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Reviews on Lunch

A written critical evaluation and retrospective view on Lunch.

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Tips For Wring Great Blogs, Columns, Etc.

  • Oct 28, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Over the years, I've managed to come across great books as well as teachers that would teach me valuable lessons in writing. Although I've managed to take poetic license with quite a bit of my work, their wisdom meant a great deal to me & actually has helped me tremendously through the years whenever I've composed any piece of writing. Although there is always something new to be learned in the world of the creative arts, there are some common elements I believe which stand the test of time.

Although I do not consider my review to be a list of guidelines or rules per se, I do believe these ARE splendid recommendations for anyone interested in writing for personal enrichment or even those that may have publication in mind. While my list will not be complete or inclusive of all helpful hints, hopefully you will find what you need here to be successful in your endeavors. Best of luck to you!

1. Know Your Voice-From the moment you were born, you've had this inner creativity which courses through your veins. It's time to sound off & let everyone hear this booming voice of yours. Most importantly, understand your style(s) of writing & what you intend to convey. First, hear the conviction in your voice & then project this energy into your work. If you feel strongly about something, then by all means share it! Believe it or not, someone else out there will be glad you did. Know that you will have an audience if you aren't afraid of your voice.

2. Just Write-I think most people call this free writing & there is certainly nothing wrong with that. You can always go back in & cross every I or dot every T later on. Don't worry about the grammatical errors nor spelling as these are merely cosmetic errors & can easily be remedied at any given time. When you feel the need the express something, jot it down as I can almost guarantee that you'll not have this burst of creative energy later on. Carry around a pad if you must & make notes for yourself on things that interest you or things that you would like to research. Gather your tools & just write.

3. Intended Audience-Keep in mind who you're audience is & what they will be looking for when they read your work. Perhaps make a list of the questions they will have for you & be prepared to have some answers readily available.  Although it's virtually impossible to think of every angle you're readers will take when deciphering your piece of literature, you should have at least a basic idea of what discussion questions will arise & how you will address them. Your audience should be fully aware of your intentions & will be quick to judge just how well you executed your project when the work is submitted for public access.

4. Give Specifics-Consider yourself a subject matter expert if you will. Be sure to give your readers enough information about your topic so that they can make solid decisions about the product or service you are reviewing. Think about the discussions you have with friends regarding new products or items which you fancy. You can be passionate about your idea but the idea should still speak for itself.  If you give detailed descriptions, people can decide whether or not they are interested in your idea or product based upon the actual information provided. 

5. Sweet & Simple-Don't beat a dead horse. Descriptions of anything can be exhausting to your readers. I, personally, hate reading novels that seem to display nothing but text-heavy descriptions which seem to be perfectly irrelevant to the plot development or overall story. Who wants to sit back during their free time only to read three pages on all the colors in someones wardrobe? Sometimes less is more. Make your point but don't beat a dead horse. Your audience will thank you.

6. Write What You Know-Mark Twain said it best when he advised that we should write about what we know. I can't say it any better myself. You are more likely to describe something well if you are cognizant of how it works in the grand scheme of things. If you are feeling passionate about something, you will convey this passion & want to make it sound appealing to those who may not be familiar.  Naturally, I find it extremely challenging & frighteningly difficult when tackling material that goes way beyond the scope of my expertise. If you are able to share factual info with others, you are truly a source that readers can rely time after time.

7. Don't Be Afraid To Share-Sometimes we can all be our own worst critic. Perhaps our own evaluations are either too harsh or not nearly critical enough when critiquing our rough drafts. Even worse, a critic can often be in love with their own voice & this could jeopardize a potentially excellent piece of writing. We don't want to come across too smug, do we? May I suggest something? Have a friend or close family member read these rough drafts for you & then wait for their earnest opinion. You'd be surprised how much insight they could lend to your projects & how much you will benefit from their wisdom. Although time may be of the essence, it never hurts to let a second or third pair of eyes glance at your work.

8. Universal Appeal-Often, our writings seem to be a bit cold or indifferent towards our subjects which can be a definite turn off to our potential readers. When writing anything, I cannot stress enough to project your personal touch. Blogs that revolve around the usual suspects such as family, friendship, & finding oneself through soul searching are enlightening & usually entertaining for the most part. Any timeless ideas or topics conveyed in your writing palette are great tools when it comes to grabbing your reader's undivided attention.     

9. Don't Fear Rejection-Contrary to what most believe, rejection is actually quite good. Don't take criticism too personally & be open to all kinds of feedback whenever you receive it. A wise man knows when to speak but he should also know when to listen. Keep in mind the real reason for your blog, column, etc. & do not lose sight of your goals. You are writing because you feel the inevitable need to share your wealth of knowledge & there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. People will respect your vision if you stand your ground & continue to plug away at what you do best.

10. Pictures-Painting a picture with words can be all kinds of fun when you're writing. Have a visual representation of your topic in front of you while you construct your piece of writing. This will help you concentrate & keep your thoughts on track. It's very easy to become sidetracked when you are in the process of  jotting things down. I recommend silencing your phone & turning off all forms of noise if at all possible. I can't begin to tell the number of times I'm distracted by the things around me through the course of one day.


Above all, keep writing! Once you submit your finished product for public access, be well on your way to composing something else. In fact, have a rough outline of your very next subject before you submit the last finished project. In order to be a prolific writer, always have plenty of subjects to write about on hand & you will be successful in all that you do.        
  

What did you think of this review?

Helpful
36
Thought-Provoking
32
Fun to Read
27
Well-Organized
33
Post a Comment
March 27, 2011
Excellent advice for writing reviews! I love the free-writing section and giving specifics. Very useful information!
March 29, 2011
Many thanks! I'm delighted that I could share it and am hoping it does make things somewhat easier on people who enjoy writing as much as I do. I don't write professionally and can't say that I ever will but it's certainly fun. Good to hear from you always. ;-)
March 29, 2011
It's always refreshing to see someone who writers with passion and conviction. I would call what you do here on Lunch writing professionally. And you're certainly good at it. ;) I agree! It's been a while since I've stopped by for a visit. If there is ever anything you want me to read, just shoot me an email. It's easy to miss content on Lunch with people adding so much to it!
March 31, 2011
Thanks again! I've never really considered my writing to be professional per se but I enjoy it nevertheless. It's really a great escape and it allows you to express your yourself in a way that others can hopeful benefit from. I will have to catch up on your comments or reviews so I will have a better grasp at your interests or things that make you tick but I will try to shoot you an email whenever I drop something that I think you'll like. I must warn you. I write a lotta crazy stuff around here. ;-) And it's hard to keep up with all the great contributions on Lunch these days but that's another goal of mine. There is a lot of valuable information to be found from some reliable sources here. I'm probably missing a great deal of it.
April 11, 2011
I agree with you in regards to the description of review writing. Aptly put! I can send you a list of some of my favorites in regards to reviews, lists, quick tips, answers, and even questions if you're interested, or you can browse as you see fit. I would love to know your thoughts on my interests. :) I'll have to do likewise as well. It's been a while since I've read some of your reviews. Please do send me an email with a list of some things you think I would like (and even not like). Never hurts to see both sides of the spectrum. :) I agree with you! Very difficult keeping up with the content on Lunch these days. It's great they are moving so fast/well!
 
November 17, 2009
A well-written piece of advice. The first criticism of my writing, at least the criticism that I remember, was in 1949 when I was in kindergarten in southern Ontario. I'm sure I received criticism of my writing in the two years before that, perhaps as early as 1947 when I was three or four and colouring or printing my first words on paper, but I have no memories of incoming criticism until, as I say, 1949. That was 60 years ago. Early in the new millennium, in 2004 to be precise, I began to receive written criticism of my prose and poetry on the internet. I had received criticism, mostly verbal, of my published writing from 1974 to 2004 during which time I was able to get some 150 essays published in newspapers and magazines. Writing had become, by the 1970s, a more central focus to my life, much more central than it had ever been, although it had always been central in one way or another at least for those six decades. When one is a student receiving criticism of what one writes is part of the core of the educational process. Sometimes that criticism is fair and helpful; sometimes it is unkind the destructive. Your comments here are useful ones to those like me who have been in the writing game for decades; they are also useful to novitiates. thanks.-Ron in Australia
November 17, 2009
Wow! That's truly amazing & I did want to say thank you for sharing that here. I haven't been in the writing game for nearly as long as you have but your words are definitely inspiring me today. Writing is certainly one of my great passions although it can sometimes be mentally draining though I do reap my greatest rewards when I find someone else may be inspired or aided through it. I couldn't agree with you more on your statement regarding criticism. Sometimes it's a fair accessment though I find other times it's nothing more than ridicule which is unnecessary. Thank you again for your kind words & for stopping by! Much appreciated.
 
November 14, 2009
Great read. Im sure the title was just a cosmetic error.very helpful thought provoking and well organized.
November 17, 2009
Thnks! I'm glad you liked it! I don't know what you mean by cosmetic error but I'm glad you found this review to be thought-provoking & well-organized. Thumbs up!
 
November 05, 2009
Someone should do a mock-up of this and make a list of all the things that shouldn't be done.
#1 don't argue with fans of horror films.
#2 don't post reviews that aren't liberal-minded.
#3 don't write about things that other people aren't interested in.
You know, go for a self-satirical angle. Totally irreverent. Could be funny.
November 05, 2009
That's a great idea Sean! I LOVE that! In fact, you've already accomplished your goal in making me laugh here with your spill so I give you my blessing. I think you should flesh this out into a full-flavored list or column. I guarantee you there are many readers that will love this. Thnx!
November 06, 2009
What can I say... I watch Monty Python and I get imbued with an absurdist irony that takes control of me like some form of demonic possession! ; )
November 07, 2009
That's not necessarily a bad thing per se. It's contagious! LOL
November 07, 2009
Well, watch out for those naughty French knights and the Spanish Inquisition!
November 07, 2009
I will try to do my best. I'll definitely have to work on that. LMAO
 
October 30, 2009
nice review! You and Sean Rhodes have nailed this one. I always tell folks to just "wing it" and if it doesn't come out too great then you can start all over again. I always try to write from my heart, and even question my own opinion. Nice work.
October 30, 2009
It's certainly a lot easier for me to write the suggestions than to practice what I preach. Well, not really preaching but making helpful recommendations. Actually, I'm the one who needs to adhere to this list prolly more than anybody. LOL Thanks Woo! Perhaps I should try your approach to writing. I am definitely in agreement with you. Write from the heart & you can't miss a beat. Sweet advice bro!
November 14, 2009
Hey, C7, I decided to put in my own two cents on this...
November 14, 2009
No kidding. I like it when Woo decides to share. Fire away! ;-)
 
October 29, 2009
This is fantastic!  I loved reading this.  I think number two on your list may be one of the most important.  I think just writing is one of the most important things.  You can always go back and revise later, right? But your other points are great too, and I think you hit the nail on the head in each instance.
October 29, 2009
Wow! Thnx! I can't began to tell you how much fun I had reading your review earlier today which inspired me to share a bit of wisdom with our lunchers as well. It's fun to write & it's even more fun to share. Sharing is basically what we're all about. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the review & I will be sure to follow your future endeavors as well. Cheers mate!
 
October 29, 2009
Awesome review, Brian.  I love all of your tips, especially #5 through #10.  They make reviews so much better and much more easier to read!  Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.  It'll help out Lunchers for sure :)
October 29, 2009
Thanks Devora! I really appreciate once again you're vote of confidence & your constant support. I do hope this will help people when they write reviews & makes the overall lunch experience more fun for everyone. Writing certainly is a fun way to share with everyone around you. :-)
October 30, 2009
My pleasure! Not only is writing a fun way to share with others, but it also makes the writer more introspective as well as a better writer :)
 
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About the reviewer
Brian ()
Ranked #28
I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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