March is Blogoversary month here at Write Now. Year number 6! It's hard to believe that I've been blogging that long. It's been a wonderful adventure, and by far the best part has been the people that I've met.
To celebrate, I'm hosting a giveaway today. (Details below.) In addition, two author friends stop by later this month and have offered to give away copies of their books.
I hope you'll indulge me while I reminisce and share about someone (besides my Mom) who helped foster my writing journey.
This writing "cheerleader" was found in an unexpected place. I
met this inspiring woman about 26 years ago, and our initial contact
had nothing to do with writing. I needed info on homeschooling, and my search led to a lovely woman by the name of Nancy Plent. She was the founder of the Unschoolers Network, New Jersey's only state homeschool organization at the time.
We became acquainted through phone calls and emails (we
lived 2 hours apart), and before long, I was writing occasional articles for
the Network newsletter and helping with parent support
services. Working with Nancy was a pleasure; not only did she become a good friend, she offered opportunities
to write and build other skills. The experience was priceless.
Nancy was the one who encouraged me to write and self publish a booklet for homeschool
parents. She offered advice on content, formatting, and marketing. I would
not have taken that step had it not been for her
support. The booklet eventually became Homeschool Co-ops 101, my first book published by a traditional publisher.
Her advice, even back in the days prior to the social media explosion, is timeless and applies to other writing too, such as articles and blog posts.
Nancy's Timeless Tips
1) Be real. Down to earth, approachable, authentic - people relate best
to these qualities. Nancy's friendly, conversational,
and encouraging writing style taught me a lot.
2) Give people something they need. Content must have audience appeal and be user-friendly. What info can my reader apply?
3) Use examples. Well chosen nuggets illustrate a point and help readers say, "Yes, I can do this!"
4) White space is important. A balance of text and white space
is key for a pleasant reading experience. Clean, clear text is
appealing; clutter and disorder distracts. It ties in with #5:
5) Employ digestible blocks of text. Large sections of text can overwhelm
and potentially lose readers. Not that they must be spoon fed a few sentences at a time, but a good balance helps readers process content.
I am grateful for friends like Nancy who take time to share and
encourage. Although Nancy passed away in November of 2011, I still use and treasure her advice, writing and otherwise.
Blogoversary Giveaway Details
I debated about what to give away as a small token of appreciation for your faithful support and friendship. Chocolate? A sports car? Books? I finally settled on a $15 Amazon Gift Card, since they offer most anything you might enjoy. Except maybe a sports car...
To enter, I need you to do two things:
1) Leave your email address.
2) Be a Google Friend Connect Follower (see Followers on sidebar).
That's it - no jumping through hoops or posting on social media. It's low key because I want one of my actual, faithful followers to win. I don't want someone who stops by just to enter a giveaway. Not that I dislike them; I appreciate their time too, but you've invested more time with me here and I want to express my thanks to you. Make sense?
Deadline to enter is Friday, March 13 at noon Eastern Daylight Time. Winner will be announced on Monday, March 16.
Who has helped encourage your writing journey? What have they taught you?
Photo credit: Free Images