature. There are also many different schools and universities named after him, including Carnegie College in Dunfermline. And, believe it or not, he even has both a dinosaur and a cactus named after him, the Diplodocus Carnegiei (he sponsored the expedition that discovered it's remains) and the Saguaro Cactus's scientific name, Carnegiea.

Without his massive contributions to teaching, literature, and his commitment to education in general all over the world, many of the great institutions and organizations we know today would not exist.

Teaching Article Writing - How to Teach Aspiring Writers to Create Award-Winning Articles

Aside from using your great writing skills in creating articles that you can use in growing your ebusiness or articles that you can sell to internet marketers, you can also make money by teaching aspiring writers succeed in the field of article writing. Here's how you can do that:

1. First, create a website or a blog where you can talk about your offerings. Make sure that you tell your prospective clients what they can get in taking advantage of your coaching or training programs. List down these benefits in bullet points as these can help in dramatically improving your sign up rate.

2. Know your participants. Once you're able to get people to sign up to your offerings, the next thing that you need to do is to interview them individually. You need to do this so you'll know what they really need to help them develop or hone their writing skills. Write down their weaknesses and their level of comprehension for future reference.

3. Design your training modules. It would be best if you create individual training modules for each of your participants. You see, even if these people are sharing one common goal, they do have different learning needs. Make your coaching programs more targeted to help them speed the learning process.

4. What to teach them? These people can surely learn the ropes of article writing if you discuss these areas thoroughly; writing killer headlines, keeping the audience interested, topic selection, knowing the target audience, improving grammar and vocabulary, proofreading and revisions, etc. Also, ensure that you encourage them to do hands-on trainings as much as possible. Remember, article writing is something that you cannot learn through discussions or lectures alone.

Fear, Anxiety and Writer's Block - Don't Worry, Here's Instant Help

All professional writers seem to experience this at some stage of their careers. We're talking about this phenomenon called writer's block which temporarily prevents one from either finishing what was already begun or from starting something new. Usually, this is because of a lack of the right idea or imagination.

Sometimes, this feeling can prevent one from penning what could turn out to be a good story. Often, this is due to fear, anxiety, frustration-the reason could be anything, but the feeling is terrible.

However, the good news is that you can overcome this feeling and get back to being a regular writer-one who writes fluidly, day after day. Here are some time-tested tips to overcome the problem of writer's block:

- Get down to the point where you got stuck the previous day: Tackle the problem at hand first thing in the morning.
- Not urgent? If the problem area is not required in a hurry, file it for now until the right solution comes to you. Now, move on to working on other things.
- Set up a writing plan: First, ignore the fact that you suffer from writer's block. Believe that you don't and set out time each day just to write. Even if you can't come up with anything, at some time you will, if you try this everyday.
- Don't punish yourself-it's not your fault: Don't be unduly critical about your problem. You didn't cause it, so wait it out.
- Make a broad framework: To overcome writer's block, try writing the main points of an article or story. This will teach you to think in a particular direction. Then, it's only a matter of fleshing out the points and you've got your story!!
- Hit the gym: Do some light exercises and try to activate your mind. Increase your activity levels and see the effect this has on your writing.
- Consider yourself doing a day's work and do it: If you see yourself as a professional doing a regular day's job, then it's easy for you to fill up pages of a story or article or poem. You need the tools of imagination, words and style-well, use them and do a day's writing job without complaining.
- Perhaps your mind is tired, so take time off: You've worked hard on a project and you need some time off. So, take it now and unwind before you get back to work.
- Sit some place else: If you've been working at your desk, now get up and go find another place to write at. Find a place that's quiet, different, soothing and watch your writing improving and soon, voila, your writer's block will disappear!

Becoming A Better Writer By Polishing Your Qualities

Writing is not just putting words together to create a composition. Writing involves far more than the ability to use words for a meaningful script. There are skills that are necessary to become a good writer. These qualities should be further polished so you can be a better writer.

• Discipline is necessary in writing, just like in any other sport, activity or pursuit you have. Simply waiting until inspiration comes to you will not help in getting things written. You have to be disciplined in attempting to write. Your mind has the writing muscle that you need to maintain through regular use. Discipline covers preparing a timetable you will always follow.

• Stamina is not only important in sports and other physical activities. It is also important in writing. For instance, writing a whole book can be tiring and challenging. Stamina is what will uphold you. Suppose you can write about 300 words a week; you can finish the book in less than a whole year. If you can write more than 500 words each day, then you are sure to finish your book a lot sooner.

• Love for words. Basically, this love for words is probably what sets a writer apart from other people. Playing with words can be fun and useful. Try several words until you have finally found the one that can really express the thought you want your composition to have.

• Keen observation. As a writer, you have to be skilled in observing people and events around you. These observations can be used as material in writing.

• Reading. In order to write something, you need to know something. To know something, you need to practice reading. Read books, magazine, newsletters or anything that is worth reading in order to add pieces of knowledge in your data bank. Whatever you feed into your brain will become useful as you create your articles.

• Creative imagination. A writer also needs to be creative and imaginative. Imagination will help you in creating non-fiction works. Creativity will help make a fiction work appealing to the readers, despite the boring loads of facts.

• Experience. This is crucial when creating fiction works. You cannot tell something in accurate facts if you have not actually experienced it. With your valuable experience, you can write something to tell, teach and share to others. Under this quality is the need or purpose of saying something. It can be to persuade other through your writing. It may also be to simply share what you personally envision to others. You may want to tell a story, an opinion, etc.

• Self-confidence. To be a better writer, you should not be satisfied with your work ever. You should not believe that your work is already perfect as it is; yet you have to be confident that you are good. You should always have room for changes and improvement.

• Professionalism. You are a writer and your dedication to what you are doing must be seen through your professional attitude towards your work. You need to be serious about writing. Always find ways to create perfect works. If you have a deadline to meet, do not procrastinate; instead, work on your writing with every possible opportunity.

New Ways To Earn More Money As A Writer

One common theme among writers is how to make more money. Unless we have a spouse whose job includes health insurance, 401K's, and have a fortunate ability to pick winning lottery numbers, we all plot and plan to earn more each week, each month, each year.

Just like a varied diet keeps our health on track, a varied approach to writing keeps our income healthy.

A common dilemma is that once we get in tight with an editor at a well-paying magazine, the editor moves, the magazine closes, or both. Newspapers cut back on weekly columnists; magazines are narrowing down their stable of regular writers so it's hard to break in somewhere new.

While we are living with the changes in our writing opportunities, why not focus on opening new doors instead of fretting about familiar doors shutting in our faces.

Learn to write press releases. Every business needs someone who can write a kick-butt press release to get them free publicity. You can grab some books or search for articles online but writing a press release varies little from writing an article. It's just that you and the editors you're sending it to understand that you are pitching a story that they can run without paying for it. Add press releases to your resume and you can bid on freelance auction sites and earn over $120 per press release as a novice. Seek clients locally, build on your successes and you could end up living off your publicity earnings.

Love to write how-to articles? Why not expand on your favorite topics and turn them into ebooks? My first venture into ebooks was to take an old writing class that I was no longer teaching and simply turn it into one document, each lesson equaled a chapter. I turned it into a PDF, opened an account on payloadz.com, and sent out an email to my list saying I had a new ebook. I made dozens of sales the first week, and the sales continue today. Total time? I spent one day creating the ebook from lessons I had already written. You could do the same from information articles you've penned, or from information you have stashed in your head. You can sell ebooks from your website, booklocker.com, or on ebay.com .

Learn SEO. Imagine my surprise when someone asked me to write a series of articles based on instructions from his SEO advisor. I had to look it up. Search Engine Optimization is hot and will continue to be a skill that puts you in front of the parade of writers. Simply put, SEO is using keywords (or words that people use in search engines when looking for what you have to offer) throughout your website and meta tags that are picked up by search engines. You want your website to have the words that your potential readers and clients will use to find someone who will provide the services that you long to sell. Yes, it's getting more complex but for more website owners looking for a content provider, you can learn to use online programs that will help you determine which string of search words will bring the most visitors to any site.

Teach what you know. Write up a workshop, pitch it to a local college, church, association, group, or community center. With a little publicity, anyone can fill a class on the subject of her choice. Do you want to teach cooking classes? Would it surprise you to know that Food Network star, and now talk show host, Rachael Ray started teaching 30-minute cooking classes near her home to pay bills, and that led a local tv station to offer her a special, then weekly show. Then came a cookbook, Food Network, special appearances, and on and on. You may not make it as far, as fast as she did, but you can make money to pay bills by teaching workshops. People are willing to pay between $35 to $135 for a half day workshop. And as a writer, you know how to organize and write a class.

Try to get a column (or two). At one point I was writing four regular columns. I had to do little more than those to meet my financial goals. Start off by choosing a theme for your column, write down a list of 12 to 36 ideas and find local, regional and national markets. The guarantee of regular income each week or each month from a column is a wonderful feeling for freelance writers.

Prepare yourself for the ups and downs of the writing life by learning new ways to make more money!

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On Teaching Composition

How is it that one becomes a better writer? I'm not talking about fiction though (sorry). I'm talking about in the classroom, specifically in the college composition classroom, which is the place most people do actual writing these days. In fact, for many it is the only place one finds themselves writing anything more than a page or two. Most students come in wanting nothing more than to get out as fast, painless, and effortlessly as possible. Part of my job is to show them not only how to be a better writer, but to also show them why they should WANT to become a better writer. It's a hard sell to say the least, but every semester I give my humble speech about how writing will help them get jobs, get promotions, get respect, etc. But it all boils down to one point really: Clear writing demonstrates clear thinking. Below is an excerpt from my day one plead for how and why you need to be a better writer. Feel free to use it in your own classroom, but please give credit where credit is due.

First, the task is to become a better thinker. Clear writing is an indicator of clear thinking and you can't have one without the other. And I'm not just talking about everyday thinking like "What am I going to have for breakfast" or "What do I need to buy at the store tonight." I am talking about critical thinking. Can anyone tell me what I mean when I say "critical thinking?"

Critical thinking commonly involves an issue that is complex and requires you to weigh many factors, consider why you hold the views you do, consider viewpoints other than your own, and be willing to change your mind if the evidence supports another viewpoint.

Critical thinking, and writing, is more than just having an answer; it about being able to explain how you reached that answer. This requires some degree of argumentation on your part. You are tasked with convincing your audience that your view is right, or at the least that it is worth consideration.

So how do you do this? This answer is very simple. It's not easy- nothing worth doing ever is, but it is most certainly simple. It is the same way one learns to play basketball well, or to play the piano well. First you look to the experts. With basketball, you watch the pros and listen to a coach. With piano, you listen to the pros and watch a teacher. With writing, you read the pros and listen to me.

Next, you practice. Basketball: you shoot, dribble, run suicides and have skirmishes with your team. Piano: you play songs, scales, and chords. Writing: You put pen to paper and let the thoughts flow, then you draft, you rewrite it, you organize, you correct, you delete and replace.

The last thing you must do, and possibly the most important, is want it. No one ever excelled at anything for lack of wanting to. Maybe you hated piano, but you wanted to make your mother happy so you did it. A bit indirect, but the want is still there. In your composition class, maybe you don't want to be a better thinker and writer, but you want to pass- in most classes you'll need a C, which is accomplished average thinking and writing. That will work too, though not as much as actually wanting it directly- I don't think LeBron James is just trying to make his mother happy.

On Teaching Composition by James E. Skinner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Create Your Author Platform to Hook a Literary Agent Or Publisher and Land a Book Contract

Unpublished and hungry for a book contract? Present yourself to literary agents and book publishers so as to stick in their minds. So that they will tell you, "Send me your manuscript. I want to read it."

1: Create and hone delivery out loud of a 3-minute pitch for your unpublished book project.

Sample fiction pitch (thanks to New York Times Book Review and author's website): "An Afghan-American returns to Kabul to learn how his friend has fared under the Taliban" is my first novel's story. I was an 11-year-old, thin-framed seventh-grader when I left Afghanistan with my family. I returned recently to Kabul after completing my manuscript, traveling as a 38-year-old physician residing in Northern California, a writer, a husband and father of two. My name is Khaled Hosseini. May I send you a synopsis and 50 opening pages for my manuscript titled The Kite Runner? Here is my business card."

Sample nonfiction pitch: "I am in my 80s, an accomplished working painter with studios in Paris and New York, as well as a published writer and poet, and a feminist. From the age of 22 in the 1940s, I lived for a decade with Picasso, left him, and then raised two of his children. I have since been married to the painter Luc Simon and to Dr. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine. My name is Françoise Gilot. May I send you a book proposal with sample chapters for my memoir? Here is my business card."

For practice, visit online the New York Times Book Review's and other best-seller lists, study the one-sentence blurbs, make up one pitching your own work. Practice your pitch at home in front of a mirror, with fellow writers, with friends and family, with strangers you meet in bookstores. Practice your pitch until your delivery is confident, short, sweet, and perfect.

2: Create a do-it-yourself website and start blogging. Launch an ezine, develop a following, and capture the visitor data. Keep writing your book.

3. Design author business cards and an email signature that include your 3-minute pitch and all your contact information, your blog, your website, your ezine. Keep these cards with tape and thumbtacks on your person, at work, in your car at all times. Hand your card out to everyone everywhere. Post your cards in coffee shops, on library notice boards, online at writers' communities.

4. Develop an author-platform database using information and cards you collect from people that you meet and who visit your website. Reach out personally and get to know the managers and buyers for your local chain and independent booksellers.

5. Contact book review editors across the country, from very local to very national, and start reviewing books for them off- and online using a byline with your "forthcoming" book's title, your URL, ezine, and blog. Add these names to your platform database. Keep writing your book.

6. Write 250- to 500-word personal essays, short stories, articles about your book's subject using a byline with your "forthcoming" book's title, your URL, ezine, and blog. Send copies to agents and editors you have targeted, to fellow bloggers, eziners, webmavens, your local booksellers.

7. Join writers' and publishers' groups and volunteer. Write for the newsletters and insert your byline. Agree to help out at events and to escort speakers to and from lectures. Exchange business cards with everyone you meet. Add all to your platform database.

8. Research author readings and writers' conferences within driving distance of your house and attend them. Become a regular. Go for coffee with people you meet there; exchange business cards; write print and online reviews of the published books of the authors you meet to spread your byline around. Add more entries to your database. Attend conferences and publishing trade events and shows farther and farther from home. Network. Network. Collect business cards. Add to your database. Keep writing your book.

9. Find your way online to bloggers and writers interested in book publishing. Cross-link web sites and expand your database with addresses and links to people who read, write, sell, and publish books. Keep writing your book.

10. Give a talk on your subject at local libraries, to elementary and high school Language Arts or other classes. Teach adult-ed workshops on writing, blogging, ezining, and book reviewing. Make certain your full byline appears in course catalogs and websites. Hand out your business cards to students. Collect the addresses of every attendee and add them to your database. Keep writing your book.

11. Expand your website with new pages for your bylined online or in-print pieces to download, your writer's activities and schedule (volunteer events count!). Offer free online teleseminars and workshops. Keep writing your book.

12. Go for it, so we can buy your book when it is published and catch you on Oprah. Good luck!

Teachers Experiences Revealed in "Teaching Hope"

Teaching Hope was published in August of 2009 with the hope of sharing with and helping teachers see how becoming a master teacher is a process that is developed as life is lived. The idea for the book came from Erin Gruwell.

Erin taught English at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. Erin's students were the at-risk teenagers with many issues prevalent in the urban areas of most cities. She was able to breakdown their distrust of each other, establish a community to support each other and improve in their ability to learn. One major method she used was to have the kids write in journals. These journals were published in the book "The Freedom Writers Diary" and it has been a best seller for ten years. The funds from this book were used to provide college scholarships for her students. A foundation was established to continue Erin's teaching methods by teaching teachers.

Teachers were able to learn the Erin Gruwell's methods through a five day camp call the Freedom Writer Institute. In the summer of 2008, 150 teachers began work writing their stories in journal form. In August. 2009 the book "Teaching Hope" was published. The book shows great promise is helping educators learn the realities of teaching, encouraging them to strive for excellence in their profession.

With 150 teachers participating, book reviews, media events and book signings were held in many small towns to the major cities all over the United States and Canada. This phenomenon was basically unheard to promote a book. The Freedom Writers Diary Tenth Anniversary Edition was released with Teaching Hope providing two great books for educators to read and to use in the classrooms across the continent.

If you would like to know more about the books and the Freedom Writer Foundation visit the http://www.freedomwritersfoundation.org site and look around.

Teaching Article Writing - A Guide to Teaching Aspiring Article Writers Part 2

1. The fourth step is talk about developing an outline. This is crucial as outlines are great help to writers. Show your participants a sample of an outline to give them an idea. Remind them that their outlines should contain a working title, a list of the subtopics that they intend to discuss on their articles, and ideas that they may want to include on their introduction and conclusion.

2. The fifth step is to teach your participants on how they can start writing their articles. It's important that they kick-start their content with a bang so they can immediately capture the attention of their audience. Tell them to start by using compelling questions, mind-boggling discoveries, or by challenging the common beliefs of their readers. The idea here is to get their audience to keep on reading.

3. The sixth step is to teach your students on how they can make their content flow smoothly so they can give their audience great reading and learning experience. Teach them how to connect their ideas and how they can show their readers that their ideas are related. This will help in promoting better understanding.

4. Next thing to do is to remind your participants about some things that are considered important by online users which is their target audience. Tell them to keep their articles short, concise, and scannable. Also, discuss the importance of making their articles easy to understand and useful to the eyes of their readers.

5. Last step is to talk about SEO and the proper way to optimize articles.

Why Can't We Teach Lower Socio Economic Folks Creative Writing?

Reading and writing is a skill that is necessary to success in any industrialized first world nation. When teens drop out of high-school they doom themselves to a lower socio-economic class, which is a shame especially in a nation that has so much to offer. Once, we bridge the literacy gap, we must work on their writing skills; a good way to do this is through teaching creative writing and composition.

Let's face it, in this day and age, everyone wants to tell their story, or create, thus, creative writing empowers those who have something to say and/or perhaps wish to be heard. So, there is desire to gain these skills for all human beings in society. We must teach them to read and write.

A few years back, I happened accidentally on a Writer's Club in Fredericksburg, VA and I in listening to all the folks tell of their writing, reading passages, I found that they had passion and everyone was at a different point in their writing, some well advanced, others just starting out. Amazingly enough, the advanced writers were extremely careful in constructive criticism without hurting anyone's feelings.

The writer's club and mind you there are 10s of thousands of these types of clubs across the country, was like a mentorship program where folks who loved writing gathered no matter what their level of experience or expertise. The advanced writers often felt their advice was golden and enjoyed helping the up and coming writers, several had been published and were quite successful, some only moderately so, but hoping the group could help open doors.

Indeed, we have a heck of a tough row to hoe to bring folks who want to learn how to do creative writing, especially if our target audience is lower socio-economic folks who probably do not read all that much or write all that well. This is not to say it cannot be done, it can, we can do anything we put our minds too, but if we go for it and do this as a nation working towards a common cause, we have certainly chosen a huge challenge to tackle. Please think on this.

Personal Development and Secret Success - Tips to Self Growth

Pondering over live's challenges, stumbling blocks and which path to take to a better lifestyle, albeit, better health, relationships, finances, and/or state of mind holds many of us back from reaching our dreams and goals. The problem lays in many different factors that are driven by our personal circumstances in life. But, who ever said life was going to be fair and easy?

The great thing is that we have choices in life that one can implement to change our lives for the better. Personal development and the secret of success have been practiced by many great achievers of history. Fortunately, we have been left with an abundance of tips on self development to help kickstart personal growth and push you to new levels of achievement and fulfillment.

If you're someone who's interested in personal development and personal growth, you're probably always in search of effective strategies for stimulating growth. You're probably also looking for strategies which will ensure your personal improvement and help you achieve results beyond your imagination.

I've studied personal achievement for many years and have found many tips that have helped me personally achieve success. There are many beneficial "How to Success" resources, but my efforts have led me to provide the following tips as a way of giving back and help you achieve greater success in life.

Daily Journaling

Writing and documenting what is in your heart and mind is by far one of the best strategies to get what is in the subconscious to a physical written format. The great achievers of history, as you'll find were almost all avid writers (ex. Napoleon Hill). Keeping a daily journal helps you to clarify your thoughts and develop a sense of self-awareness which will give you the ability to reinvent yourself on a moment's notice and help you to develop unshakable self-confidence.

Meditation

Meditation is one of the most important methods used to help in many areas of your life. Meditation is the most effective means of reducing stress and clearing your mind from "junk thoughts" which lead to worry and anxiety. Think about this for a moment - how many times have you had to make an important decision and find yourself stuck with indecision. You have to chuckle at this - but this feeling is like having a whole family up in your head telling you what to do and what not to do...

Daily meditation has many benefits to help with this problem of helping you come to clear and concise decisions. In addition, it also helps to slow your heart rate and regulate your digestion among dozens of other health benefits.

It also makes your sleep more restful and helps your body to recover faster. Basically, the practice of meditation is the one thing which can make the other self improvement tips effective.

Expecting to Win

You must be prepared for success. People who achieve great things in life aren't normally anymore intelligent or capable than the average person. I have been taught that these individuals do one thing different which many intelligent people have a hard time doing: they expect to win, even before they know how they're going to do it.

Boldness and perseverance are keys to success. Having expectations doesn't require knowledge of how those expectations will be, and if you start from a foundation of bold expectancy, the rest is just a matter of perseverance. So please, never ever give up on yourself!!!

Writing Goals and Plans of Actions

The habit of writing down clear and specific goals and plans of action for achieving those goals is a must if you want to accomplish anything in life. This is because writing down your goals clarifies them and begins building an expectation in your mind. Also, having written plans gives you a specific set of actions to take each day to achieve your goals. Look at your goals everyday. Write them out everyday for reinforcement purposes. You must get into this practice as it will do wonders for you.

Be Well Rounded

The process of personal development must be holistic in nature. Every single area of your life affects every other area either directly or indirectly. If your relationships are out of order, it's going to affect your health and your financial life. If your health is out of order it's going to effect your personal growth and make it more difficult for you to find the energy to achieve any of your goals.

So no matter what you're trying to achieve, being well-rounded is the key to living a balanced life and for building the physical stamina, the emotional fortitude, the financial security and the social support system required in order to achieve great things.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations have the power to change your inner dialogue which can literally change your personality, your character, your actions and your life. For best results, write one positive affirmation for each of the key areas of your life (health, relationships, finances and career) and make a commitment to rehearsing them out loud on a daily basis. This can be done in the shower, the car, the kitchen...anytime possible.

Teach to Learn

This is the most important of any of the personal improvement tips provided above. Teaching and guiding other people on the principles of personal growth and secret success, the clearer your understanding will be of them and the more effective you'll be able to make them in your own life.

Developing these simple skills is easy and can be implemented right now. So, turn off the TV, set yourself up with some "me time" and begin by writing a short paragraph about each of these simple self improvement tips. Write each one as if you were teaching the principles to someone else and your understanding of them will deepen.

Much success!

San Francisco Writers Conference 2010 Reviewed by Indie Author

The San Francisco Writers Conference. Now I can say, been there done that. Folk in this writing business insisted that it was the biggie, the one I had to do. Being a mere 3 hour drive from Truckee-Tahoe, I really had no choice. Especially after forking over even more money and a longer drive for Mark Victor Hansen's Mega Book University in LA (which was mostly a medium-pressure sales pitch from one presenter after another inc. Mark, but that's another story). Fortunately, the SFWC was far from sales-pitchy. There were some, a few offers from presenters tastefully mentioned towards the end of their 45 minute segments.

The conference had extra sessions on Thursday and Monday, but I chose to be there from Friday am through Sunday around noon. I enjoyed a wealth of brief lectures and keynote speeches from best-selling authors, all of which allotted ample time for Q & A. It was run by Michael Larsen, Elizabeth Pomada and Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, and although I sensed a constant effort into making sure everything went smoothly from the quality of the first time presenters to the number of yogurts in a breakfast basket, they also seemed to enjoy it and get benefit.

This review could be quite long so I'll just share highlights and note areas I thought might be improved on.

Highlights:

-Alan Rinzler and his 46 years of editing, publishing, everything book related experience. I was in awe of the guy, and fortunately he looks a bit like Einstein which really completes the package. Rinzler is witty and razor sharp. He worked with greats such as Hunter S. Thompson, Toni Morrison, Shirley MacLaine, John Lennon and a slew of other best-sellers... so listening to Alan for 45 minutes simply wasn't enough. I assume Alan is in contention for world's greatest editor, so being in a small room with someone of his caliber was inspiring. Side note, Alan is way old school and recommended perspective authors spend time writing and not networking online more than an hour a day. This was the only thing he said that I found humorous in a bad way.

-Dan Poynter, self-publishing guru, and Mark Coker, self-publishing guide and founder of Smashwords.com. These guys were my heroes even before the conference. Both have helped me immensely, Poynter teaching and pointing me in right directions and Coker getting my ebooks made for free and selling them long before I knew the term epub. (I got Coker's autograph 'cause I think he's going to be huge someday, and he almost refused to give one out of embarrassment over the first autograph he's ever given.) Each of them is all about helping authors like me, Indies who know there has to be a better way than getting an agent/publisher when that is extremely difficult and time consuming no matter how awesome my books are. It's the 21st century people, come on, let's go.

-Jacob Morgan and Stephanie Chandler, two of the shining examples of blogging, social media, and how everything online can work for Indie authors to create an audience and manage relationships. The overwhelming message I heard repeated from Jacob, Stephanie and others was the importance of regular blogging, having something useful to say (not just noise), providing quality over quantity, and building/maintaining online relationships.

-Location. The Mark Hopkins is a fantastic hotel and priced reasonably for attendees. It's in the heart of the city, located on Nob Hill which makes for stunning views and easy access to major attractions. My wife and daughter had quite the SF vacation while I was fortunate enough to enjoy the sights from my 14th floor room (thank you, front desk!) and from the famous Top of the Mark restaurant. I didn't get my Martini though, so an excuse to return.

-Speed Dating with Agents. For an additional $50 this was well worth it, a real treat. I sat with about 6 extremely well-connected agents for 3 minutes of one on one time, and I ended up batting .500 for agencies requesting my work and remembering me. That's quite useful! I did want to spend time with Elise Capron, but that girl was so popular she had a 15 minute line just to see her, and I couldn't limit my 45 minute window to only 3 or 4 agents. Ah, Elise, some other time...

-Meeting dozens of other perspective authors. This was excellent in terms of making connections and getting feedback for where they are in their pursuits, and where I am. I must admit surprise at how few of them have most of the basics for an online platform. Many do not have a blog, a website, ebooks for sale on Smashwords or Amazon Kindle, and some either didn't have or barely used Facebook and Twitter. I found myself almost mentoring at least a dozen authors on how they can have all of these things for FREE and can start selling their ebooks while they continue the traditional approach for an agent and publisher. I believe some of these people are just starting out and some have yet to write very much or complete a manuscript, totally understandable. (The SFWC is a fine place to start if you can swing it.) Yet others are stuck hoping an agent and big publisher is going to whisk them off their feet and do all the real work to turn their words into best-sellers. IMO these people are dreaming, but I suppose it could happen.

-Pacing. I thought the conference was timed very well in terms of class length (perhaps could have been ten minutes longer with the good ones), and distance into the evening. I've been at some conferences that had me starting at 7am and going until 10pm or longer, while this one allowed me to go to dinner with my family and enjoy Malaysian food in Chinatown and a nice Italian place.

-Little to improve upon. A few of the classes were just moderately helpful. 2 in particular on Twitter did very little to give me knowledge as to how to use it better than I already am (which I know I can improve immensely). Unfortunately the presenters spent far too much of the limited time telling us their histories, which were each fascinating but did little to advance the beginner/intermediate Tweeter to become more of an expert. Perhaps I had my hopes too high. Oh well, guess I can always fall back on the do it yourself approach which seems to be my life calling in just about everything.

Overall, I give the SFWC a big thumbs up. Would I do it again? Perhaps. I'm hoping I won't need it next February, that my momentum will keep climbing to the point that I'm succeeding nicely in this tricky business. I'm also hoping (dreaming maybe) they might consider me to give the class that several of the attendees mentioned I should be giving. The class on how to make, market, and sell your own ebooks on your own sites, blogs, Amazon, Smashwords etc... ALL FOR FREE. You all can do it, I know, because I am doing it.

All in all, a rewarding and pleasant experience and worth the money. It's pricey by some standards at nearly $700, but it's still less than I've spent elsewhere and of more value. And who knows, I just might move forward with one of these agencies or connections I made and traditionally land the next blockbuster book and movie, which I am convinced my novels are capable of doing.

Teaching Article Writing - Discover 3 Amazing Strategies in Teaching Article Writing

This article is for those people who are teaching aspiring writers how to write their very own articles that they can use on their internet marketing campaign. In here, I'll share with you some effective teaching strategies to make sure that your participants or students will walk away feeling empowered to produce high quality articles on their own.

1. Know your audience. The first thing that you need to do is to assess the capabilities and level of skills of your participants. Can they at least construct decent sentences? How's their grammar usage? Have they already written articles before? Knowing the people that you're teaching and the things that they already know can help you make your teaching more focused and more targeted. Through this, you'll know what to focus on and what specific information you're going to share with them so you can effectively address their learning needs.

2. Plan ahead. After knowing your audience, the next thing that you need to do is to plan ahead. Determine the perfect time for your classes, the mediums that you're going to use, and the things that you're going to teach for each session. It's important that you're well-prepared before you show up on your classes.

3. Encourage hands-on practice. It's not enough that you share your knowledge through discussions. You can better help your participants if you get them to really do hands-on practice. Ask them to write articles each time you meet up with them. Then, give them feedback and tips on how they can improve the quality of their copies. Through this, I am pretty sure that you'll be able to help them smoothen up the rough edges of their writing in no time.

How to Build a Writer's Marketing Platform

As a writer, are you interested in building a marketing platform? There are some important things you should know in order to do this successfully. No matter what type of writer you are, the difference between being unknown and well known lies in your ability to create influence.

You need to have a platform that communicates your integrity, credibility and expertise in your particular field. The Internet makes it easier than ever to achieve this goal but you have to know how to do so effectively.

A strong writer's platform might include your web presence, media contacts you have, articles you've published, books or ebooks you've written, public services you offer, public speaking opportunities, classes you teach and more. These are all ways you make a name for yourself and make your works known to the public and your readership.

You can build your writer's marketing platform by recognizing the ways that you can get noticed and create a presence for yourself and then taking the proper steps needed to achieve this. You might build a website, edit an existing site, volunteer for opportunities, using article marketing to advertise and participate in social media sites.

Find the methods that work for you and then make the investment to have them work for you. The benefits abound and may include more sales, increased media exposure, blog buzz, invitations to speak or participate in interviews, book deals, increased book sales and much more.

Once you have established your platform, you just need to allow it to work for you. It will work 24/7, even while you are sleeping to advertise the good word of what you can do.

Adam, Eve , Original Sin, and Mythology

Much of New Testament theology is based on ideas drawn from the literal creation and existence of Adam and Eve This common, seldom questioned, oft repeated, historical fallacy of a literal Adam and Eve in a literal garden, with a literal talking serpent antagonist, has been the foundational explanation of how mankind arrived on the scene and ultimately fell from grace. However, the story serves as more of a political statement of what Israelite culture was not to be. It is a clear placing of blame for sin, evil and disobedience clearly on women (matriarchy) and a societal shift to correct the damage (Patriarchy). In fact, we have no choice, as this one literal act was supposed to have condemned all future humanity to eternal death without recourse! But did it? If it never really happened in time and space, then perhaps we need another look.

To set the stage, anyone who is familiar with the elements of the higher criticism knows that there are two creation of man stories in Genesis. The first, or Priestly Account, was written in the fifth century B.C. and extends from the beginning of Genesis through verse 3 of chapter 2. The second, or Jehovistic Account, begins with verse 4 of chapter 2 and extends through the third chapter. This version of the story was written in the eighth century B.C. It is interesting to note that the second account is about 300 years older than the first. They are two different accounts and are not compatible with their "facts." Orthodox Christians insist that both stories must be true and compatible, even though they contradict each other on many points, as do the birth, death, and resurrection accounts in the New Testament. Admitting this, however, would hurt faith and faith always comes before facts to literalists. "Faith" sometimes, is what covers the facts so we are not uncomfortable. When all else fails, you will be lashed with "the wisdom of man is foolishness with God". That will pretty much end the discussion.

The simple fact is however, Adam/Eve and Original Sin never LITERALLY happened in space, time and history. The idea that man literally came in an instant just 6000 years ago in the form of an Adam and Eve is simply not based in FACT. It is mythology, and not an original one at that.

The hypothetical first man of the Bible was rightly named Adam, since the first Adam , which means "MAN" was made out of "adamah" which means "earth". Adam was not so much who he was, but what he was. The Romans called men "homo" since he was made out of "humus". And other mythologies have man made of clay and blood mixed and formed. It is a common origin story, not unique to Genesis. Taking a woman from male parts is also not unique to the Bible account.

Now all through the pages of the Bible, of course, it is considered a real event. That is the nature of the Bible. Or at least that is the nature of the Bible when read by literalists, who perhaps are unaware of any deeper, though not literally intended meaning.

A couple of years ago, while teaching an anatomy class for a massage class, I reminded them that they needed to know that humans had twelve pairs of ribs, ten fixed and two floating pairs. Several students brought up the with the Biblical story of human origins being literally true, informed me that "of course, men have one less rib than women " I said no, that women did not literally come from the rib of man , an expendable part, no matter how close to his heart the smooze might have you believe. The Genesis story was not explaining biology and human origins. One girl said she was telling her father and he'd be calling me. He never did... darn!

To get a non literalist view I suggest you read The Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke or even The Christ Conspiracy by Archarya. While less pleasing in places, The Christ Conspiracy forces one to look at history and other possibilities. A good background on the mythology of the Adam and Eve accounts, and Goddess worship at the time the Bible was written, can be found in When God was a Woman as well.

Paul clearly plays off his belief in the literal truth of Adam and Eve to make a very ignorant point of supposed truth to the early Church. This "truth" is designed just as much to keep women out of the male church as the OT law was designed to keep women out of the male system.

"Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. FOR (this is the reason why to Paul) Adam was formed first, THEN Eve. And Adam was NOT deceived, but the woman being deceived, FELL into transgression. Nevertheless (I, Paul, still have a role for her to fulfill), she will be saved in childbearing (though painfully which was part of the punishment in Genesis), IF they continue in faith, love, and holiness with self control. I Timothy 2:11-15.

Do you honestly believe this is why women should not speak in a church, or if they have questions, go ask their husbands? I don't. So plainly Paul bases his teaching on a mythology that he believed to be literally true. It will also be asked if Jesus himself was a literal believer in Adam and Eve and Original Sin.

Perhaps you think I think they were all lying. I don't think they were lying for what they knew or believed, any more than I think Elijah or Jesus knew that remains of Neanderthals lay under their feet in Jerusalem or in Caves of Carmel. (They do). The answer is, of course Jesus believed it was literally true, or at least the writers who put their own reflections on Adam and Eve in Jesus mouth believed it. This was a COMMON practice in the writings of the time Western Christians are most unfamiliar with. "God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me" is the phrase that indicates a general ignorance as to how many conversations in the Bible are written. It is often written as fact, what the author imagines the character to have said in such an instance. Jesus' alone time in the Garden of comes to mind. Who wrote his prayer down? Did he tell the sleeping disciples what he said in his personal prayer minutes before his arrest. No.

It might also help to point out that Paul also believed that marriage was to avoid fornication but the best choice was to remain single like him. Do you believe that is valid thinking? I don't. Ask a Catholic Priest! Paul says a true widow, who lives in pleasure, is dead while she lives. (I Tim. 5:6). Do you believe that is a balanced truth about widows? Paul says younger widows will weaken and grow wanton against Christ and cast off their faith and marry, the marriage being the proof of her wantonness. Do you believe this? I don't.

Paul says weak people marry and single people think only of Jesus, while married people think only of pleasing their mate. Do you believe this? I don't. I know lots of mates who don't. I don't remember a lot of wives telling me ask their husbands to stop paying so much attention to them. I don't remember any singles so caught up with Jesus and the Church, I had to tell them stop it. Paul was naïve about relationships in the extreme. Perhaps because he seems not to have had any quality ones in his personal life given what we have about him. Paul said he had the power to lead around a wife. I doubt most women were interested in his power to lead them around.

In another place Paul says "for the man comes not from the woman, but the woman from the man" referring back to the Adam myth. Do you believe that biologically? I don't. No one does today, at least no one with an open, functioning mind not clouded by years of superstition, fear and compliance to the expectations of others.

One of the benefits of making mythology literally true is that one can formulate laws to prevent the literal problems from happening again. In the origins stories it is WOMEN who take the biggest hit. It is not possible to make laws against various things, or institute whole religious systems if the origin stories are perceived as mythical. They must to have literally happened to enforce literal laws and control people.

While not literally true, the story of the fall of woman and matriarchy, which it really is, has been used by the men of the Old Testament, predominately the controlling priesthood, to re-institute patriarchy and protect Israelite men from the dangers of surrounding Goddess worship.

It is no coincidence the great counselor to the female Goddesses (Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, and many more) of the nations around Israel, was the wise and benevolent Serpent. In a Goddess oriented society, birth and reproduction was the sole function of the female. This was real mystery to the male who could not connect the events of nine months previous to the birth. Women were mystical. They could produce humans. Remember, the male spermatozoa was not discovered until 1677 by Hamm and Leeuwenhoek and the female ovum by Baer until 1827! It is no coincidence that once the woman was again connected to the how of birth process after 1827, women began to demand equal rights again with men.

In a Goddess oriented society, women get a lot of respect as well. The Goddess could give her property to all her children. It did not matter who the fathers were. Specific paternity with multiple partners could not be proved. If they were hers, and she'd know, they were family! But this would not do in Israelite society. If Israelite men cohabited with "pagan women", property could go to these women when the man died and this was unacceptable. The nation was in danger. Matriarchy had to be prevented in Israel and Patriarchy installed to enforce paternity and the laws of inheritance.

The Goddess concept had to go. God now HAD to be male. And with a male God, only marriage could prove fatherhood and property rights of children. One woman to serve the one man. Any children would be his children and only his children would get the land. It would not be lost to a pagan wife or unmarried woman.

Remember too that women in the Patriarchal Israelite society were basically property. Much like we still see today in the Middle East. "You shall not covet your neighbors house (thing), your neighbors wife (thing), nor his male or female servants (things), or his ox , nor his donkey (things), nor any (thing) that is your neighbors" (Ex 20:17) .

In Genesis, Lot was able to barter his things, (daughters), to the town folk so that his guests would not be raped. (The rape of strangers was not sexual, it was to humiliate and warn them to not endanger the clan hometown). Lot was concerned about his image as being a safe and hospitable man to these men. When he fled Sodom he begged not to go Zoar, but rather the mountains, as he knew what his fate would be at the hands of some of the men of Zoar, symbolic humiliation.

In war, it was fine for Israelite soldiers to take the girls who could show signs of their virginity (don't even imagine it), and kill those who could not prove it. You can take your enemies' "things", just not your neighbors.

Most laws against sexuality were enforced, often fatally, to serve as warning to others and insure paternity. A woman was not stoned if raped in the country because she is assumed to have cried out for help and no one could hear. She was stoned for not crying out for help if raped in the city as this might indicate she was enjoying herself, and the paternity of the baby might not be known.

You might notice the pattern through history of first the Goddess alone, fertile and a mystery. Then as suspicion of a male role in birth arose, the Goddess takes a male consort, though always portrayed as smaller and less powerful than her. Then as connection between the male contribution to birth is more suspected, the consort becomes her equal and the shift that she becomes his equal occurs, as we see in Egyptian culture.

Next, the male begins to feel that he alone is the cause of the mystery of birth and the female is a mere incubator. Now we have the death of Matriarchy and the Goddess and the birth of male dominated Old Testament Patriarchy. We now have a God that doesn't even have a consort, needs no company, knows no female and reproduces all by himself.

From this we have the story fall of the goddess in Genesis 2, and her evil (though never alluded to as Satan... that was added later) serpent counselor. The fall, caused by Eve (the goddess) is the reason for every evil thing to come and why humanity is the way it is. Therefore, she now only gets to have babies painfully and be subject to the one man. This is the meaning of Genesis 2 and 3.

Let the Taliban open your eyes to the real results of the political, social and human fallout for women who still are victims of rabid patriarchy. In those "cultures" you can shoot women on the fifty yard line at soccer games for failing to wear the Burka, or behead fifty or so as you please, as was recently done in Iraq by Sadaam's son.

Let me be perfectly clear. The story of the fall of man or woman or both never literally happened. It is a mythology written for the purpose of derailing and dethroning goddess worship in ancient Israel. It is to avoid the attendant risks of losing land to pagan wives and men finding more theological satisfaction in Goddess worship and fertility rights than in being controlled body, mind, spirit by a male Priesthood with all it's attendant obligations.

New Testament authors reach back to The Fall as literally true for the same reasons. Modern Christian do the same, some thinking it is literally true, and many other individual pastors KNOWING it is not, but hey, "I'd lose my job".

So why do I bother to write about the mythology of Adam/Eve and Original Sin, and invite the scorn of literalists? Well first of all, I used to believe and teach it faithfully myself as a literal fact. As a pastor, I did not have the guts to publicly question church teaching. And by church, I mean all denominations. I am past that stage now and am seeking the simple truth for me and my life, which I will never again give over to the group, the organization or "the church". Had the information available to me today been available when I was younger, I never would have gone into the ministry. All denominations only teach what supports the view of some founding individual.

I have learned that when science makes a mistake, they generally examine it, admit it, change it and appreciate the information that can still be used. When religions make a mistake, they simply kill the person who pointed it out, and perpetuate the Dark Ages. It is no coincidence they arose shortly after the establishment of literalist Christianity with its torture, forced conversions, state sanctioned edicts of truth and deeply troubled want to be's. I suggest a study on Martin Luther's attitude toward Jewish people to properly curl your toes and give you insight as to how the holocaust could have come about in Germany.

So back to the original premise. Adam and Eve did not literally exist in space and time. There was no Garden of Eden in the salt flats in southern Iraq. There was no talking serpent (a sure sign of a mythology). The events of the Fall have the deeply political and theological intent to dethrone goddess worship and thus all women from any special treatment or adoration save for having babies painfully and serving men. We, meaning every human to come along since, did not fall into sin because of Adam, from which we must be theologically extracted by bloodletting of any sort. If the events did not literally take place, the consequences did not either. Perhaps one can now feel they were born right the first time.

It's a long and painfully negative road to attempt to go from a being whose "heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it" to the absolute requirement to become "perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect". No pressure to perform there!

I spent 26 years with these concepts. I met NO perfect people, "like your Father in heaven is perfect"--NONE. None were close. None were much on their way. I met a lot of wonderfully normal people, but also, a lot who never could feel quite good enough to be who they are, and a feeling somehow this is just not achievable.

Being told that it is God and the Holy Spirit that will now do this for us, or maybe to us (whether by unconditional love, which seemed to have lots of conditions, or by grace, which in practical fact had a lot of laws), never really helped. Even Paul, depending on the book he may or may not have literally authored, never quite seems sure where law and grace, faith and works converge, or if they do.

This is what literalist Christianity does to people. Literalist, Patriarchal Christianity thrives on division. If it has no enemy, it has no purpose or motivation. There can be no "we only" without a "not them". There can be no "chosen" without the "unchosen" . There can be no "converted" without "the unconverted". And certainly no "true church" without the "false church".

When it finally discovers (don't worry, it won't) that the inerrant and literally true Book is neither inerrant nor literally true, it will have to face the fact that literalist teachings, Christian or Fundamentalist Islam, have been responsible for more damnable repression and destruction of the body, mind and spirit than a literal Satan could ever dream of.

We're all here to learn. I don't ask you to see the world of religion and theology through my eyes, nor would most. I got here with my own experiences, curiosity and need to know. However, I do encourage you to see it through your own eyes, and not as interpreted for you by Apostles, Ayatollah's, Prophet's, Priests and King's.

Also by Dennis Diehl on The Missing Dimension

Forgiveness / The Apostle Paul

Teaching Reading and Writing to Your Child - The Benefits to Parents

Reading and writing with your children can help you to build better relationships with them. Reading involves interacting with your child and allows you to set a time aside that you specifically spend with your child. As you create a relaxed and fun atmosphere reading together, your relationship can become stronger. The more opportunities you get to be with your child alone, the easier it can get for both of you to share, and parents find that other issues affecting their children can be expressed, and once out in the open, are easier to discuss.

Stories in books can be used to explain difficult situations and discuss confusing topics with your children. Whether you're at home, on the bus, in the shops or at the doctor's surgery or even hospital, there are countless opportunities to help your child to learn. Teaching your children to read and write gives you the chance to talk with them and read together, plus there are fun ways to develop their writing skills too. As a Parent you will have improved confidence in your ability to provide support for your children. Parents and especially first time parents are buffeted from all directions with information on what they should and should not do. Often parents feel inadequate, and at a loss as to how best to care for and support their children. The simple act of reading and being able to achieve positive results with your child can be a big boost for your confidence and can be a building block for continued support and involvement in the growth and development of your child.

Teaching your child to read and write can provide opportunities to take part in organised activities based in schools or other venues, and form new friendships with other parents through school activities, a neutral place where you can take part in enjoyable, focused activities. This can be particularly useful if you don't live with your child or your everyday life does not provide opportunities to meet and mix with different people.

Parents with low literacy levels themselves can use this opportunity to learn and develop their own skills. Being able to read and write with your children can provide the motivation and support to join a more formal education class, and create opportunities for voluntary or paid work in schools or the wider community.

So what can you as a parent to help your child read and write better?

As a Parent you need to talk and listen to your children in order to make a good start in teaching them how to read and write. This will give your children an opportunity to hear how language is put together into sentences and prepare them to become readers and writers.

You need to set aside even just 10 minutes a day to read stories with your child as this helps build important skills as well as capturing your child's interest in books. Books are a rich source of information for your child because they provide certain words which may not be used frequently in everyday conversations. From their earliest days babies enjoy listening to stories and looking at books.

In order to make teaching your child to read and write as easy and enjoyable as possible, choose books that you both enjoy and then spend time reading together and telling stories. You could talk about the pictures and characters in the books and make up your own. You could discuss how your children's heroes might use books and reading to achieve the things they do.

Teaching your children to read and write does not have to always be formal. You can talk to your children about the world around them and read as you walk down the street and round the shops, pointing out signs and words and talking about them.

Reading together will also help you as a parent to correct your children outside of a disciplining situation which takes the pressure away for both parties. As a parent, you can use examples in the books you are using to teach your child to read and write to help them see things differently. Involve your children in your reading interests, and buy them books as presents. Joining a library and taking them there is another good way of introducing new books