Posted in books, creativity, education, guest post, hooked on books, reading, reading everyday, sparking creativity

Guest Post: The Importance of Reading For Education

By Linda Mills

Reading is one of the most vital habits and hobbies a parent can cultivate in their child, or a person of any age can take up, because reading develops the minds and opens up new avenues that are important in the pursuit of education. Reading about any subject is an indispensable resource that cannot be replaced by any other medium even in today’s technologically advanced era.

Reading Better Leads To Speaking Better

Self-expression is a vital tool for every human being, giving individuals the power to express themselves clearly with better vocabulary as well as enabling them to have an impact. The more someone reads, the more they are able to shape and express their opinion, which is vital for critical thinking and for educational purposes. Reading widely also means various sources of information can be triangulated and compared with each other, which again lends itself to effective speaking and articulation.

Widen The Scope

Reading widens the scope of a person’s mind. Readers are able to empathize with others who may be completely different from them, and they are able to experience different cultures. One of the main objectives of education is to widen the scope of one’s mind and teach a person about the world in general including history, philosophy, and science without being restricted to the area one is born in or the culture one belongs to. Reading also makes individuals more creative and imaginative as reading uses many different neuron networks in the brain, which no other stimuli including visual can command. No wonder reading makes people smarter!

Read Actively Not Passively

Passive reading means you read the words, but don’t pay extra attention to them or employ critical thinking to ascertain the various meanings of the text. For educational purposes, critical thinking is very important because it encourages asking questions, seeking multiple sources of information, and seeking a greater understanding of context. Active reading is better reading, because it allows for greater retention and benefit for students.

Reading And Comprehension

Comprehension of the written texts is very important for educational purposes and the most basic way is when someone––student or otherwise––can answer questions after reading any text. This sort of fluency and concentration also affects a student’s ability to write effectively because they are more able to retain information, express their opinions after evaluation, and write it all down.

Many techniques help with comprehension especially for younger readers, such as the following:

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Posted in better life, guest post, self-care, self-care practice, Self-Care Tip, self-improvement

Guest Post: 10 Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in the Modern World

By Elizabeth Shields

Had it up to here?  Got a lot on your plate, or feel at the end of your tether?  However, you choose to dress it up, express it, describe it, stress is a fact of modern life.  Fast-paced, permanently connected, 21st Century living can leave us frazzled and wrought.  The World Health Organization has called stress the “Health Epidemic of the 21st Century”.   Yet, it is not inevitable that we must accept stress as a permanent condition. There’s plenty of simple steps that turn the heat down on stress.  In this blog, we’ll journey through 10 effective ways to reduce and combat stress.  So, sit back, relax and read.

#1 Get Realistic about Resources

Stress is that feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.  The mental assessment where we know our resources do not match the requirements of the to-do list.  A simple way to redress the lack of balance is to review that list, with our resources in mind.  Any more than 10 items on a to-do list for a given day is likely to feel overwhelming.  Accept the reality that you may need to say no if your resources don’t allow for it.   Practice the word “no”, remembering it is a complete sentence!

#2 Delegate

That to do list?  What can you delegate to help share the load a little?  Whether it’s finding ways to upskill a junior employee by delegating a creative or interesting project, hiring some home at help, or getting the kids involved in household tasks, delegating can be a great stress buster.  Try to avoid the guilt-trip mindset that says you are simply passing your stressful tasks onto someone else.  In the case of children, delegation of some tasks teaches responsibility and models healthy work-life balance for your kids.  Junior employees can learn a great deal and gain experience and hiring in some home help supports the local economy.   

#3 Remember the Rule of “Good Enough”

Some stress is caused by a sense we aren’t measuring up to expectations.  Remember how it felt to have a teacher write on our report we “must try harder”.  Stressful.  Yet, sometimes we place unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, in other words we fall foul to perfectionism.  When it comes to your own expectations, “good enough” is a stress-busting maxim. Aim for a good-enough job most of the time, and you’ll soon feel the weight of stress slipping away.

#4 Whose Judgement Counts?

Connected with the idea of self-expectation is the idea of others’ views on our performance and worth.  You’ll never please everyone in life.  No matter how hard you try, or how successful you are, there’s always a critic on the side-lines offering judgmental comments.  Decide now, once and for all, whose judgment matters to you.  It makes it a lot easier to trust your own decisions, actions and feel content with your choices.

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Posted in entrepreneur, growing business, guest post, small business, writing

Guest Post: No Matter Your Entrepreneurial Needs, This Guide Has You Covered

Photo Credit: Unsplash

By Chelsea Lamb

Starting your own business is a big, bold move! If you’re feeling a little apprehensive about taking such a leap of faith, you should know that there are plenty of resources and guides available online to help you with just about any sort of entrepreneurial task.

For example, if you need help getting your writing business started, you can check out the writer tools and resources available from Cynthia D. Griffin’s website. She even offers writing and editing services! You can also use the following resources to fill other startup needs.

You Need to Write a Business Plan

Every successful business starts out with thoughtful planning. Some entrepreneurs have made it big time without a plan, but you should know that these folks are the exception to the rule. Not only does a business plan serve as your roadmap to success, but having one can also help you out when it comes to securing startup funds for your new business.

To take the guesswork out of writing your plan, look for templates you can fill in with information. There are plenty available online and you can tailor them to your individual business needs.

You Need Help Getting Started

Make no mistake: Your time is precious when you’re an entrepreneur. So, while you can take on every single startup task solo, this may not be the best use of your time and energy. Instead, be like savvy entrepreneurs and consider hiring freelancers, or even permanent staff members.

Want to keep startup costs as low as possible? Using free sites to find qualified freelancers may be your best option. For instance, with one simple search, you can find a pro to help with data analysis services, or you can find writers, website developers, and any other type of freelancer you need. Best of all, you can find an hourly rate that fits your budget.

You could also work with an employment agency to fill your staffing needs. In a nutshell, an employment agency matches businesses and business owners with both permanent and temporary staff. Although most agencies do charge a fee for their services.

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Posted in guest post, learning about writing, tips, writing, writing advice, writing in difficult times, writing tips

Guest Post: 5 Tips to Keep Writing Through Difficult Times

Image from Pixabay

By Rachel Weatherley

“Unbroken happiness is a bore: life should have ups and downs,” notes Richard, one of the protagonists of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. Paraphrasing Molière here, Richard is a writer working in 1960s Nigeria, frustrated by his inability to finish a manuscript during a time of major social upheaval. Faced with COVID-19 and its accompanying challenges, reading this passage reminded me that we should at least try to maintain some optimism at this time. Difficult times are an enduring feature of life, which we must embrace and adapt to the best we can.

Of course, this is no mean feat. In times of unprecedented personal and collective difficulty, turning away from the world to start writing a book can feel insular and indulgent. Even with the best intentions, adapting to new challenges, and keeping on top of day-to-day life, can distract us from the writing projects we would otherwise love to focus on. 

Preventing that temporary distraction from turning into long-term disillusionment is a task in itself—I hope the following tips can keep you engaged, focused and productive!

1. Reorganise and refresh your work space

As cafes and libraries close their doors, and I find myself staring at the same blank wall every day, Janet Jackson’s lyrics ring ever truer—you really don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. This new monotony hasn’t exactly been conducive to getting words on the page—but it did get me thinking about how I could adapt my environment to make it a more inspiring and energising workspace. 

Perhaps counterintuitively, I need a workplace with distraction. In my university room, I had a busy and colorful wall covered in all sorts of adornments: postcards, letters, photographs and posters—the more eclectic the better. This wall was the next best thing to a change of scenery: it reminded me of happier times, took me to faraway places, and often served as inspiration when I was stuck for ideas.

2. Consider work that will aid your writing 

Every writer worth their salt knows that a significant amount of research and thinking time goes into producing the shiny finished product. So if you’re suffering from a case of writer’s block, you can still make productive use of your time with the following tips:

• Scour blogs like Reddit, home to thousands of illuminating threads where people share anecdotes, experiences, feelings and opinions, ranging from the poignant to the hilarious.

• Call a friend and ask if they have any opinions or feelings about a certain subject. You could even work together and bounce ideas off each other.

• Watch documentaries and video clips that pad out the factual details and context of your work.

This will provide some respite from typing, and maybe even a spark of inspiration for the next stage of your story. Inspiration is found in the most unexpected of places—so get creative with your free time!

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Posted in author, blog tour, Book Tour, ebook, empowerment, guest post, novel, self-empowerment, self-publishing, writing

Guest Post By Elfie Riverdell: The Story That Inspired Me To Self-Publish

I find it hard to pinpoint exactly when I realized I wanted to be an author. I remember writing paranormal stories on my old PC when I was at middle school, with (beautiful) covers illustrated on Paint. I wish I still had those stories, as it would be so much fun to go back and revisit old characters. Even still, I’ve always had a very vivid imagination, and I’ve never had any issues with coming up with quirky plots. But The Forest of Fallen Stars was a little different.

When I wrote The Forest Of Fallen Stars, I sort of fell into a writing frenzy. It was summer, and I had a lot of spare time around my work schedule. I would sit in my room for hours and hours, writing and scribbling down ideas. The plot just came to me. I wish there was some way to explain it, because I certainly can’t seem to replicate it! But I think it was the characters that truly made the story come alive for me.

Alura means so much to me, all of the characters do. Alura is shy, and full of self-doubt at the beginning of the book, but we get to see her learn about her gifts, and develop into a strong and confident young woman.

Kara is troubled and angry, but she has a kind heart and is always focused on doing the right thing.

Loria is also quite unsure of herself and the role she plays in her world, but she is strong-willed and determined.

Self-publishing has been a strange and very stressful experience. It’s taken a long time, and a lot of hard work. But I was incredibly lucky to get to work with an amazing friend of mine, Nicoletta, who formatted and designed everything inside my novel. She did an amazing job, and really helped me when I was struggling with the design.

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