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How to Become Better at Writing

Whatever your age, writing can be an immensely rewarding hobby. However, while it is fun and creative, it can sometimes be a little daunting putting your ideas and thoughts into words. Here are a few quick tips to give you the confidence to become a better writer.

Tip #1: Write Regularly

Many writers suggest writing every day. While this is good advice if you have the time to do so, many people with busy schedules will find that they can only write at certain times; e.g. at the weekends. The essential point is to set time aside regularly. If weeks go by without writing a single word, you will quickly lose momentum. Remember procrastination is a writer’s enemy!

Tip #2: Start Small

A beginner who sits down to write a full-length novel will inevitably run out of steam after just a few chapters. Good writing requires practice. So if you are a fiction writer start with a couple of short stories. If non-fiction writing is your preference start with some short blog posts. This way you can try out different ideas and hone your thoughts. Start with small manageable projects, and in time you will be able to tackle the longer ones.

Tip #3: Be Clear and Concise

The famous author George Orwell said it best: “Never use a long word when a short one will do”. Readers like to read clear and concise prose; nobody will be impressed if you try and show off your vocabulary. Keep things simple and always proof-read, edit and spell-check your writing.

Remember no one is a natural-born writer – it takes a lot of work and patience. Happy writing!

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How having a hobby makes you happier and healthier

Having a hobby is a wonderful thing. Sadly, many people don’t have hobbies, either because of work or list ‘watching Netflix’ as a hobby. Whilst watching TV technically does count, it loses out on the benefits of more traditional hobbies. See below as to why having a hobby makes you both happier and healthier!

Social Connection:

Hobbies generally lead to interacting with other people. While there are hobbies like writing that are usually done alone, most solo hobbies have potentional for meet-ups through groups, classes, etc. Most people don’t connect outside of work and online, so making new friends is great for making you happier and keeping your mind healthier.


Day-to-day life is tough for everyone. Having a hobby can temporarily help you forget your worries, or even clear your mind so much that you have renewed energy to tackle your problems. In addition, if you participate in an active hobby like boxing, adrenaline releases endorphines which helps make you happier.


A hobby that gets your heart racing will definitely make you healthier and maintain weight, which is both good for your mind and happiness.

Giving back:

Hobbies tend to require a lot of volunteers. Whether you join a volunteering organisation, or your local hobby’s club, hobbies tend to require giving back to society. Volunteering makes people happier by helping someting bigger than themselves. This also makes you healthier as a happy mind lends to good, positive mental health.

Now that you know the wide range of benefits that hobbies provides, go out and find one! There’s many to choose from. And remember to have fun.

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Writing Fiction – how to get started

Writing fiction can be a wonderful thing – it can also be frustrating, time-consuming and expensive. People may not like your style, they may disparage your efforts (‘Anyone can write fiction,’ is heard all too often by budding writers, usually uttered in a scoffing tone of voice by someone who hasn’t written a word since their primary school homework. Here is how you can get started writing fiction

Where Do You Get Your Ideas

Keep a list of amusing anecdotes, story ideas, even one-liners that amused or moved you. You never know when a story or piece of writing will need a little something extra, and your ideas list might hold the answer for you. Start carrying a notebook and pen around with you (or use the memo app on your smartphone) and pay attention to everything that is going on around you – we pass by hundreds of stories every day, see how many you take note of.

Grammar Does Matter

It does not matter how wonderful your story-telling is, if you write it down badly, you will lose your reader. Some beginner writers think that ‘someone else’ will tidy up their bad grammar, poor spelling and awkward syntax. This is incorrect – it is the job of the writer to send out a piece of writing that is as close to perfect as they can get it.

Send, Send, Send

Submit your work anywhere and everywhere. Read the briefs on the submission pages of magazines and websites and make sure that your piece matches their needs, and submit away. Of course, you must be happy that your story is ready to be seen, and it must be polished: but the more you send out, the higher your chances of being published.

Finally – and obviously – keep on writing. Write a little bit every day, if you can, and do not let rejections or negative feedback put you off. If you want to write: then write.

Filled Under: Writing Posted on:

4 Great Tips and Tricks to Write a Useful Online Guide

Online user guides are convenient because they are virtually everywhere on the internet. And if you’ve already delved into content marketing, it becomes a rule of thumb to write appropriately so your how-to guide remains effective and user-friendly. The following section details 4 great tips on writing a quality online manual.

Choose the Topic Appropriately

The title you opt to select will significantly impact the success of your e-manual. In most cases, the topic will be determined by the following:

  • The objective of the manual
  • Field of profession
  • The audience

Essentially, you need to create a manual that can achieve the intended purpose, interests the target audience and lies within your area of expertise. After developing an idea, come up with a unique content and one that competes highly with your competitors.

Make the Guide Responsive

Today, everyone wants to access information from his or her mobile phone or tablet. Therefore, you need to make the webpage responsive to any device of any size regardless of the audience in focus. Smart devices come in all sizes and shapes and so do the tools required to access the guide. When the information can only be accessed through a desktop, it strangles the essence of the manual.

Have a Clear Writing Plan

Have a well-laid out plan on what to include in the guide. By planning about the content and the structure, it makes the writing process effortless. That goes along with conducting in-depth research on the topic and arranging this information in a logical manner.

Explain Technical Terms

Always explain some specialized jargon that the readers are unfamiliar with. You can explain these terms in a separate glossary webpage. However, ensure you include a link that directs the audience to the glossary. That makes it easy for them to access the definitions when the need arises. It can also be explained in an article, like in this one for example.

Creating an effective online guide involves more than just the topic choice. Content marketers should keep tabs on their audience’s needs and wants, so they come up with useful online e-manuals.

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Meet Inspirational Poker Legends With Books

Before the internet made everything easy, everything used to be handed over through word of mouth. It’s tough to find out the history of poker as just like everything else, poker used to be handed over to generations from stories told at the tables. Media, the internet and television were none existent which made the situation even worse. However, books played a significant role in keeping the game alive.

It will surprise you how many poker legends have tried their hand in writing books. Just like legends in other fields, poker legends have also written books to inspire aspiring poker players.

Who Are Some Of The Big Name Poker Players Who Have Written Books?

Below are some of the poker legends whose books have revolutionized some of the most common poker approaches.
They include:

Michael Craig

Michael Craig in his book The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide revolutionized the way poker gets played. Poker players using this strategy became rock stars of the game. The book also borrows ideas heavily from some poker pros.

Tommy Angelo

His book Elements Of Poker brings to life ”reciprocality” which means approaching the game from different perspectives. The book teaches you to think outside the box when it comes to playing poker.

• Phil Gordon

Phil Gordon wrote Little Green Book got released at the height of Phil’s fame in 2009. The book is all about strategy and borrows heavily from Harvey Penick’s The Little Green Golf Book. His fame and poker prowess enabled him to have a TV show called the Celebrity Poker.

Which Is Your Poker Playing Style?

There are different names used to describe an individual style of poker play. They include:
The Fish/Calling Station: the player calls a bet more than they raise.
Newbie; they refuse to learn the game to elevate their status t pros.
Maniac: they raise the game at any opportunity hindering smooth flow of the game

Filled Under: Books,Writing Posted on:

Poetry Roulette: A New Way to Discover Poetry

We are all familiar in some way or another with the popular casino game roulette. The wheel spinning game involves a gamer who bets on where a wheel spins, with a choice of numbers (whether individual or odd/even), number groupings or colours (red and black). You can read up on the rules of the game here. Roulette is so ubiquitous in cultural references that it is called upon as a synonym for luck and chance.

As a casino classic, roulette evokes a wide range of cinema tropes from the classy settings of a James Bond movie to the smoky gambling dens of a Scorsese movie, not to mention its more gruesome manifestation in Russian Roulette, made famous in The Deerhunter. But there is more to this game than these traditional casino and film environments. Roulette lends itself to the random introduction of new facts and subjects, and Poetry Roulette does just that.

Ingeniously based on three spinning grids, Poetry Roulette allows you to find and read new poems based on a spin which revolves around either moods or themes (tags). Say you take a spin in the mood section, three random options will then pop up from which you can choose one. In our test of the game, we found ourselves drawn to the “tortured” mood, from which we read a wonderfully dark, insomnia fuelled poem by Lorine Niedecker. If you fancy a poetry selection based on a theme, you similarly spin to receive three random “tags”. We were attracted to “bright lights, big city” as a theme, from which we received a bright tome recounting the beauty of city life by Dionna Brant. Aside from being a unique and useful means if discovering new poems through an engaging interface, Poetry Roulette also allows you to play roulette with poets themselves, allowing you to discover one of three poets, both new and old, whose biography and poems you can read.

Filled Under: Poem Posted on:

Glossary of Poetic Terms

Alliteration: The repetition of the same sounds or letters at the beginning of words i.e. ‘red rabbits running’

Assonance: When the syllables of words near one another are similar, particularly with the rhyming of stressed vocals (not consonants) but also different vowels with repeated consonants i.e. ‘true shoe’

Caesura: A pause near the middle of a line often created with the use of a comma or full stop i.e. ‘I stopped. I thought’

Consonance: The repetition of the same consonants within a sentence or poem. Not to be confused with assonance.

Enjambment: When a sentence carries on, past the end of a line or stanza.

Fricative: A type of consonant which produces a friction sound when voiced, for examples ‘f’ and ‘th’

Half-rhyme: Can also be called near rhyme, imperfect rhyme, oblique rhyme, or slant rhyme. A rhyme where the stressed syllables of ending consonants match but the vowels before do not; a type of rhyme where sounds are similar but not the same.

Metaphor: A form of imagery where an object, person or thing is described by referring to it as something else. This establishes a comparison between the two things within the metaphor. For example, describing clouds as ‘rabbits’ tails’

Meter: Patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables, which makes up the rhyming structure of poems.

Onomatopoeia: The term to describe when a word sounds like what it represents or when a word is formed by sounds associated with what it represents i.e. creak

Pathetic Fallacy: When the weather in a poem or other literary work matches the speaker’s mood. When humans apply emotions to inanimate things such as the weather or objects.

Rhyme: The repetition of sounds in a phrase.

Rhythm: A sound pattern created by syllables, long and short and stressed and unstressed, being alternated.

Filled Under: Poem Posted on:

Best LGBT+ Poets

Some of the most important poetic figures have been writers who identify somewhere on the LGBT+ spectrum. Though centuries of censorship have worked to obscure our historic record of LGBT+ fiction and poetry, there is a strong range to pick from.

Christina Rossetti: The Victorian Pre-Raphaelite poet is best known for penning the Christmas carol ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, but her greatest achievement, from the perspective of shaping a queer canon, is ‘Goblin Market’. Originally, the narrative poem was branded as a moralistic children’s tale warning of sexual transgressions. However, strongly hinted at instances of female/female desire allow it to be read in a whole other light. It is unclear whether Rossetti was gay herself, but it is perhaps unlikely given her Catholic upbringing, although some of her biographers seem to think so.

Frank O’Hara: An American writer, curator and art critic who is considered one of the leading figures in the New York School. His brief, intimate poems have gained popularity with the millennial generation due to their confessional tone and ironic wit. He famously had a long-term love affair with the painter Larry Rivers.

Edwin Morgan: A Scottish poet whose sensual, imagist poetry evokes tender moments. By using the first person (‘me’ and ‘I’) he avoids using gender pronouns (‘he’ or ‘she’ etc). This approach helps to create more of a sense of immediacy and the impression of closeness with the reader. However, it is also a means to disguise the homoerotic subject of much of his work.

Audre Lorde: While the writer, feminist and civil rights activist is most famous for her speeches and prose work, such as the ground-breaking ‘Sister Outsider’, her poetry expresses her anger and frustration at the homophobia, racism and sexism of the modern world and, as such, has struck a note with contemporary generations.

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The Best Modern Poets

It is a commonly held opinion that quality in the arts, poetry especially, has been in near constant decline since the imagined ‘golden age’ of the Renaissance. However, we at would contend that poetry has really just been on an upwards ascent since then. Yes, Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ from the Early Modern Period are good, but we find it a lot easier to sit down with some William Carlos Williams. Here’s our selection of great modern poets.

TS Eliot: The modernist poet, who was also a respected literary critic, was a member of the famed Bloomsbury Group, which also included Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West and Evelyn Waugh. Oxford educated, his poetry would become very influential for post-modern writers and creative minds who employed the deconstructive, collage method which Eliot uses in The Wasteland.

William Carlos Williams: The simple, sultry beauty of ‘This is Just to Say’ is evoked by domestic imagery and allows the reader/listener to visualize the private matrimonial space to which the speakers makes reference. The Cuban-American poet as also a doctor and closely linked to the Imagist Movement.

WB Yeats: With a creative output which begins at the turn of the century, Yeats’ poetry is marked by tumult and chance. Initially one of the last Romantics, who made poetic and dramatic work within the Celtic Revival style, he went on to dabble in Imagism, and later pledged his allegiance to Modernism. His list of greatest hits is wide-ranging and includes ‘The Host of the Air’, ‘The Swans at Coole’, ‘The Second Coming’ and ‘Adam’s Curse.’

Emily Dickinson: Renowned for her revolutionary, explosive use of punctuation. Dickinson was also quite a character in her own life, away from her poems, and is famed for being a total recluse, only leaving her house to go to church.

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