Saturday, February 17, 2018

Why People are not Reading Your Writing


I didn't mean for the title of this post to sound so harsh, but I needed to grab your attention! What I actually wanted to say was "five ways to make your writing more legible". 

With that said, I know in this day and age we are a generation who does not have the patience to sit and read through long or bulky articles. A study on people's online reading habits showed that 6 out of 10 people will share an article without reading it until the end.

With so much to read or watch, I find myself hurriedly skimming over text and even omitting a few of the middle paragraphs if what I'm reading is too long. Frankly, it is a very bad habit. I mean, what happened to taking our time to fully immerse ourselves in the fabric of the text? Whatever the reasons are, and whether rushing our reading is the virtuous thing to do or not, this is the current trend. 

So I am going share some tips to make your writing more "scannable", ie more attractive, easier on the eye, digestible - however you'd like to describe it.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The 5 Love Languages and 10 Ways to Say 'I Love You' Without Actually Saying It.


I recently began a book called The 5 Love Languages. I am not going to lie, I never finished it! It could be because I had already heard so much about what the love languages are. I even took the love languages online test! I've discussed love languages with my best friend, and I've discussed it with my husband, so I think by the time the I actually ordered the book, there wasn't much for me to actually look forward to.

For those who haven't heard about the 5 Love Languages, it is a book based on research carried out by Gary Chapman, who concluded that the reason why relationships break down is not because of a lack of love, but because of too much of the wrong type of love. He summed up his findings in his groundbreaking book. What unites us as human beings is our emotional need for love, but we all differ in the kind of love we need or the kind of love that makes us feel good. 

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Valentine's Day and My First Erotic Novel (Review)


As a teenager,  I never had a Valentine. Who would want to take out the fat girl with the coca-cola bottle-thick glasses, and chunky corn rows atop her head? Not when there's Emily with her shiny brunette hair and Becky with her slender proportions!

Don't feel sorry for me though because, until the age of around seventeen I would have much rather engrossed myself in a good book, and whatever I couldn't make a reality, I lived vicariously through fiction. Whether it was by reading about rich teenagers going on weekend shopping sprees (we didn't have money for that) or reading about a hot hunk's pursuit of his sexy love interest protagonist (I was anything but), books gave me the life I wanted.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do These Ten Things And You'll Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas



Blogging is difficult. That's the truth. I find that the writing itself is not the problem, but when you also have to be a researcher, editor,  photographer, social media expert, marketing pro and general multitasking guru, the business of blogging can become tedious.

In addition to just about maintaining your blog, keeping it afresh with interesting blog topics can be difficult - especially if you are trying to stick to your niche and adhere to a blogging schedule. 

As you gain experience in blogging you kind of learn where to look for ideas, to keep your blogging inventory bountiful. But if you feel you need a little assistance here are some ideas below.
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Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Code Switch Part II: Speaking to Get Ahead?



Hi ladies.

In part one, I discussed life as a child and how language weaved itself so intricately into my existence. Click here to read it!

In 2005, I started my degree in French and Linguistics, which opened up my world beyond black and white. It was now no longer important to use language as a means of being cool. I was sat in a classroom with students from around the country, and around the world. There were mature students and young professionals. I was amongst some of the most intelligent people and if I am being honest, I was intimidated. But in the midst of it all, I learned a fast lesson: that in the grown-up world, especially when trying to learn a modern foreign
language all pretense had to be put aside. I quickly became humble and allowed myself to be taught.

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Code Switch Part I : My Life in Languages


Hi everyone! Please take a few moments to appreciate the new logo. Do you like it? It took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing but we finally nailed it I think.

Anyway, onto today's blog post.

Code-switching is a linguistic practice which refers to the alternating between two or more languages, dialects or registers (for example the Queen's English vs. Pidgin English) in a single discourse. Many people do it, including members of my family who'd often switch between our native Ghanaian dialect (Ga - a melodic, tonal dialect) and English in a single conversation. This is also often the case for bilingual people and students of foreign languages.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Stories We Loved: January Edition

The Jack Jones Literary Arts Team - Image courtesy of Google
One thing I do to keep me up to date with current stories is to set up Google Alerts. I also watch a lot of news and love to browse the Flipboard app, which is amazing for delivering stories you are interested in direct to you.

What I will be doing monthly is collating the best of these features and news items based on what trended and what I took a particular liking to. I will try and make them as relevant to the world of books and communications as I possibly can, but we all know there is more to life than that, right?

So without further ado, here is my first post on Stories We Loved, January edition.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Book Review: Dear Ijeawele, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions


With 'adulting' in full swing, it is often very difficult to finish a book in one sitting. In fact, I never do it. So I knew I had a good one when I was able to devour this beautiful piece entitled Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions in a single evening. (That, and the fact that it's quite a short read - eighty pages in total).

Dear Ijeawele, a non-fiction literary piece, written in letter form, is from my all-time favourite author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and proves why she continues to hold that prized spot in my heart. In her introduction, Adichie explains that her childhood friend, Ijeawele, asked her 'how to raise her baby girl a feminist', so she decides 'to write her a letter, which she hope[s] would be honest and practical'. And this sets off the tone for the rest of the book.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

How to Apologise Sincerely (Featuring H&M)


With the storm surrounding the H&M debacle, aka "monkey gate"* calming down, I thought it was time to reflect on lessons learned. Whilst I have my own opinions on the company's sense of judgement, what I'd like to focus on is the apology the company's spokesperson issued after news of a bit of marketing gone wrong went viral, and the global fury which ensued. 

The company firstly issued an apology along the lines of "we apologize to all those we have offended". This apology was disingenuous for the following reasons:

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Madeline's Must-Read List for 2018

I need to read more. Seems like a strange comment to come from a book blogger. But contrary to what you might imagine I don't spend all my time pored over a book. Also, if I am going to produce lots of great content for you, I feel I may have to step up this year.

So today I am sharing a short list to which I have added to my "to be read" pile. This compilation consists of books that have been released in the last couple of years and books that will be available to read this year.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Blue Monday and the Problem of Speaking for the Sake of It


How are you today?

This week we've had Blue Monday, which is apparently the most depressing day of the year. The 15th January 2018 has won the undesirable accolade for the following reasons:

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Three amazing books I read but never reviewed

2017 was such a topsy-turvy year for me that it affected my blogging. If you were following me last year, you would have noticed that I took a big break from blogging (just look at the archives in the side panel!)

One thing that I did manage to keep up with was reading. One thing Kindle Reads have allowed me to do is to download books at a whim - which I love! Today, I would like to quickly share with you three great books I read but didn't get to review.

These are not full book reviews per se, but a brief on what they were about and why I loved them.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Review: The Smart Money Woman

The Smart Money Woman by groundbreaking author, Arese Agwu was a book I picked up hoping to learn a few lessons from. However I only had to read the first few pages of the sample I'd downloaded before I realised that I had chanced upon a life changing literary masterpiece.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Six Need-to-Know Blogging Hacks that Have Helped Me!




Happy New Year!

Whilst I am not quite a fan of new years resolutions, I can definitely see why people see January as the perfect marker to start something new. As exciting as starting a new job, embarking on a new hobby or simply making the decision to be more sociable can be, the big push out of your comfort zone can be a daunting journey.

This is the same for starting a blog. Being a writer and creating your own content is fun and fulfilling - one reason why many of us spend so much of our free time doing it! But the risk of sharing your life and having complete strangers judge you and your writing can be scary. 

Believe it or not, I have been an on and off blogger for years, starting and abandoning blogs for different reasons. In 2007 when blogging was brand new, three of my girlfriends and I started this blog. When that fizzled out, I decided I would embark on my own little project here. Years later, I started this with a colleague of mine, before beginning this one (my longest term blog apart from madelinewilsonojo.com) 

But praise God, I think I have finally overcome my fear of commitment!
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