Tag Archives: Writing

Why Write Anonymously or Under a Pseudonym

As a writer do you write anonymously? Or would you like to? What are the reasons for writing under another name or anonymously?

First, The author might want the public not to who he was. This might be because of the content or because of the time. There was a time when women had to use the name of a man just to publish their work. There are also male authors who use female names to mask who they are – for example when writ8ing Romance Literature.

There are of course other circumstances that fall under this league.

If it is a confession article or post that reveals what is happening in a company, within a group or inside a government agency then the reason the author remaining unknown is obvious: he does not want his cover blown or compromomise his safety. Although not a writer – the now famous Deep Throat of Woodward and Bernstein comes to mind.

The author might just want to keep his privacy.

Second, The author might want to distance himself from work. It could be different genres or it could be a test balloon when submitting works.

Third, Some do it as a precaution when they start to criticize or even attack an issue or even a person. There is a certain shield of protection when writing under a pseudonym. It emboldens the writer to write or say things he or she would normally write about. The repercussions are somewhat not felt.

But not anymore as can be seen in the case of Google, the model and the anonynmous blogger.

Originally posted on August 9, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

Hire Writers Not Bloggers

Recently, I have been hit with something interesting when it comes to hiring entry level people to write some content for me on my blog: hiring a writer is better than hiring a blogger.

Before anyone gets defensive about this, please let me explain my experiences, and understand that I have nothing against blogging as a career, especially since I’ve been employed as one over the last three years.

I have hired various bloggers before via a jobs board for freelance writers, and they were all just starting out, nearly all of them had only been experienced in writing on their own sites, and so they started off very excited about the job. They over promised and under delivered. They didn’t know how much time and effort it took to consistently push out great content. They fizzled out fast, and eventually, I had to thank them for their time and move on.

In hiring writers, even ones that have only written a few articles, they seemed to better understand the writing process. They weren’t in it for big money or fame, but instead they were looking for a steady pay check. Sure, some of them have over promised and under delivered as well, but all in all, I have had a better experience hiring freelance writers versus freelance bloggers.

Could it just be luck of the draw, or something more inherent in the titles people choose to define themselves? In either case, I suggest that people hire writers rather than bloggers. They might not know publishing platforms, or be very good at promoting the content they write, but if you have talent at those things, they will provide a steady stream of content at a reasonable price.

Note: Again, this is just my personal opinion based on recent experiences. This is in no way meant to imply that being a blogger is bad, but instead an observation that novice freelance bloggers might want to use as a way to self-analyze, as well as an insight that blog owners might want to consider when looking to hire content producers.

Originally posted on April 27, 2011 @ 8:53 am

Why do you write?

George Orwell once wrote an essay on the reasons for writing. It is probably one of my favorite essays on writing that I have read. Another one would be Edgar Allan Poes’ composition.

Reading it now and also looking at the large expanse of the writers unniverse on the web I can say that Orwell did not touch on everything. Most if not all reasons he mentioned centered on non-monetary reasons for writing.

People write for a living. I do. I try to. I aspire to.

But there are other reasons for writing and Orwell, who was also a prolific writer and wrote as a means to earn income wrote that these were:

First, To record and to report things that happen.

Second, To point out to the reader an d to the world an object, animal, person, event, and phenomena of (i) beauty; (ii) interest; (iii) uniqueness.

Third, To move the reader to act to a certain way. Mark Anthony’s speech before the Romans who were looking at the body of the assassinated Caesar along with his assasins is a classic example of moving people. Even the use of honorable men was used so effectively that at the end of the speech. These honorable men were then veiewed as anything else but that.

Fourth, To satisfy an aesthetic sense of proportion. To see beauty in the written word. People who read aloud poems and stories would know this. The play and use of words to paint and give voice to our worlds is such an example.

Fifth, To satisy the ego: To satisfy us: A sense of pride and fulfillment when one finishes a work is a reward. Applause or acclaim for one’s work is a form of reward and a reason to write.

To sum it all up in a neat list George Orwell or Eric Blair wrote that he wrote because of the following reasons:

  • To record
  • To point out
  • To move people
  • To satisfy an aesthetic need
  • And to satisfy the ego
  • These reasons have been mentioned is what Orwell said were the reasons he wrote. Of course there are more reasons for writing.

      What is yours?

    Originally posted on June 9, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    What do you write?

    We are all familiar with the different types of fiction: The different genres has and has been talked about but what about non-fiction. What do we publishers write when we write non-fiction. What are different forms of non-fiction writing? Well it would help to briefly describe them –

    Reporting

    The reportage: The report: The News. Just simply saying what has happened. This could range from Aunt Mildred’s wedding to George or the Marriage of the Queen of Buggyland to the Prince of Salami. It could be anything as long as it happened. This usually falls under the five wise men of Rudyard Kipling’s five wise men name: (i) who, (ii) what, (iii) when, (iv) where, and (v) how?

    How-To-Do-It

    These articles range from how to prepare an omelet to how make your own nuclear bomb – a writer actually did several years ago and he was immediately hired by a government agency upon discovery of his thesis. Articles/posts such as these gives the reader step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and assemble/or cook a specific dish or object. Note that there will also be articles/posts that will fall under sub-form of How-To-Do-It – the advise piece or the question & answer piece.

    The Narrative

    A more detailed and personal account of an event in past and the present. A tad bit longer and more meandering a narrative not only gives you the facts of what has happened but it also gives you an inkling of the emotion of the moment as things happened – although more often it is a very personal account of what has happened.

    The Confession

    This type of article/post deals with revelations. Most oftem personal revelation of what one did or what one felt like doing during a given time. It could also be an article or post that leads one to the writer or blogger’s realization usually after something has happened our occurred.

    Interviews

    This type of post/article is a question and answer piece – usually but not limited to one person. It may focus on one aspect of a person’s life; a person’s career or only subject of interest.

    Reviews

    A critical discussion or commentary of a book, play, film, gadget, and service. As such you should have a book review; a review of a play; a film review; a review of a gadget and even a restaurant review. Does the reviewer think this bad or good? A good review will often tell why they think something is good or bad.

    Argumentative:Opinion: the lead: the editorial

    This type of article/post argues for or against an issue or a cause. This type of article is used to dissuade or encourage the reader. In some instances, ir can also be used to challenge the reader to action.

    Analysis

    An analysis, whether post or article, aims to provide the reader a thorough discussion of a subject. It starts with an introduction, a brief description of the topic, the issues involved; the pros and cons of an issue; A summary and a conclusion or a non-conclusion.

    You will probably find that a number of non-fiction writing you have done will fall into one or two or three or even four of the types. There maybe even more.

    And so my friend what do you write?

    Originally posted on June 16, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Writing Your First Blog Post

    Ask any writer and they’ll tell you the same thing — the beginning is always the hardest part of any written piece. You may have the most detailed picture of what you want to say in your head but putting down those first words on paper (or on MS Word) could be like pulling teeth. The problem is only compounded with the short, encapsulated nature of blog posts. What do you really write about on your first post in your blog?

    Fortunately, there are some good suggestions and ideas that you can glean from the blogs of other people. The most common start would be to just a small greeting or introduction. This probably one of the most popular ways of starting a blog. A simple “hi, this is my blog!” post is one of the most common you’ll see on the internet. It’s a no-nonsense way of kicking off a blog. But some bloggers may not want to start off their blogs in this manner. Fortunately, there are also “fancier” ways of starting a blog.

    You can start a blog by introducing yourself. Since most blogs are personal in nature, giving a backgrounder on yourself will give your readers a fair idea of why you have a particular perspective about certain topics that you’ll eventually discuss in your blog. You don’t need an exhaustive biography, just touch on the important facts that will help readers get to know you more.

    You can also decide to give the raison d’etre of your blog. Write about why you started it, and what motivated you to do so. Personally, I think this is the best way of starting a blog. It gives the readers the lay of the land, so to speak. They’ll already know beforehand what to expect from your blog, which could pull in more like-minded readers. For example, if you say that your blog will be about your perspective as non-US citizen on the Obama Administration’s policies, it will surely attract people who are looking to read about what your thoughts will be on future issues.

    An ingenious way of starting a blog is picking out one of those memes that are all over the net. Try to find a meme that is related to the topic of your blog, this will be a great way of giving a bird’s eye view of your views and also what to expect in future blog posts.

    Originally posted on August 16, 2011 @ 8:17 pm