Thursday, June 28, 2012

Becoming a Better Writer: Survey and a Giveaway!

We've come to the end of the Challenge!

Jeff Goins has been extremely helpful in challenging me to be the writer I am meant to be. His advice has been clear, concise and easy to follow...something I can continue to pursue and ponder in the weeks and months to come. I thank God for Jeff!!  Here, in a nutshell, are his last two challenges:


It's an impression you leave on someone's mind...what image do people (readers) have when they think of you?

Jeff tells us we must spend time "tightening up each of these":

1. Name. It may be your given name or a pseudonym or something else, but you need to be consistent. Make sure your website, business cards, and social media properties all say the same thing.

2. Image. This can be a logo or a headshot. It's whatever you want to use to make people recognize you and your work. Make sure it's on your blog, Twitter profile, etc. Don't use different images; make them all the same.

3. Voice. This is how you sound. It's your style and personal flair as a communicator. If you aren't confident in your unique writing voice, go through these 10 steps to find it.  Check out Jeff's post on
voice here.


Jeff reminds us to "write for ourselves" before we write for others. It sounds selfish, doesn't it? But, it's not. If you don't like what you write, if you are not passionate about your writing, no one else will want to read it.

Now it's time to GIVE instead of TAKE: we need to know what our audience needs before they do.

How?  Jeff suggests two simple ways:

Answer questions. If you don't know where to begin, look at the questions you want answered. Be observant. Put yourself in the seat of the reader...

Help people. Do favors without being asked. Be generous (think over-the-top here). Do something remarkable, something truly outstanding that will get noticed...

Here is Jeff's final challenge:

"Ready to be generous and serve your audience? Here are a few ideas (pick one):

Do a giveaway of a product or service. Find authors or organizations wanting to partner with people like you, and ask them for donations. Make sure whatever you give away clearly adds value to their lives.

Conduct a survey. Find out what readers (or perfect strangers) want, what they struggle with, and create something for them. This can be a blog series or an eBook or a whatever.

Write something important and give it away. Publish an eBook to Amazon and distribute it through the KDP Select Program. Or offer it in exchange for people subscribing to your blog.

Answer all correspondence. Respond to every single email, phone call, tweet, etc. until you can't possibly keep up. This is how tribes are formed — through accessibility.

So, which one did I pick?

Well, although I have a small following on my blog and in social media, I have already attempted to answer each comment that comes my way. Therefore, since I have been mulling over a survey for a number of months, I've decided to go that route, and do a mini version on this post...perfect timing!

I had mentioned two months ago, that I would use "Fresh as a Daisy" Soaps as a give-away, to honor my friend who was faithful to leave comments during the A-Z blogging challenge.

I struggle with these four things in my writing life:

-Finding an appropriate descriptive word as I compose my stories
-Overusing common or lazy words instead of using fresh, creative alternatives
-Using correct punctuation
-Finding time to read books on the craft of writing

Do you struggle with the same issues? If so, let me know...I want to help!

Choose a post title that would be helpful to YOU from the list below, and mention it in the comment box. Make sure your contact information is embedded, or leave your email address along with your comments if you would like to be placed in our "Fresh as a Daisy Soaps" drawing. If your name is chosen, you will be sent the soap of your matter where you live! Check out Daisy's store here.

So, here goes...which series of posts fill a need in your writing life?

A. Mulling it over Mondays: excerpts from books on the craft of writing, for those of you who have little time to spare.

B. Tricks of the Trade Tuesdays: tips from "The Elements of Style" or "Writer's Inc....this could be punctuation, grammar, etc.

C. Thesaurus Thursdays: a list of descriptive words and/or verbs to replace those overused "lazy" words Jeff mentioned.

If you have another idea for me, I'd love to hear it...leave it in the comment box below.

Hopefully, this challenge has inspired something in your life...whether you are a writer, a mom, or a person who desires to be more motivated and organized.

WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? Which post above would be the most useful? A, B or C? Vote in the comment box will automatically be entered into a drawing for a natural homemade bar of "Fresh as a Daisy Soap"!


  1. I really like C)Thesaurus Thursdays: a list of descriptive words and/or verbs to replace those overused "lazy" words Jeff mentioned.
    Whatever you chose I hope it is a BIG success for you and those who visit to read them.

    1. Thanks, Sheri...I'll note that. I appreciate your vote!

  2. Definitely A for me. I love hearing ways to improve my writing. What an interesting post. I'm going to hop right over to Jeff Link that you suggested! :)

    1. Got it, Jennifer! You will definitely benefit from Jeff's words of wisdom...thanks for your vote.

  3. I vote for A, especially on the area of improving picture book writing. I'll pass on the soaps since I'm out of country. They look lovely though!

    1. I'll note that, Tina! By the friend Daisy ships overseas, too!

  4. Wow... What difficult choices! I happen to like all three, but I really like "A". I have so little time, and the books I own on these subjects are collecting dust. Go for it!!

    I want you to know that I am VERY proud to know you. You're doing great things! Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I'd love to learn more about it!

    1. Aww...thanks, are sweet! What an encouragement.... I feel as though I am spending more time with challenges and posts, than with writing. Hopefully, I've turned a corner...stay tuned! Thanks for will be a difficult choice!

  5. Ohhhhh. Great ideas! I like A, but B would be really useful too. I know....can you do a combo. One excerpt on craft and one for grammar. A double dose in one stop?! :) good luck!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth...I was thinking along the same lines! I'll make a note of it...

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for your input Rena...And for stopping by to vote!

  7. Teresa RichardsonJune 29, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    Definitely C. I want my writing to be crisp

    1. Thanks, Teresa, for your's going to be a tough choice. I may have to choose two out of the three!

  8. I, too, like C--Thesaurus Thursdays. I am always looking for new words to add a little zip to my writing. I think of it like adding cranberries to oatmeal or mandarin oranges to tossed salad or white chocolate chips to brownies--zest!

    1. I like your comparision, Pam...I think we could all so with a little "zip" at times!

  9. Thank you for this series, Jarm. I am learning a lot from it. My only problem is finding the time to put what I am learning into action! LOL!

    1. You are welcome, Pam...I find the same problem. Oh for a month"s retreat where I could write to my heart's content!


I would love to have you comment...thanks!

Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel