Write Something Imperfect Today

Write Now

 

 

💡It is better to write something imperfect than nothing at all. You may aim for perfection. Quality should a priority.

💡But if you constantly strive for perfection an unintended side effect is inaction. Seeking perfection can lead to a creativity clog.

💡A blocked mind makes it difficult to create content. The antidote?

💡Write something imperfect. You don’t have to publish it on your blog or social media channels. Save it in your notes or journal. The benefits of writing something unpublishable?

1️⃣ Helps remove the creativity clog—like a drain is blocked with crud, so too your mind needs crud removed to allow creativity to flow.

2️⃣ Builds consistency—write regularly. It’s like physical exercise. Writing something allows you to maintain a habit.

3️⃣ You have an opportunity to re-write your work later—the first draft is likely not going to be polished.

4️⃣ Develops humility—seeing my bad writing reminds me that I need to be humble and grateful that I am still a work in progress.

💭 How do you remove a “creativity clog”?

💭Do you ever write something that goes unpublished?

💭Why or why not?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Advertisements
Thank you for sharing!

How to Pack Power into Your Writing with this Tip

Writing tip

💡Writing tip #8—Use short paragraphs, sentences, and words to pack punch to your copy.

Writing is analogous to the flow of a football game.

Think of the headline as the kickoff. It gets your the attention of your audience.

The first sentence leads to the second.

Keep your sentences short to keep your readers’ attention.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you need to have a longer sentence—especially when you want to provide facts or evidence for a claim.

Use those short punchy sentences to your advantage.

🏈 Short punchy sentences are like tossing the touchdown. Immediate impact.

🏈 Longer sentences are similar to that sustained drive when a team goes the length of a field to score.

🏈 Both are required to keep the attention of your reader. Change the sentence length. Keep the pace moving for your readers.

Short. Short. Long.

Thoughts?

Let me know in the comments. 🙂


Do you want to receive regular updates about new posts related to why Catholicism matters in your life, writing tips, or simply want to learn more about the case of the Muffin Miscreant (there will be an update soon!)?

Become an email subscriber (enter your email address in the Subscribe to Blog Via Email box and hit the Subscribe button. It’s that easy! Soon you will be receiving joy in your inbox to brighten your day or week.

Thank you for reading and hope you have a blessed day!

Thank you for sharing!

Why I Became a Writer

Why, How, What

 

 

 

 

 

 

🔷 Everything we do in life is a process or a journey. It takes time, patience, understanding, willingness, collaboration, humility, and gratitude.

🔶 Writing has been my passion forever. Made me a better person

    —a more patient parent,
    —an empathetic employee,
    • —a forgiving friend

the more I write and share with the world.

🔷 Our world is impatient, angry, assuming, unforgiving, and divided. I imagine a world where more people know how to communicate with both TRUTH and CHARITY.

🔶 I believe it is my purpose in life to provide content that provides real unity that goes beyond the screen of our phones.

🔷 As a Catholic, my Church has been scandalous. This resulted in the world and many members of the Body of Christ losing trust in an institution that is meant to lead to Truth!

🔶 I am here to help earn that trust back—not for any personal gain, but because I need to share my gift as a means to thank God for every blessing in my life!

❓Do you have any genuine questions or concerns about Catholicism you want me to address in future posts/articles.

Tell me in the comments ⤵️

Thank you for sharing!

Why You Should Have a Purpose in 2020

2020 vision or hindsight is 2020?!

🌐 Start with your “why” and keep the end in mind to know the start.

🌐 I officially started my career as a freelance writer in the middle of 2019.

🌐 That journey already has included peaks, valleys, and plateaus.

❓Why do I write? Why deal with the anxiety of entrepreneurship? The loneliness? The stress?

2020 Vision

One word—PROCESS

Everything we do in life is a process or a journey. It takes time, patience, understanding, willingness, collaboration, humility, and gratitude.

🖋Writing has been my passion forever and I am made a better person—a more patient parent, an empathetic employee, and forgiving friend—the more I write and share with the world.

Our world is impatient, angry, assuming, unforgiving, and divided. I imagine a world where more people know how to #communicate with both TRUTH and CHARITY.

💫I believe it is my purpose in life to provide content that provides real unity that goes beyond the screen of our phones.

As a Catholic, my Church has been scandalous and lost the trust of the world and many of her members.

🙏I am here to help earn that trust back—not for any personal gain, but because I need to share my gift as a means to thank God for every blessing in my life!

❓What word would capture your goals for 2020?

Catholicism 2020 vision

Thank you for sharing!

A Birthday Letter to the Infant Son of God

Nativity.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a letter I dedicate to our Lord Jesus Christ in celebration of his birth, December 25, 2019 Anno Domini. 


Dear Baby Jesus,

In a stable, 2000 years ago, a seemingly ordinary infant was born. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, shepherds and kings from afar learned about His incredible presence. God uses the most common of circumstances to work the greatest of all miracles–the Incarnation. God so loved the world He sent you–His only Son– to bridge the great gulf, the separation caused by sin.

Wrapped in swaddling clothes, laid in a manger, you my king took the form of mankind. I have heard the Nativity story dozens of times. This Advent I feared I would took your origin story for granted. Instead, I am grateful for the opportunity to gaze on the Nativity scene through new eyes–not merely of a follower, but also as a father.

My children are a reminder of your goodness, truth, and beauty. Seeing the twinkle in their eyes when they gaze at the Nativity Scene at home or church is priceless. The smiles on my kids faces as they color “presents” pictures for my wife and I remind me the true reason for the season!

People are born everyday on this earth, but only once a year do we remember the greatest birth of all.

Jesus my servant king, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, God-hero, I adore you and celebrate with my family and friends the anniversary of your birth. I pray that my heart is enlarged to make room within the inn of my soul for you, my family, friends, and people I meet daily!

Praise we to God in the Highest and Alleluia for our Savior’s arrival.

With great love and gratitude,

Your adopted son,

Matthew


For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

 

Thank you for sharing!

3 Incredibly Simple Tools to Incapacitate Anxiety 

According to Derek Beres, a Los Angeles-based author, music producer, and fitness instructor in a 2017 article Why is Anxiety Increasing in America?,

Anxiety is one of those phenomena that non-sufferers sometimes claim, ‘it’s all in your mind.’ That’s simply not true; panic attacks are also a somatic experience. With a growing awareness of what creates anxiety and a captive online community searching for solutions, we’re learning more about what those triggers are and how they interact with our mind and body.

stress breaker.jpg

While I am far from an expert on the psychology or neurology, I do have knowledge about anxiety from my own personal experiences. Suffering from anxiety and depression myself I learned methods to combat worry and constant anxiety.

As a father and husband I learned that the bustle and complexity of family life ultimately points me toward growing in the virtue of patience and gentleness instead of being a burden to my career endeavors.

Facing a barrage of continual interruptions, meltdowns, and challenges from my youngest son–who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder– some days I feel like giving up. Ironically, enough, this is the seventh attempt to finish this paragraph already this morning [my two-year old wanted me to get a particular toy-car from under the couch and then he proceeded to open the fridge and point to the pickle jar for his second-breakfast snack! :)]

second breakfast.gif

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, I momentarily allowed the stress wanting to post today’s article sooner rather than later to get the better of me. Suffering interruptions and being compelled to exercise patience I believe actually strengthens my message rather than weakening it. I am reminded by the words of St. Maria Faustina on the subject of suffering, “O, my Jesus, I understand well that, just as illness is measured with a thermometer and a high fever tells us of the seriousness of the illness; so also, in the spiritual life, suffering is the thermometer which measures the love of God in a soul.” Below I am sharing three incredibly simple tools to help to incapacitate anxiety.

Disclaimer: Please remember that the battle against depression and anxiety must be continually fought so while these tool are effective they may not all apply to you now, but I promise you it would be wise to keep them on your utility-belt for the future.

checkpoint.jpg

 

 

 

 

Checkpoint victories

Recently, I learned that the best way to develop a strategy against stress, anxiety, depression, and fear of failure is to focus on miniature goals. As an avid runner in high school, I utilized this practical strategy when finishing a 5-6 mile training circuit.

Focusing on a point close ahead [i.e. a stop-sign, a large tree, or the corner of the block] I made checkpoints for me to continue running towards. As a result of these minor checkpoints, small victories led to the major victory–finishing a training session without stopping or setting a personal record during a race.

While many of you may not be a runner, and some may even despise exercise [believe me I understand some days I dread working out and simply lack the energy to do so!] the idea of setting short-term and minor goals is something that is transferable to managing daily anxiety.

“Focus on two or three specific goals instead of trying to succeed at mastering many, many things at once. This will help reduce your stress,” my former manager once told me.

Today, I am heeding his words by incorporating these three tools today and for the rest of the week.

Even as I write/wrote this post, I am making bit-sized victories as my kids demanded/asked for my attention. Consequently, the involuntary writer hiatus count is up to 18–it may be up to closer to 30-40 by the time this post is complete that may depend on whether my kids place nicely together the amount of times I decide to help of my favorite literary creature the Thesaurus for inspiring me to come up with fancy phrasing/names such as the involuntary writer hiatus count [as opposed to the boring “interruption-count”]

list

 

♬ Make a list, check it twice ♬

No, I am not referring to the Christmas classic song Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Thank goodness, right! We already have Christmas in July specials do we really need Santa in Springtime?

The second tool to incapacitate anxiety is to make a list of all the blessings in your life. A simple way to incorporate this into the work day is to put a blank Post-It note on your desk. Next, as the day progresses [if there is no time in the morning] start to jot a names of people that bring you joy.

Include as well any material goods that you are grateful for as well: shelter, sunlight, water, food, clothes, and other simple joys. Trying this yesterday allowed me to re-orient any negative and anxious feelings towards a mindset of thanksgiving.

Acid Attack

  According to research [see link for more information: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamara-star/post_13013_b_11766146.html] , eating citrus fruits is a practical tasty way to lower anxiety.

Noticing a fellow co-worker eating an orange everyday on her morning break piqued my attention especially because she shared her daily struggles with anxiety and depression. I tried this simple strategy this week–and it worked!

The citric acid and taste of the orange calmed my stress. I even kept the orange peel and smelled a few times the oil from the peel and scent of citric acid continued to provide soothing relief.

oranges-foto.jpg

Well, I finally finished this post. Anyone interested in the grand total for the involuntary writer hiatus count: it reached 30–and no, I did not visit my friendly online Thesaurus again, that was all my children–impressive to say the least!

Hopefully, you find these tools invaluable in your war against anxiety. Once again, it you do not find them useful currently, please keep them in your anxiety armory for the next skirmish against stress. After all that writing, I am famished, I think my second breakfast will consist of a couple oranges! Thank you again for reading.

 

Thank you for sharing!

10 Simple Tips to Create Engaging Content Right Away

Does it feel like your best days of content creation are behind you? You best  ideas 💡 gone never to return? I have experienced that struggle recently. 🤔

How did I get my writing magic back? I stopped forcing ideas! I focused on being consistent with my writing. Five minutes here. Ten minutes there.

Having four kids, a wife who is an elementary school teacher, and working two part-time jobs during the evening and overnight shifts make my schedule a bit less than ideal. Okay. I admit it. My schedule is hectic. I feel like an acrobat swinging from trapeze to trapeze of events. Feels like I am juggling a cheetah, koala, car, and a monkey (those are what my kids pretend to be and act like it daily!).

My goal in this post is to give you ten simple and actionable tips to START creating content for your website, blog, or social media accounts. Entrepreneur Seth Godin quipped, “Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left.” It’s never too late to learn a new skill or polish up on an old skill. These tips will help you do that.

For more reasons why content marketing is not a want, but a necessity in 2019 (and beyond) check out the following link: https://www.advancedwebranking.com/blog/inspirational-content-marketing-quotes/

Now here are the ten tips to help you make engaging and amazing content immediately:

💡 Tip #1— Add Value to the Content Your Create

🤦‍♂️ This is probably the most generic statement ever.

Here is what I consider to be the specific ingredients for making content with value.

👇 👇 👇 Value MUST include the following (tier 1):

1️⃣ Truth—Authenticity for me is the absolutely essential for adding value. People can see through BS through fog and miles away.

2️⃣ Relevance—content needs to be geared towards a specific (niche) audience to be considered valuable. Generic content will not cut it.

The following I consider to be tier 2 level importance for adding value.

🔷 Informative—this type of content educates you about a specific process, product, service, history, best practices, or thought leaders in specific niche industry.

🔷 Inspiration— provides perspective, positivity, and hope in the face of adversity. 

🔷 Entertaining— provides fun through wit, humor, and storytelling. 

💡Tip #2— Try a Different Approach

⚙️Creating content is like riding a roller coaster. Highs. Lows. Comments veer off in different directions at times.

⚙️Coming off a week where I had personal record views, likes, and comments on my posts, I came into this week confident.

⚙️In tip one I talked about turning weaknesses into strengths. It did not get the engagement I predicted. 🤦‍♂️It was among my worst performing posts. 🤦‍♂️

⚙️The key is to shrug off the content flops and try again.

⚙️I am trying different hashtags and having a bit shorter text.

💡Tip #3— Experiment with Your Content

⚙️Whether you are a newbie or seasoned content creator it is important to be open to trying different approaches and styles.

⚙️For example, i tend to write content that is straightforward and informative. I am naturally a more serious and logical person who loves learning daily. Humor is definitely not my normal style.

⚙️But I felt whimsical a few times last month and created content that included humor. I was quite surprised to find that it actually resonated with more people than I anticipated.

⚙️Now does this mean you have to switch styles all the time. Definitely not! But being open to testing out a variety of content will provide you the following benefits:

1️⃣ Stretches your ability to create—this will only help you in the long term. It will make you generate content with more ease and dexterity.

2️⃣ Tells you if a certain style of content will work or not. If your content flops, then at least you become aware what content not to focus on.

💡Tip #4— Collect Data on Your Content

⚙️Everyone likes to collect something. Stamps. Baseball cards. Video games. Coins. Art. Owl 🦉 statues (like my grandma did). Or something else!

⚙️Something about collection invokes a sense of journey and accomplishment.

⚙️The same is true for content creation. See I myself am a collector of information. Best practices. Knowledge.

⚙️I also love to collect experiences to share my best practices. Find out how your content performs. Track likes, views, comments, and other engagement indicators to determine whether patterns emerge.

⚙️I started doing this today—I hope to share my findings later this month. 🙂

⚙️Collecting data on your content will provide you the following benefits:

1️⃣ Provide an opportunity to build and stretch your skills of research and data collection.

2️⃣ Allows for you to discern whether or not a pattern in results is present or not.

💡Tip #5— Giving Gets Results

⚙️This other day I noticed a post on the topic of how individuals with a larger following sometimes get little to zero content engagement.

⚙️Whenever I come across accounts like this I always check out whether they give value to others. More times than not what I learn is these individuals only post and never comment on others’ work.

⚙️You cannot keep asking people to look at your content without giving something back. 💭Maya Angelou wrote, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

⚙️Giving freely without expectation of things in return actually frees you of selfish tendencies.

⚙️Giving elevates others around you and yourself as well. It leads to a win-win-win-win-win (etc) scenario!

⚙️Giving will also provide YOU the following benefits:

1️⃣ Gratitude

2️⃣ Knowledge of best practices in your niche

3️⃣ Boosted brand visibility

4️⃣ Collaborative partnerships

5️⃣ Freelance work

6️⃣ Job opportunities

💡Tip #6— Make Time to Grow Professional Relationships

⚙️ Creativity cannot happen in a vacuum. Creating something involves a community. ❤️ Children are born from the union of mother and father. 🏠 Houses are built with many individuals. 📖 Book projects involve the collaboration of the author, proofreaders, editors, publicists, and marketing teams.

Relationship take time to develop. Follow someone in your respective niche field. First follow their content: podcast, blog, social media, or website. Get to the point of familiarity with the craft and their personality and next reach out to see how you could HELP them.

Don’t ask first. As previously, mentioned giving is the essential mindset to have in the 21st century. Give. Give. Give. And give some more. Your willingness to help and the content you generate in doing so will eventually lead to people noticing your skills.

💡Tip #7—Genuine and Add Value When You Comment on Posts

⚙️ LinkedIn experts tell us that commenting on posts is one of the best ways to grow visibility and add followers to your count.

⚙️While that is definitely true, It should not be the primary reason for commenting on a post. Here should be the primary reasons for commenting:

1️⃣ Add value—give best practices, tips, information, jokes (if the situation is appropriate), or tag connections who you know would benefit from reading the original post and/or would further the discussion.

2️⃣ Genuinely want to learn—adding a comment can help you receive notifications better. How do you write authentic comments?

  • Use the voice-to-text option on your phone—this has two benefits: saves time and ensures your comments are in the same style as you talk in real life.
  • Be specific—include a relevant detail from your life or the OP’s life that you learned from their profile or past posts.

💡Tip #8—Genuine and Act Like an Actual Human When You Message People

⚙️ Treat DMs like a conversation you would have at the grocery store or with your mail carrier. How do you write authentic messages?

1️⃣ Use the preferred name—in initial DMs I greet connections by the name they have on their LinkedIn profile. After getting to know them I may start using nicknames (Ex: Matthew vs. Matt)

2️⃣ Include the specific day as opposed to time in the greeting—I.e. “Happy Saturday Matt!” —This has three benefits:

🔷 Tailors message which establishes trust.

🔷 Shows you are engaged in reality as opposed to being ‘robotic’ and spammy in your messages.

🔷 Prevents the mistake of telling someone across the globe “Good Morning” when it is actually nighttime for them.

3️⃣  Use the voice-to-text option on your phone.

4️⃣ Be specific—include a relevant detail from your life or the OP’s life that you learned from their profile or past posts.

💡Tip #9—Professional Development Opportunities to Strengthen Your Skills

⚙️Whether you are working at your dream job, working towards that goal, or ensure of your next career step it is essential to pursue professional development opportunities.

⚙️ Examples of professional development can include the following:

  • Seminars
  • Trainings
  • Conferences
  • Side-by-side training
  • Listening to podcasts pertaining to your niche area of expertise
  •  Reading books by leaders in your industry
  • Collaboration with different people in your network

⚙️ Currently, I am reading John Caples’ Tested Advertising Methods. He was a titan of the copywriting industry with over 40 years of experience in the field.

⚙️I have been also watched Dan Lok’s YouTube videos to learn best practices in copywriting.

💡Tip #10— Be Concise and Direct to Simplify Your Personal Brand or Company’s Message

⚙️ Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

⚙️ I have learned that to be true from my experience as both a parent and writer.

⚙️ Breaking down an idea to its basic and most necessary elements requires you get rid of technical jargon, acronyms, and define any unclear terms.

⚙️ Have you ever called into a customer service number about a bill charge or service needing corrected only to get the representative rattling off an explanation that includes a laundry list of acronyms?

⚙️ In those situations, I am more confused ending the call, then when began. 🙁

⚙️Acclaimed copywriter John Caples wrote, “When a young writer first enters the advertising business he often rebels at the advice: “Write simply. Use short words and short sentences.’”

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

Tip #1 Questions:

  • How do you define value?
  • What are the qualities that make up valuable content?

Tip #2 Questions:

  • When did you have to make an adjustment at work and had to try a different approach?
  • Do your new approach work? Why or why not?

Tip #3 Questions:

  • How you ever experimented with content creation?

Tip #4 Questions:

  • How you ever collected data on your content?
  • What metrics do you track?

Tip #5 Questions:

  • How do you give back to your network?
  • Why do you think a giving mindset is important in business interactions?

Tip #6 Question:

  • How have you fostered professional relationships this week?

Tip #7 Question:

  • How do you develop genuine comments on social media posts? 

Tip # 8 Questions:

  • What other benefits of messaging connections are there?
  • Do you prefer to DM or comment? Why?

Tip #9 Questions:

  • What books in your field are you currently reading to hone your craft?
  • How are you continuing your learning at work?
  • Does your employer offer any special professional development opportunities? If so, how have you benefited from them?

Tip #10 Questions:

  • Do you think simpler is better? Why or why not?
  • How have you simplified your personal or business content’s message?
  • What challenges did you face in simplifying your branding?
Thank you for sharing!