10 Ways to Increase Your Writing Productivity

Have you ever wondered how some writers manage to churn out so much material in such a short amount of time?

It seems these amazingly prolific authors do nothing else with their lives but write. They would have to in order to produce the sheer volume of work that leaves their desks, wouldn’t they?

Not necessarily.

The key to increasing your productivity is to fully utilize your allotted writing time by writing your already-planned material first. You do have an allotted time scheduled for your writing, don’t you?

Maybe we’d better skip straight to the tips then.

Here are the top ten ways to increase your writing productivity today…

10 – Time Management
Create a weekly time-table for yourself. Be honest about how much time you can afford to set aside purely for writing without distraction. This time is NOT to be used for reading or researching. This is pure creative writing time. Stick to this time-table as rigorously as you can.

9 – Read
Read everything. Read books you’ve read before because you love them. Read really bad books. Read outside your usual genre. Read advertisements on cereal boxes. You’ll quickly learn what makes a story or article memorable and how to spot a lemon at 500 paces. Just read.

8 – Plan
Always have a basic idea of what you will write before you sit down to the task. Think about this in the car (or bus) on the way home. Create the upcoming conflict while you are in the shower. Talk over the impending scene at dinner (and if you are alone, tell the dog/cat/plant – it doesn’t matter!) However you arrange it, by the time you sit down to write it, the scene will be almost perfected in your mind. Writers block cannot exist if you’ve already planned what you are going to write.

7 – Deadline
Set yourself a realistic, yet strict deadline. If you are writing an article, set your deadline for the day after you anticipate finalizing the research. No excuses. If you are writing a longer piece, be aware of your own limitations, but don’t be so lenient on yourself that you procrastinate forever.

6 – Pressure
Put yourself under pressure. Nobody creates their best work under pressure, but it will be enough to get a completed draft finished. You can always revise and perfect it later, but get it done first. Set that deadline, then email your friends and call your family. Tell them what project you are working on. Tell them when you plan to have it ready. Then tell them they must call you (or email you) on that day to read your efforts. If you have not completed this task, they are allowed to tease/taunt/chide you until your ears burn. That’s pressure! And accountability, which is a key motivator.

5 – Ideas
Keep a file or notepad of ideas that strike you. Take it with you everywhere you go and write down every little thing that seems interesting. It might not fit into the story you are working on, but it just may inspire something else later on.

4 – Multi-Task
Never work on only one project at a time. This sounds like the easiest way to distract yourself, but it works. The mind is a strange creature. If you actively begin three projects at once, then anytime your mind refuses to cooperate with one storyline or character situation, switch to a short story or article instead.

3 – Edit
Be ruthless. Remember, you’re on a deadline here, so cut your beloved words to the bone, where the real story is hiding beneath all that flowery prose. Be sure your character’s eyes are the same color at the end as they were at the beginning. Check that your plot makes some kind of sense, and know when to throw out words you love. You can always put them into the ‘ideas file’ and re-use them later, so don’t panic.

2 – Submit
There is no point in writing if you are never going to submit it to the judgmental eyes of a complete stranger. So do a little homework, find a suitable market for your piece and send it out the door. Not tomorrow, but now. It’s written, edited and polished, so it’s no good to you sitting in the bottom drawer. If it is rejected, send it back out. A rejection is not personal. It’s an editor’s way of telling you they already spent their budget this month. Send it to someone with better money sense.

And The Number One way to Increase Your Productivity is…

1 – Write More
Silly isn’t it? But it is true. Switch off the television. Put the kids to bed a little earlier. Get out of bed an hour earlier. Take a pocket-recorder with you in the car. Jot things down in your lunch-break. Pretend to have a tummy-bug and lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour (this works!!) Take a notepad to bed with you instead of a book. Stop surfing the net and open a new word-processing file.

But write more.

True to Life Model Train Scenery Brings Your Train Display to a Higher Level

Model train hobbyists love their trains. However, to complete the scene, they also want to have realistic scenery for their train collection to roll through. For example, a locomotive pulling a series of railcars chugging around a lake populated by some duck and ringed by trees on its way to the trains station located next to a hill with cows grazing on it.

To devise your bench work’s scenery consult books, hobby centers, and learn painting and sculpting techniques to build scenes and scenarios for your model railway. Materials such as wood, plastic, glue, paper,metal, and cardboard will comprise some of the primary materials for fabricating the surrounding scenery.

Scenery design software is also available to help you design the layout for your model railroad set up. There are several vendors who sell scenery software. Listed below are some popular software titles. Additionally, you can use the internet, information from fellow enthusiasts, and information from the train hobby clubs to review and choose the best software application for your needs and experience level. You can order these applications online or the local hobby shop likely carries at least several titles.

“Model Builder” is an application that will cost around $45 and has the ability to design buildings and flats to be used in your model train scenery. You can print these buildings at your preferred scale to use in your model train scenery. You can also assemble the building using this application. You can choose the windows, trims, brick, walls and sides of the house, the roof material, stone effect walls, and slating roofs. After designing the building or house you can print it onto matte photo paper. This is a popular application among the model train hobbyists.

You can also use “Sign Creator” software to create the signs you use in your local scenery. About 200 scalable signs are provided and the software can be purchased for around $40. There are blank signs where you can type bridge heights, platform numbers, various distance to cities, local route number, and road names that can be used in your model train scenery. Print these signs onto glossy or matte paper and use them with great happiness in your model train scenes.

In your model trains scenery walls will be required to be used in stations and other structures. You can use the “Brickyard” application to choose from brick paper to stone paper and print this out. Some 20 styles are available for you to print. The scale of printing can also be specified to create realistic scenes. The application costs around $15. You will require different kinds of walls to show tunnels, sidewalks, bridge abutments, archways, parks, and building walls.

A slightly more expensive application is the “Modelers Toolkit”. This application costs around $125. The software CD contains several applications like Windows Designer, Sign Creator, American Advertising Collection, Brickyard, and Stained Glass applications. Popular among the hobby clubs with larger budgets which can more readily afford the software package for their model train scenery, this application CD pack is exceedingly popular..

As you can envision by now, powerful design software and a variety of materials allows the intrepid model railroader to design and fabricate nearly true-to-life model train scenery. Perfect to complement highly detailed model trains.

Ideas for Middle School Fundraising

When participating in fundraisers in middle school, students reap the benefits of an increased sense of independence, new skills in sales and business, and a better understanding of how to work with others to fulfill a common goal. Money raised by fundraisers can be used by school organizations and sports teams to develop funds for trips, uniforms and other types of experiences for the students. Participating in a school fundraiser promotes school spirit and encourages leadership in the student population. The best fundraisers should be low-cost, exciting and simple enough to attract student involvement.

Car washes are a common type of fundraiser that can be easily set up in a school parking lot. The car wash can either offer a select price for services, or they can accept donations. Supportive businesses will also sometimes welcome the traffic that a school car wash can attract. When these businesses are on the corner of an intersection, there is an increased chance for success. Materials for a car wash can be donated by students and their families, thereby making this a low-cost fundraiser that invites student involvement through soap and water fun.

Another fun idea for a middle school fundraiser is to hold a dance. Students can sell tickets and many parents will be more than willing to volunteer to be a chaperone. Pick out a DJ from the student population and hold the dance on the school campus. For additional fundraising, a photo booth can be set up that allows attendees to purchase a portrait. A concession stand can also be made available and the profits from all purchases can be contributed toward the fundraiser.

For fundraisers that are held near a holiday, middle school fundraisers can incorporate the holiday into their fundraising planning. Allowing students to purchase flowers for delivery near Valentine’s Day is one activity that middle school students really enjoy. They can also buy and sell theme colored lollipops and other candies to generate excitement for events. A student store in which students can buy gifts for holidays is another great fundraising idea. Small items can be sold for a profit that is contributed towards raising funds.

If someone truly wants a unique idea for middle school fundraisers, then selling bags is a great option that will attract interest from everyone in the community. People of all ages love bags and selling bags with vibrant patterns and colors will captivate the school’s target audience. Bags are reusable and eco-friendly, and can be sold to parents, neighbors and friends. The unique versatility of bags makes them an ideal fundraising product that can be sold any time of the year to a wider range of customers, thereby incorporating all of the elements of a successful fundraiser.

Learn How to Speak English Fast If You’re Italian

The English language is a very useful language to learn. Approximately 1.8 billion people all around speaks English as either a first or second language, therefore wherever you are in the world, you will be able to find someone who speaks the language. This will enable you to communicate your intentions to people in whatever country you find yourself in. In order to properly communicate you have to learn all the basics such as grammar and commonly used words and expressions. You can do so by buying English dictionaries and phrasebooks and language books.

However, if you really want a more in depth knowledge of the English language and want to be ale to speak it like a native, you have to do so much more than that. If you are an Italian person who wants to learn the English language fast, there are some things that you need. First of all you have to remember that the English language can be difficult to learn, especially if you are not blessed with a natural ability to pick up new languages easily. You will need to be incredibly serious and passionate about learning the new language. Just mere interest is not enough to succeed, you need to live and breathe the English language as well. Without this, you will not be committed to learning and you will surely not enjoy it.

In order to learn to speak English fast, you have to be sure to take lessons constantly, however with today’s busy lifestyle, who has time to go to school? The perfect alternative is to use audio English language lessons. These are not only very easy to use, but they are incredibly easy to get as well. They are usually available at any bookstore but if you want to start immediately, you can go online, purchase them and download them all into your computer right away. The best thing about audio language courses is that you can upload the lessons into your iPod or any other mp3 player and listen to them any time you want. This means that you can learn the English language while you are driving, doing your chores, shopping and even while you are exercising. Not only that, you can keep on learning while you are asleep so you will be learning nonstop. How is this possible? Well, according to studies as you play the audio lessons while you sleep, you are actually absorbing all the information into your subconscious. This makes learning a new language even faster.

So what are you waiting for? You will not learn how to speak a new language if you keep on resting on your laurels. Go on and get your English language audio course tapes now, so that you will be on your way to being a great English speaker.

Signs of Breast Cancer

Most of the common signs of breast cancer are signs that you’ll notice right away:

Blood or discharge from a nipple

A nipple that has suddenly become inverted (a nipple that’s pointing inward) or a nipple that’s situated differently than it was before, or changed shape or size.

A crusty nipple or flaking skin on the nipple

Puckering, dimpling or pitting of the skin of the breast, with or without redness

Breast tenderness and pain with no other explanation such as hormones or your cycle

A change in the size or shape of the breast

Those possible signs of breast cancer are relatively easy to spot. But even though a lump or a change in a specific area of the breast is often a potential sign, this can be the hardest one for most women to detect.

That’s because breast tissue is naturally lumpy in spots. A woman giving herself a breast exam may feel normal tissue and worry that it’s a lump, or may feel a very small lump an mistake it for normal, glandular breast tissue. Regular mammograms can help detect lumps that you can’t feel with your fingers or that are disguised as normal breast tissue. But regular self-exams can help you distinguish the difference between lumps or cysts and normal tissue.

If you feel something suspicious during a self-exam, first relax. Feel the same spot on the other breast carefully to compare. You may find that the opposite breast closely mirrors what you’ve found, confirming that’s it the normal texture of your breasts in that area. If you don’t find a matching lump or bump on the opposite breast, take a break and try not to dwell or worry. About 80% of all lumps are benign, so even if you have discovered a lump in your breast, there’s a good chance that it’s merely a cyst.

Later, repeat the exam to find the lump. Then recheck the other breast. You may find that the tissue seems normal now where it did not before. If you still can’t find a matching texture in the other breast, then have it checked by your doctor.

Lumps are one of the most panic-inducing signs of breast cancer because everyone knows that’s a possibility, even though a lump isn’t likely to be anything dangerous. Another potential sign of breast cancer is even more subtle than a lump and can be missed except when you do regular exams is an area than changes without a lump being present.

If an area on your breast has grown harder or softer, that’s something you want to have your doctor check into immediately. There doesn’t have to be a lump present. This is one of the reasons that all women should do a monthly breast exam. The more you do the exams, the more familiar you are with your breasts. The more familiar you are with them, the sooner you’ll be able to detect a change that could be one of the signs of breast cancer.

Education – The Issues of Past, Present and Future

In the 80s of Singapore when I first stepped into the elementary school in Singapore, teachers are basically warm and friendly but can be stringent at times. Those were the days when mothers and fathers advised their kids to behave themselves well in school, and they, for some reasons, showed support to the school in the methods used to educate the kids. When there was still some fantasy of rulers being kept in the pockets of the teachers like swordsmen, most students do show respect on account of fear. In my opinion, which was one reasons why students ended up much better well-behaved during the past. Even then, it turned out that the truth is rather uncommon for teachers to perform actual physical punishment. Elderly informed me the problem has been a lot better than during their schooling times.

Singapore education displays a profound change twenty years later and I’m not sure if it is for that better or perhaps worse. Singapore students are somehow not afraid of doing wrong things in front of the lecturers. It can be more than the improvement of whole milk powder that has developed youngsters’ mind faster; in my opinion, the over-protectiveness of the mother and father provides an excessive amount of gut into their children. Mothers and fathers in this competitive society often raise just one child as a result of high living costs and so these people dote a lot on their only child and perhaps they are hesitant to see their own precious kid to get reprimanded literally. Singapore kids nowadays will be more quick-witted however arrogant. They tend to challenge their teachers a lot know that their teachers don’t dare to “touch” them. Students aren’t afraid that their teachers might complain to their mom and dad, and instead, the school teachers are in fear of complaints, which will cast a bad record to wipe off their performance bonus and slow down or halt their promotion. There are cases of parents writing emails directly to Ministry of Education to complain about school teachers. Academic results are too important in the eyes of Singapore parents that they have begun to ignore the true concept of education. What they anticipate are fantastic grades to enter better universities so that their children can get a fantastic career with high earnings in future. They are happy to pay extra costs for home tuition and also piano training. How about morale education?

During the past, there were contracts for teachers which could secure their livehoods even after retirement and that was why teaching was one of the most ideal jobs in the civil service field; pension as well as medical benefits gave them all they deserved. Nowadays when policy is changed, it is no longer a “golden rice bowl” although this job can still reward them with higher monthly income when compared with a number of other careers. Workload, on the other hand, has increased through the years like in the corporate world that all teachers are needed to become more productivity. Given the large volume of work along with stress from the higher level on the results of students, what’s the percentage of teachers who are able to go to the extra miles to aid every single student in character-building? In near future, education in Singapore can be a much greater challenge for all teachers and home tutors. Singapore students are actually exposed to more things at younger ages and a person’s attitude differs when a person has a greater knowledge – these people be a little more self-assured along and expect more. Education is often a holy mission so we have to admire to every teachers and home tutors who are taking up the challenging career.

Self Improvement – Online Courses That Work

Various self improvement online courses are now available on the web. These courses are designed to help people become better in everything they do as well as achieve a sense of renewal within themselves. If you are one of those people who want to improve your skills, develop a positive attitude, or learn how to deal with different aspects of life, you simply have to search the Web for self improvement techniques.

Self improvement online courses are available in different forms. They can be in the form of e-books, daily emails, online discussions, or audio materials among others. Some of these online courses are offered free while others come with affordable charges. Self improvement websites have come up with seminars, programs, and courses to help people ameliorate the quality of their lives starting from themselves. Some key topics for these courses include increasing self esteem, increasing self confidence, building positive self image, and making a better person among others. Other self improvement courses also include practical topics such as obtaining better job salary, building muscles, gaining/losing weight, communicating with others, and many more. All these lead to improving one’s self image so that you can feel good about yourself as well as your entire life.

If you want to participate or avail of such courses, all you have to do is search online. You will definitely find different websites offering self improvement courses, programs, workshops, and seminars to aid you in achieving the goals for yourself. You can partake in these courses free of charge or with affordable fees.

Many Colleges in Jacksonville, Florida

The large amount of colleges in Jacksonville Florida make it possible for anyone to take their education to the next level!

There are many colleges in the city that offer on-site classes to students that are trying to obtain a bachelors degree. Some of these are Edwards Waters College, George Washing University, Jones College, Florida Metropolitan University, Keiser University, Florida Tech University, the University of North Florida, and Jacksonville University.

There are a lot of students that simply do not like school and would rather go to a vocational school or technical school than to a four or two year college. The ITT Technical College is an extremely popular tech school in Jacksonville that offers students a chance to study a variety of vocations. Jacksonville has both an art and cooking school: the Art Institute of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Culinary Institute.

For the students that are working full-time and do not have time to attend college or for those students that simply want to get an education from the comfort of their own home, Jacksonville has many online universities with bases and offices located in the city. Some of these include the Globe University, Everest College, Argosy University, DeVry University, and many more.

Many students are not satisfied with just a Bachelor’s degree, and for that reason Jacksonville offers several graduate schools. Some of these are the Webster University Graduate School, the University of North Florida Graduate Engineering Studies, and the University of North Florida.

Obviously there are many opportunities for the citizens of Jacksonville, Florida (and anyone else who wishes to live there) to further their education. There are many degree programs and other opportunities that are available in colleges all over the city.

How to Be a Life Coach – The Best Way

Do you want to know how to be a life coach? Great decision!

It is of course important that you study with the right organization and get experience, but if you want to know how to be a life coach then you need to look within first and make sure you are passionate about making a difference, helping people, and continuing to learn and develop.

Being a coach is also being a mentor, a leader capable of building relationships and a facilitator of discovery.

When you learn how to be a life coach, you realize you are not telling people what to do, but opening up new opportunities for them with their thinking and expanding their awareness of their own thought processes.

Being open to looking at someone else’s model of the world and to try to have an understanding of how other people think can change your outlook and intention around communication. If they don’t agree with you are they right or wrong? Actually probably neither – just different. To have this perspective and insight into the human thought process is a wonderful gift.

Life coaching means that you build a partnership with your client to help them explore options, look at their desired outcome and make informed choices. It is through this process that you help them develop goals that will not seem too far out of reach, and also to keep them excited about moving towards achieving them. One of the most important and powerful things you can do as a life coach is journey through accountability with your client to ensure they get to where they want to be. Celebration is also an important part of this journey and recognizing what your client has achieved will anchor in their win.

Once you learn how to be a life coach you will quickly notice your own behaviours, self-talk and attitudes also changing for a more positive outlook, which will give you positive results and lead you to the success you are aiming for. It becomes automatic to do a quick evaluation of how you feel, what you are thinking and how that will impact on your results.

To understand your own strategies around your behavior and have the ability to look honestly and openly at the results these strategies beliefs and behaviours are giving you, then you will be able to make change for yourself – and you do want to make change don’t you?

Career Advice at 25 – I Don’t Know What I Want to Be When I Grow Up!

People often say that a rewarding career is more about personal fulfillment than it is about bringing in big bucks. Many of us agree with this statement. The truth is, most people would rather be happy than rich. Meaningful work is one of the keys to personal fulfillment, especially since we spend approximately 33% of our adult life working. Research shows that if you have a career that complements your personal values, you’re much more likely to be happy than if you’re working a meaningless job.

So, what advice do you give to a 25 year old who is unhappy working at his high paying corporate job?

The best thing, of course, is to find a job you love and pays well, which is not an easy thing to do. Part of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. If you are asking yourself whether you should quit your corporate job, you probably already made the decision in your heart, but not yet in your mind. Every day, you hate getting up and going into the office. But you are afraid that if you try switching careers now, you won’t be making that much money anymore. Take a look at the few steps below which could ease your transition to a new fulfilling career.

Find out what you really want. This first step is difficult but crucial. Figure out what it is that you really want to do. What would make you happy? It can take a lot of soul-searching to find out what exactly a meaningful job is for you.

Find something that drives you right now. At 25, you have the whole world in your hands. If you are not married and you don’t have any dependants, you are only responsible for yourself. This is the perfect time to figure out what kind of work satisfies your needs. At the end of the day you need to feel good about your work no matter how much or little you were paid for it.

Reduce your lifestyle. Find out what your needs are. Evaluate your lifestyle. A simpler lifestyle means more flexibility in your career search. By lowering your expenses, you will have more options. What type of person are you? How much do you value life experiences such as travel, volunteer work, and acquisition of knowledge as compared to the acquisition of wealth?

Take baby steps. At your age, a career change doesn’t have to mean all or nothing. You don’t have to choose between a well-paid job you don’t like and the complete unknown. You have many other options, for example, learn a new skill that interests you, or start a blog about your interests and experiences, start a small business on the side, take evening online classes which can help you further your career and help you get a promotion. As it is in life, some small steps lead to bigger and better things, others don’t. But as long as you just sit here feeling sorry for yourself, rest assured, nothing will change at all. Change is scary for a lot of people, but change can also bring tremendous rewards.

You are young. Having a mediocre job at 25 is very common. A lot of people act as if their jobs are a lot more fabulous than they really are. It’s one way to show off. Don’t get sucked in by it because, for most of them, it’s not true. Dig a little deeper and you will see that things aren’t always what they seem. Explore your options. For example, let’s say you are currently working for an advertising agency but you’re not happy with your position. Perhaps working for the advertising agency is still the right fit for you, but you need to switch departments within the company in order to be fulfilled. If you’re learning a great deal at your current job, give it a chance; it just might lead somewhere. Don’t drop out just because things get a little tough.

Help others. Find a way to help other people. Volunteer in a shelter or soup kitchen on a weekend. Seeing people who own next to nothing may put your life into perspective. Besides, helping the less fortunate will bring instant gratification and happiness into your life too.

There are no perfect answers to this question. What’s great is that at 25 you can still make mistakes and get away with it without many consequences. However, as you get older, that flexibility becomes smaller. Your obligations become greater with age, making this decision more difficult. If you want to explore, do it now. Ultimately, the decision is yours no matter what other people tell you.