Writing Courses to Help You Become a Better Writer

If you're looking for a change in career and want to make an income online, the following training courses are a great way to develop your writing skills before you take the plunge and start devoting your time and money.

If you want to start making real money you must do something with the knowlege you gain.  Most people become hooked on the inviting "how to" videos that are out there, but rarely take real action from the skills they've learned.  Avoid that mistake and you'll start going places.

Start looking for seminar, online courses, articles and blogs to improve your skills.  If you're feeling a bit unsure, make a plan and take it one step at a time.  If you feel like its working for you, start scaling it up and add additional techniques.

Take Action on What You've Learned!

Let's get started, here are some places to help you.

Best 10 Writing Courses For Writers

1. Creative Writing Course - Master Tips for Writing

Co-written by Amazon best selling author, get easy and clear tips to write the book you've always dreamed of.

2. Write a Book: Basic Creative Writing Skills for Beginners

Creative writing skills for beginners looking to self-publish on Amazon and Createspace.

3. Writing With Impact: Writing That Persuades

Receive effective writing skills from a University of Cambridge writing tutor.

4. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels Of Writing Mastery

Change your blogs, books and essays into masterpieces.

5. Productivity Hacks for Writers (Writing Mastery)

Be more productive and get the most out writing everyday with these simple strategies and proven techniques.

6. Writing That Moves: Write Novels That Keep Pages Turning

Learn how to write a plot that hooks readers from the get go.

7. The Complete Freelance Writing Course

Discover how to create your own multimedia writing portfolio for freelance profit and profile.

8. Creative Writing For Beginners

Get the tools to improve the prose to tell your story, creative writing for beginners.

9. Writing Tools & Hacks: Copywriting/Blogging/Content Writing

Discover the best FREE writing tools and apps to take your blogging and content writing to the next level.

10. Creative Writing - Get Writing, Keep Writing

Turn your writing hobby into a full-time business.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.


Some Grammar Rules Are Made to Be Broken

Grammar rules don't seem to exist in the age of technology especially when it comes to tweets and conversational writing styles.  Most blogger's focus their writing on grabbing their reader's attention, using more relaxed voice.

Check out these 6 grammar rules when you're writing for the internet.

1. Ending a sentence with a preposition no longer required

This rule dates back to the 18th century when grammarians believed English should bend to the rules of Latin grammar.

2. Starting a sentence with a conjunction is unacceptable

Ignoring this rule can lead to a much better sounding sentence.  And your writing sounding much more down to earth and relateable.

3. Don't use verbing (turning nouns into verbs)

This is an easy rule to break especially if you want to get a message across quickly via email or text.  People love to use it when they're going for a coffee with a friend, phrases such as "when do you want to coffee?".

4. Don't split your infinitives

There are people that think split infinitives such as "you have to really watch him" are incorrect.  But they do come in really handy if you're trying to get a message across.

5. Do I need to use "whom"?

"Whom" does sound pretty stuck-up and pretentious these days.  You don't hear anybody say "whom ya gonna call?" when they talk about the Ghostbusters.  I've only ever heard it used in conjunction with Ernest Hemingway's book "For whom the bell tolls".

These days we like to write in way our readers understand, for others it their own particular writing style and voice.

Read more about grammar and punctuation in my ebook "Grammar and Punctuation: An Indispensable Guide for Writer's".

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more about writing: The Benefits of Writing on HubpagesDiscover the Websites that Pay Writer's $50+How to Write About What Your Love and Get PaidA Simple Guide to Writing an Article in 30 mins or Less


What is Cuneiform Script?

A Brief History of Wedge Shaped Writing

During the 4th millinmium BC a writing form we call cuneiform arose.  Cuneiform simply means wedge-shaped, this particular form of writing could be found in Mesopotamia with the Sumerians.  Three basic wedges would form a cuneiform sign.

Forming Cuneiform Writing

The end of reed stylus was pressed into moist clay enabling the Sumerians to draw.  At first they would just draw pictures that would stand for an object.  An example would be a picture of a mouth which could be taken to mean the noun 'mouth' or verb 'to speak'.

Over the course of time the picture would go on to represent syllable(s) in the word which the picture would be shown.  A sign such as 'mouth' which was ka could also be used for writing a syllable in another word.  This led to a complicated system of writing, that contained pictures, were so stylized that would become virtually unrecognizeable - representing ideograms (whole words) or syllabograms (individual syllables).

In its advanced form cuneiform script had upwards of 500 signs, with most signs having several syllabic and ideographic values.

Things to Know About the World's Oldest Writing System:

1. Cuneiform isn't a language or an alphabet.  Main languages written in Cuneiform were Sumerian and Akkadian.

2. First Used Around 3,400 BC, preceeding Egyptian hieroglyphic writing.  Used until the first century AD.

3. A Reed and Clay Were All That Was Needed.  Cuneiform comes from the Latin cuneus which means 'wedge'.  This shape was made everytime a reed was pressed into the clay.

4. Cuneiform is Looked On As the World's Most Difficult Writing.

5. Children Are Natural Experts at Cuneiform Writing.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more about writing: The Printing Press, A Brief HistoryHieroglyphs, A Brief HistoryWhat is Cuneiform Script?A Short History of Writing.


Take Your Writing to the Next Level: Become an Effective Proofreader With These Three Courses

First impressions really count, especially if you're writing after a job or just writing an email.  The way you write is a lot like handing out a business card.  A bit like introducing yourself to someone you've never met before.

You need to ask yourself what your writing may say about you as a person? Does your writing show that you care about your work? What would a few unchecked errors say to a stranger?

Creating a good impression of yourself and showing that you're more than capable of handling certain things, proofreading can really help you to do this.

Proofreading Power: Become an Effective Proofreader

This unique online class will help address the basics of proofreading but also provide a practical application of the skills with hands-on exercises and quizzes

What You'll Learn & Practice:
  • Grammar Assessment
  • Proofreading  Pre-test
  • Proofreading Basics
  • Proofreading Tips
  • Proofreading Strategies
  • Proofreading Laws
  • Proofreading vs. Editing
  • Proofreading Marks
  • Recognizing Error Hot-spots
  • Proofing for Spelling
  • Proofing for Punctuation
  • Proofing for Capitalization
  • Proofing for Numbers
  • Proofing Challenge
  • Bonus eBook: "Practical Grammar Essentials"
Read more 

How to Find & Correct Writing Errors: The Proofreading Guide

For writers and editors of any genre looking to develop their proofreading skills and prevent embarassing errors in written documents.  Find out how to develop the mindset to catch errors from a professional proofreader.

Read more

Easy Comma Rules

Learn the importance of using the comma correctly and how it will benefit your proofreading skills.

Read more

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more about writing: The Benefit's of Writing on Hubpages8 Rules of Writing on the InternetRespect Writer's Online By Not Correcting Their MistakesA Simple Guide to Writing an Article in 30 Minutes or LessPerfect Tools for Writer's to Use Everyday


A Writer's Guide to the Perfect Work Space

Have you given much thought to the space you write in?

My writing space is pretty simple:
  1. One desk
  2. One Chair
  3. One Computer
I don't have much room to move around in because my writing space is in my bedroom.  But I do have a relatively quiet space in which I work in.  Here is a quick guide to the ultimate home office for writer's:

Be More Ergonomic

This is a great place to start, how you display your computer:
  1. Top of your computer screen should be at eye level, this reduces fatigue.
  2. Your keyboard should be positioned so that your forearms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Your seat should be adjusted so that they're firmly resting on something.
Learn to Love Natural Light

If you're room has a window in it, use it.  The whole idea of working from home is to be free from the cubicle style work space that many people work in.  Make sure your desk is facing a window so you can look at the scenery and take-in the natural light.

Use Additional Lighting

In the dark winter months you'll need a lamp for the darker part of the day.  Try a table lamp with soft lighting and an interesting design, to give your space a personality.

Be Inventive with Storage

If you like to write on notepads then stacking boxes are a great way to store away all those notes you've been making.  Shelves for book storage or book cases.  If you need space for paper why not try a filing cabinet, it doesn't need to be huge just enough for your business needs.

Form a Creative Space

If you have the room why not create a space to let your creative juices really flow.  A simple coffee table, bean bag or chair and a lamp to help your thinking when you have a break.

Go Green

Add plants, because they make people happier, and some plants don't need to be watered that regularly.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more: Make Money From Your Blog: Become an Affiliate MarketerCreating and Making Money from a Self-Hosted BlogSelling Digital Product on Your Blog27 Places to Boost Your Blog TrafficHate SEO? A 9 Point Plan to Improve Your Visibility OnlinePromote a Blog a Simple Guide


A Short History of Writing

Writing, a Brief History

Many people have speculated about when and people started writing.  The most popular thought is that of permanently recording grain and animals, recipes for beer etc, many of these things were an important part of ancient societies and used around temples and palaces.

Archaeologists have discovered many clay tokens of different shapes and sizes in and around Middle-Eastern sites from as early as 8000 BC.  Many historians suppose that these tokens were used for counting items for trade.  It has also been discovered that the Inca Empire used quipu, a group of strings of various colours that were knotted at intervals to record their taxes and census statistics.

From these tokens came a system of symbols to symbolise words and ideas.  These earlier writings would have been pictographic and can be found in many cave paintings all around the earth.  Pictogram's are still used today to convey simple message - such road signs or even public toilet signs.

Cuneiform script was to assign a phonetic (sound) to a symbol and radically transformed how people communicated.  Many think the Sumerians used this around about 3300 BC and can be found in southern Iraq.  Scripts were found in Egypt (3100 BC), Indus Valley (2500 BC), Crete (1900 BC), China (1200 BC) and Central America (600 BC).

No one culture has been found to wholly influence the advancement of writing, many systems have been found around the world and all sound unique, but all play a key part in enabling us to communicate through writing.

Figuring Out Ancient Texts

Sadly the ability to read ancient manuscripts has been lost.  In some cases the ability has been regained through the process of studying archaeological treasures.

The Rosetta Stone, discovered by French soldiers in 1799 during Napoleon's invasion, has helped decipher many Egyptian hieroglyphs.  Discovered in the small village of Rashid Egypt this relatively small stone slab as carved an inscription in three different languages and scripts - demoic script, hieroglyphs and ancient Greek.  Inscribed is a decree given in three different languages passed by the general council of priests throughout Egypt on the first anniversary of the accession of Ptolemy V Epiphanes King of Egypt 27 March 196 BC.

With comparisons to other monuments, scholars such as Thomas Young and French Physicist Jean-Francois Champollion could easily identify the names found in the hieroglyphs.

Alphabets and Syllabaries Revealed

Many early scripts were found to be syllabaries (such as cuneiform or Linear B).  Simply put these manuscripts were written in syllables.  This kind of writing required lots of signs and very few consonants.

The Egyptians used a lot of pictogram's showing a lot of complicated consonants, but weren't able to cope with writing any vowels.

A script was developed in Phoenicia using a handful of signs and was used from 1400-1200 BC.  In the first millennium the Israelites, Phoenicians and Canaanites used 22 signs.  All of these were consonant scripts with very little vowels being used.

The Greek alphabet was invented as early as 10th or 11th century BC, having signs for each consonant and each vowel, with about 25 signs in all.  This enabled them to write a lot more clearly and very much like we write today.

Read more about writing: The Printing Press, A Brief HistoryHieroglyphs, A Brief HistoryWhat is Cuneiform Script?A Short History of Writing.


Why You Should Use a Dictionary and Thesaurus More Often

If you're looking for simple tools to help with your writing, look no further than a dictionary and thesaurus.  The most basic and cheapest of tools each of these books will help improve your grammar and punctuation in no time!

What is a Dictionary

An assembly of words in one or more particular languages.  Listed alphabetically, providing the meanings, definitions etymologies, pronunciations of words.

History of the Dictionary

Much deliberation over the world's first dictionary, some say 2300 BCE in modern Syria, others say 3rd century BCE China.  Best known and used dictionary, Oxford English Dictionary published in full 1884 and then in full after 50 years in 1928.

Word Order and Numbers

Words are listed alphabetically.

With about 500,000 words and more than a half a million technical and scientific terms.

You can also find specialised dictionaries in fields such as business or science.

What is a Thesaurus

Words are grouped together depending upon their similarity or meaning, sometimes synonyms and antonyms.

History of the Thesaurus

The modern thesaurus was developed by Peter Mark Roget first published in 1852.

Word Order and Numbers

Words can be listed alphabetically or conceptually.

The biggest thesaurus holds more than 920,000 words.

Exclusive thesauri have been created for retrieval of information in science systems, for indexing or tagging purposes.

When You Should Use a Dictionary or Thesaurus

You can use a dictionary to look up words you don't understand, or the context to use a word in.  You'll discover details of the meaning, definition, usage and etymology of the word.

A thesaurus will supply you with similar or alternative words (synonyms), along with contrasting words (antonyms).

Prominent Publishers

The most used dictionaries are Oxford English Dictionary, Chambers, Merriam Webster and Collins.

The most well-known thesaurus is Roget, and sometimes Webster.

A Brief History

There is much deliberation as to what form's the basis of the first dictionary.  Archaeologists have found bilingual words lists from the Akkadian Empire located in Modern Syria of 2300 BCE.  Arabic and Chinese dictionaries have also been found.  Robert Cawdrey, a school teacher called a table alphabetical in 1604 but that was thought to not be very accurate.  The most trusted modern English language dictionary was Samuel Johnson's and was around for 150 years up to 1755.  Then came the Oxford English Dictionary.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more: [Blog Images] How to Choose the Best Font for Your Business[Blog Images] How to Make Words Look Good[Blog Images] Pairing Your Fonts Like a Pro[Blog Images] Create Pictures with Fresh Fonts


Start a Blog With These Five Essential Tips

Was there ever a time before blogs?  It's pretty difficult to remember what it was like not having the internet.  Blogging has become such an integral part of our society today, where would we be without them?

Nearly every company or celebrity has a blog, blog's are the starting blocks to the world.  You can vent all of your daily frustrations or create a whole new character to share with the world.

If this all sounds very new or foreign to you, but also very interesting, I'm going to show you how to start one.

1. Recognize Your Chosen Topic

What would you like to write about?  Every blogger asks this question at some point of the start of their journey.  What are you passionate about?  Do you like animals, fashion, painting?  You might have a product to sell.  Blogs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.  There's no one size fits all.  You need to know what your blog is going to be about.

Take some of these points into consideration:
  • Choose a blog topic but do your research and find out the aspects of that particular subject.  A good example is my blog topic, writing, that entails not only writing but also blogging and self-publishing.  I could narrow it down even more and go into making money from each of these sub-headings.
  • When you decide on your subject make sure you like what you're writing about.
  • Once you've chosen your subject start thinking about how you're going to establish yourself as an authoritative voice on that particular subject.  
2. Choose the Right Platform

There are numerous platforms to choose from, not only Blogger but also WordPress.

Many bloggers choose the WordPress option because they like the platform and its themes.

You have two options with WordPress:
  1. Hosted
  2. Self-Hosted
Self-hosted offers you more options for customization.

3. Select Your Domain Name

Some points to think about when you're choosing a domain name:

  • Choose a name that's easy to remember
  • Choose a name that you can easily brand
  • Choose a name that search engines such as Google can easily find

4. Start Your Blog

Keep it simple, pick a theme that feels right for your own purposes.

Once you've customized your blog you need to start thinking about what to write about.

5. Start Spreading the Word

The next step is to get people to come read your blog.  You can do this through various means, not least search engines, social media etc.  You need to start figuring out what your daily plan of action is to keep your traffic coming.

You need to be dedicated if you want to be a blogger.  If you want to make a living out of it you need to plan ahead and make sure you know where your income is coming from.

If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them.

Happy Blogging!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

Read more about blogging: The Simple and Quick Guide to Starting Your Own WebsiteBlog Your Way to Success: 7 Best Udemy Blogging CoursesThe Easy Guide to Blogging: Everything You Needed to Know But Were Afraid to Ask


What is DRM? How Does it Work?

File Protection

If you've just started writing and want to start selling your eBooks the question of eBook file protection is something that affects all authors.

What is DRM? 

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a standardized approach to copyright protection of digital media such as eBooks.  Basically it's a lock that is placed on a digital file which is tied to the person who purchased it.  Often its applied as a wrapper around the eBook file or part of the packaage of the eBook file.  The valid owner can only open the file if their device or software has the correct key.

Purpose of DRM

DRM is setup to prevent any unauthorised redistribution of digtial media and inhibit the methods that consumers can copy any content they've purchased.  DRM was originally established in response to the illegal distribution of digital media through peer-to-peer file exchange programs.  Within each digital download is an embedded code that prevents copying, stipulating a time period the content can be accessed or cap the number of devices the media can be installed on.

DRM Systems Used in the eBook Marketplace

Currently there are three systems being used by the dominant eBook seller's:

Amazon employs its own DRM to Kindle eBooks, this means you can't sell an eBook directly from your own website.

Apple administers its FairPlay DRM to its files bought from the iBookstore, Just like Amazon its only compatible with its own devices and software.

Adobe's system, Adobe Digital Editions Protection Technology (ADEPT), is presently being used by retailers such as Sony, B & N, Kobo, and Overdrive.

Read more about Self-Publishing: [Self-Publishing] Selecting a Book Size[Self-Publishing] Selecting a Font for Your Book[Self-Publishing] The Phenomena of the Blank Page


Not Started a Blog a Yet?

Are you new to the internet and love writing?

Then why not start your own blog, you can start a community or get people to comment on your chosen passion.

Blogging is one of the best ways to sharpen your writing skills, promote your ideas, make new friends, broaden your knowledge, build up an audience but also establish your expertise in any field of your choice.

Discover below some helpful blog posts to get you started:

Starting a Blog

[Self-Hosting Basics] How to Deal with Website Downtime

[Self-Hosting Basics] A Simple Program For Planning A Website

[Self-Hosting Basics] Simple Steps to Secure to Secure Your Blog from Hackers

[Self-Hosting Basics] Everything You Needed to Know About Page Speed

[Self-Hosting Basics] How to Build a Website

Creating Images for Your Blog

[Blog Images] How to Choose the Best Font for Your Business

[Blog Images] How to Make Words Look Good

[Blog Images] Pairing Your Fonts Like a Pro

[Blog Images] Create Pictures with Fresh Fonts

Creating Blog Content

How to Write Exceptional Blog Content

7 Ways to Look Outside the Box When You're Writing a Blog Post

Write a Successful Series on Your Blog in 7 Steps

Important Points to Consider for Blog Posting Frequency

Blog Posts: How Long Should they Be?

Should You Post Your Blog Posts During Holiday Time?

Successful Blogging: How to Create a Niche

Making Money From Your Blog

Make Money From Your Blog: Become an Affiliate Marketer

Creating and Making Money from a Self-Hosted Blog

Hate SEO? A 9 Point Plan to Improve Your Visibility Online

Promote a Blog a Simple Guide


5 Indispensable Tools for Writers

When it comes to writing, its what you write that matters not how you write it.  But for those who think they've found a secret path to some how cheat their way through an article or manuscript, here are some places to start arranging a better writing life.

The Laptop
What you write on matters, and choosing the correct device of choice really matters.  There's no doubt the ultraportable laptop is the preferred weapon of choice for many writer's.

If you want to go small and light The Apple Macbook and Sony Vaio will do the trick nicely, without impacting too much on power and capability.

The Reliable Notepad
The Reporters' notepads are cheap and cheerful, if you're looking for an upgrade look no further than the infamous Moleskine. Okay so it's a bit grandiose for any writer just starting out but still the best buy starting from $10 per notepad.

The Digital Recorder
If you like to say your thoughts out loud, and you're frustrated with uploading your voice on your laptop or through your musc player, the simple digital recorder is essential.  With one-click you can record to your hearts content.

Just make sure your digital recorder has a plug 'n' play connection to your computer.

The Alphasmart Keyboard
Forget about a computer "just write".  The Alphasmart is a keyboard with a built-in LED screen, its basic word processing at its best.  With wireless capability, it can run for 50 days on a single set of batteries.

The Yoropen
Yoropen is designed for comfort when you write, if you're a writer who prefers putting pen to paper.  It helps prevent repetitive strain injury and cramping.

Read More About Writing: What is a Sentence?The Five Elements of a SentenceWhat You Need to Know About Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences20 Rules of Subject and Verb AgreementsCommon Pronoun ErrorsHow Long Should a Sentence Be?

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.