Tag Archive | The Art of Beautiful Expressions

Raise your writing bar – Master how to eliminate that passive voice.

Passive Voice, Active Voice, Eliminate Passive Voice, Readers Attention, Raise Writing Bar, Professional Writing

An important factor that holds your readers’ attention from the get-go is the voice your article/book/post is written in. Readers prefer active voice sentences and writing in the active voice communicates our message effectively. The active voice makes your writing stronger, less wordy and tiresome. It clearly identifies an action and who is performing that action.

On the other hand, writing in the passive voice which is a common mistake that could easily slip into your writing fails to hold your readers’ interest and simply makes your writing boring and hard to read.

Mastering the skill of writing in the active voice is easier than you anticipated and less tedious than finding those little grammatical errors and typos. One way to know if you are writing in the active or passive voice is to find the subject of the sentence and decide if the subject is doing the action or being acted upon.

How to Recognize and Eliminate Passive Voice

In the active voice, your subject is doing the action.

  1. Jake ran past the man.
  2. Susan cooked the food.

In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon.

  1. The man was run past by Jake.
  2. The food was cooked by Susan.

Reading these two sentences you know that it doesn’t sound natural or seem right.

Another easy giveaway of the passive voice is to look for verbs stuck together. A passive voice adds other helping verbs such as ‘to be, being, has been, will be, are, is, was, were’ to a verb that could stand alone.

You can instantly fix your passive voice by rewriting your sentence so that the subject of your sentence comes before the verb.

Your active voice resembles spoken language. When we speak, we automatically speak in the active voice and our writing should mirror this.

For instance, you would never say:

My bicycle (subject) was ridden (action) to the park by me.

Instead, you would say:

I (subject) rode (action) my bicycle (object) to the park.

As always there’s an exception to the rule where the passive voice is preferable: Read more…

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100 AMAZING SITES WITH FREE STOCK PHOTOS

Free Stock, Free Images, Photo, Public Domain, Image Directory

Without any doubt, images make your blog posts stand out. They act as eye candy and are an important part of design and professionalism.

If you often use images for your creative works, it’s important to bookmark a handy list of your go-to websites where you can find images that are absolutely free.

I literally cringe when I see bloggers slapping on photos or images with copyright and watermark credits stamped all over an article that they’ve taken time to craft. It looks sloppy and simply shows lack of professionalism.

Using copyrighted images is not the ideal solution. Such practice could expose you to issues of copyright infringement. To be honest, before I knew better, I made the same mistakes, but the good thing about information is that when you know better, you do better.

Online, there are millions of free images that don’t need accreditation, and one could equally create their own images through photography or by using creative solutions like CanvaPicMonkeyPowerpoint, Font Studios, Pic Art etc.

However, there comes a time when we are searching for something specific to buttress our message and when we don’t have a suitable one in our photo bank, we resort to other sources.

Quick Note About Licenses

Free Images, Free Stock, Free Images, Photo, Public Domain, Image Directory, Copyright, Infringement, Legal Restrictions,

Most of the images in this list are free from restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain. It means is that copy, modify, share, use for commercial purposes – without permission.

However, some of these photos may need attribution and the best advice is to take a few minutes to check the restrictions of an image before using. If in doubt, contact the author of the site and even when attribution is not required, it’s always a nice thing to do.

100 Amazing Sites With Free Stock Photos

  1. A Digital Dreamer
  2. All The Free Stock
  3. Ancestry Images
  4. Barn images
  5. Big Foto
  6. Boss Fight
  7. Bucketlistly
  8. Budget stock photo
  9. Burst
  10. Cepolina
  11. Clker
  12. Creative Convex
  13. Crow the Stone
  14. Cupcake
  15. Death To The Stock Photo
  16. Designers Pic
  17. Dreamstime
  18. Epicantus

100 Amazing Sites With Free Stock Photos – The Art of Beautiful Expressions

HOW TO MANAGE MULTIPLE BLOGS WITHOUT LOSING YOUR MIND.

As the headline indicates, YES, I’m trying not to lose my marbles whilst juggling my ‘two’ blogs and I wonder how those super bloggers with dozens of blogs do it.

Truth be told, I haven’t published a post on this blog for several weeks and each day I feel a stab of guilt. It’s not that I don’t want to create new posts, but my time has been overtaken by the mundane necessities of life. However, to make a success of this blog, I must take the time to sift through the innumerable excuses, find and patch the loopholes and come up with a workable action plan.

Managing one blog is a time-consuming and tasking much less multiple blogs. It takes a special kind of crazy and a method to the craziness to do so. Just why on Earth would anyone choose to get entangled in such madness?

Of course, there are many reasons, such as:

Creating a second blog just for fun.
Creating another blog because the first one didn’t quite pan out as you wanted it to.
Creating a niche focused blog
Sharing your ability in different things.
The need to explore other opportunities.
Building another stream of income
Growing your network in another field
You are a professional blogger contributing or managing sites for your clients. READ MORE…

7 AREAS WHERE BLOGGERS DREAMS DIE

Bloggers, Blogging, Promoting, Success,

Results Take Too Long

Naturally, when we start any venture we want to see results and many bloggers jump into the process of blogging anticipating quick results. When the stark reality of the grind sets in and when their expected results take longer to meet, most become discouraged, quit blogging and go searching for the next trendy thing.

Without mincing words, blogging success takes time. A lot of time! Just keep plugging away.

You are not promoting yourself

A lot of bloggers/writers are not comfortable promoting their work sometimes due to lack of confidence in their work or the assumption that promoting their work is being arrogant and full of pride.

I’ve once had a newbie ask me ‘how would anyone read their blog with all the fascinating millions of blogs floating out there,’ my first thought was, ‘with this thought pattern, maybe you shouldn’t bother,’ but I ruminated over it and advised her to continue with her writing, make more effort to connect with others and let the readers decide if her work is good enough.

The reality is that if you don’t promote yourself, no one else will. There are ways to put yourself out there and to promote your work without coming across as obtuse.

Can’t Deal with Criticism

A lot of people may not like your style or agree with you and now and again, you come across some downright sour people on social media. They will leave their rude comments, opinions and sometimes even personal attacks.

You can moderate your comments to distance yourself from trolls, but you still need to acquire the diplomatic skill of handling constructive criticism. Learn not to take such confrontations personal, most times this is bullying tactics not worth spending time on. Read more…

ESSENTIAL WRITERS TIP 9 – HOW TO KEEP THE STORY FLOWING TO THE END.

Essential Writers Tips

Essential Writers Tips – Halt mid-sentence

When writing a story knowing when to halt mid-sentence is an excellent writing trick that helps you to pick up easily from where you stopped.

Resist the temptation to write the entire plot as it flows ceaselessly because there are days that your flow will probably come in trickles if they come at all.

Naturally, our minds don’t like unfinished riddles and guessing games and this trick of interrupting your flow has the added advantage of keeping your mind at work on the plot even when you are at rest. Read more...

A-Z Photography Theme Challenge

Photography Themes

Using photography themes is a great and fun way to develop your skills and organize your photos.

Why should you take part in a challenge? Sometimes we tend to run out of ideas. Secondly, after living in a place for a while, we develop a mental block and a taken for granted attitude that overlooks possible objects of creativity around us.

We need not look far to turn ordinariness into great images because there are ALWAYS something worth capturing. This A-Z photo challenge will get your creative juices flowing.

There are no hard and fast rules to take part. You can take photos with whatever gadget you have. Simply show your interest in the comments and add the pingback to your shoots so that others can check it out as well.

I will collate all the participants URL and share at the end of the challenge.

Looking forward to seeing your great images. Have fun.

Quick D.I.Y on Adding a Pingback

Simply right-click on the URL you want to copy and share

Click on ‘copy link address’

On your editor, click on the link icon circled in red below

Insert the copied link into the box for URL and the proper text that you want the link to read.

Be sure to click on ‘open link in a new tab’ so that the reader can reach the page without exiting your site.

A-Z List

A. Abstracts, Apple

B. Bare feet, Bicycle

C. Clouds, city scenes,

D. Decorations, Dogs

E. Eggs, Environment

F. Feline, Flowers

G. Gardens, Gold

H. Hands, History

Read More…

Please Share and Invite Others.

Essential Writers’ Tips 7

Essential Writers Tips, Improve, Editing, Writer, Professional Writer, Criticism, Alpha Beta Readers, Publishing, Prepare

To Improve, Prepare Yourself For Punishment

A great part of writing and being a writer involves criticism.  A lot of time, we are afraid of having our work scrutinized constructively by others that we pass up opportunities to have them take a carving knife to our revered work.

However, to effectively improve your writing, you have to take certain steps that would certainly cause you to cringe.

If you can afford a professional writer or editor, pay them to look at your work and give you critical feedback without sweetening it. The tougher the criticism, the more helpful for you in the longer run.

The narrow road of the publishing industry is full of rejections and criticisms from publishing houses, editors, agent etc and the sooner your mind opens up to such circumstances the better accustomed you become. Read More