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To Enter or Not to Enter Writing Contests
If you are a freelance writer, it is because you love to write. Why not put those abilities to use and enter a writing contest? You have nothing to loose and a lot to gain. You can find writing contests by simply searching the Internet. Writing groups and message boards may also have listing for these contests. No matter what you writing genre maybe poetry, fiction, non fiction, there is a contest out there for you. Read about them and choose which ones are right for you. It is not necessarily about winning or loosing but about the experience and knowledge that you gain to get there.
Whether you win or not there are still valuable things that can be learned or gained by entering into contests. Entering writing contests will help you hone the skills that you have. Try something new, you may choose to write in a niche that you normally wouldn?t. You get constructive criticism from someone new. Someone that doesn?t have to worry about hurting your feelings and that is unbiased can be a wonderful asset to your career. The feedback you receive can be invaluable to you. It will get your name out there and give you a place to showcase your work.
Depending on how good your story, if you make it to the next round your writings could be in front of editors and agents. This feedback and criticism is even more important than the first. Do not your eggs all in one basket. Enter a couple contests to get multiple feedback sources. Not every editor or agent is going to agree. By entering multiple contests and find common points about your writing that need perfecting you will be able to concentrate on a general consensus about your abilities.
There are some downsides to entering writing contests, too. Chances are that a simple contest is not going to launch your career into star status. Do your research just as if you were going to write an article about contests. For many contests you give up your rights to your entry whether it wins or not. You need to decide whether or not you are willing to give up all rights to your story. If you win it is not a big deal, but if you loose your giving your work away. Are you willing to do this?
Research the contest. You can search the Internet for reports or opinions on contests run by the company. You can find valuable information on if the contest is legitimate, if entering has had any effect of previous entrant?s careers, and if it is really worth it in the long run. The bigger and well-established companies will give credibility to your work if you win. But the bigger and more well know the companies are will also bring in tougher competition with well know authors.
Some companies offer contests as a disguise. Yes they will give away prizes and declare winners but their main goal with the contest is advertising. It can be in the form of offering you to buy obscure book featuring your contest submission. Sometimes it is an editing company that offers a discount for its services or a company that will offer you discounts on writing classes.
A writing contest is just a possible stepping stone. Whether it helps you or not is the unknown, but it definitely won?t hurt you. It may help you reach the next level of your career. You and only you will be able to make the decision on whether or not writing contests are a good move for your career.
Communication Key to a Better Work Environment Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carole. On Christmas Eve, poor Bob Cratchit, who is working late again, spends his day working up the courage to ask his boss, Mr. Scrooge, if he can have Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. When he finally does get up the nerve to ask, Mr. Scrooge lets forth a tirade over lazy people using Christmas as an excuse to have a day a off from work. This fictional story unfortunately rings true for a lot of people who have to work up the courage to ask for things from their employers. An employee who has to feel about their employer the way Bob Cratchit felt about Mr. Scrooge is not a very happy and productive employee. To get the most of out of your workers, you have to create a much more hospitable working environment. To create a better working environment, keeping the lines of communication open is absolutely crucial. How does communication work in your office? Do you get the impression that everyone is walking around on eggshells around you? While this kind of fear from your employees may be good for your ego in some senses, it is really bad for your business. When your employees don?t feel like they can talk to you, you will lose control over what is going on with your business. You may be the boss, but your employees are the ones who are actually on the front lines. To know what is really going on out there, you need your employees to communicate honestly with you. If they feel that you are unapproachable, they will hide problems and concerns from you, and you won?t be able to act to fix them. You can?t expect to run your business with half of the information about what is actually going on, and so your business will suffer for your ?mean boss? routine. There are still other problems with creating an office environment in which your employees feel like you are unapproachable. In general, there will be a dark cloud over the office when you are around. The stress will keep employee morale low, and employees with low morale are employees with low productivity. Besides, who wants to work hard for someone they cannot approach or who doesn?t show they any respect? Shutting down those lines of communication will definitely affect your bottom line as employees ?phone it in? because they don?t feel invested in making your business a success. If you want a better working environment, you have to improve the lines of communication. If there has been a communication breakdown in the past, take the time to address it with your staff. If you staff is small, talk to them each one on one, letting them know that your door is always open and that you want more regular communication with them. If you have a larger staff, schedule a meeting to address the issue. Weekly office meetings are a great way to keep communication channels open and swap ideas in the office environment. If weekly meetings are not feasible, find some way of touching base with your staff on a regular basis, either through weekly emails or a weekly newsletter. Also, you should encourage your staff to communicate with each other. Sharing information among the staff is a great way to generate fresh ideas and fresh approaches to problems. If your office is suffering from a communication problem, make nipping it in the bud a priority. The pay off will be more productive workers and a whole lot less stress. Who knew work could actually be a pleasant place to be?
Technical Writing: What is it? (technical writing) Technical writing is one of the most difficult forms of writing. To be a technical writer you need to be able to convey a technical message in a concise and effective manner. Technical documents must be created using comprehensive and precise information in a brief and understandable style. You will need the ability to be able to correspond with technical experts and have the understanding of all technical terminology. You are the middleman between the designers, engineers, or scientists and the audience of the technical writings. You have to have the ability to under stand what they are saying and the turn it into something that can be understood by someone else. Simply put it is writing that designs, creates, and upkeeps any kind of technical data such as user manuals, how to guides, and online help just to name a few. To be able to achieve a career in technical writing you must be able to write complex data in a straightforward, easy to understand and articulate fashion. You must be able to word step by step instructions in a way that seems effortless to a consumer. While doing technical writing one of the most important aspects of your job will be creating for an intended audience. So not only must you understand and convey what you are writing, you must understand whom you are writing it for. In most cases, you are generally trying to explain complex technical information to the average person. But with the diversity in the world today and having such a vast potential audience you must understand the meaning of the words you use and what they could mean to someone else. Some technical writing projects may also include magazine and newspaper articles. These articles will probably be focused on new technologies and products. In some cases this may be in the form of an advertisement. Or it could just be an introduction to a new product saying hey this is what we have and this is what it a can do. Although a formal education is always a plus, if you have experience and successful past ventures in technical writing it isn?t always necessary. Knowledge into the multiple components needed for technical writing is required. They key components to what you must know is an in depth knowledge many software programs. These applications can include Visio, Quadralay Web Works Publisher, Microsoft Word, and HTML script writing. Proper formatting, style, and organization of writings are what make them easy to follow. Correct wording, clear sentences, and easy terminology make your technical writings easy the read and comprehend. If you are employed as a technical writer with a company, you will most likely be working with a team of other writers. You writings will be reviewed for content efficiency as well as any grammar and spelling errors. Depending on the structure of the team they may be working on the same project as you or they may be working on separate projects. Either way the team is assembled as a support group to help make your technical writing be as accurate, effective, and as simple as it can be. To succeed in technical writing these are the simple rules to follow. Keep it as simple as possible; no one wants to read four pages to find a simple one word answer. Understand the people you are talking to and what you are telling them. If you don?t understand, neither will they. Make sure you get your work proofread or read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. You know what you are trying to say, but your reader does not. You are the carrier for getting information from point A to Point B.