Becoming A Writer

Writing Warm-Up Exercises - Learn The Basics Of Great Non-Fiction Writing In Three Minutes A Day
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  • Lectures 19
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 1/2013 English

Course Description

So you're writing... and that makes you a writer!

And just like every athlete needs great warm-up exercises; so every writer needs great writing exercises.

This course is designed to get you started as a writer. To practice writing your words onto paper or onto your computer so that you can build confidence to write and publish your work.

What Makes "Good" Writing?

In this online writing course you’ll learn how to write the four clear principles of good non-fiction writing. The four "C's" I call them. And all the exercises are carefully designed to fit within that structure. Every time you do one, you are building technique in one of those four principles.

It's just like flexing a muscle at the gym - getting fitter helps you play your chosen sport better.

Practice Makes Perfect?

When people tell you that you need to practice whatever level of writer you are. But it can be hard to know what that means. This course gives you twelve exercises to choose from to get the practice you need, to find your own style when you're first starting to write, and to get into the groove quickly the more you master your craft. It helps you build the confidence to put your writing into the world and to press "publish", whatever that means for you. Go through the exercises one by one, day by day, or just pick any single one as you feel like it to just get started or to get unstuck.

Who's This For?

This online writing course is designed for authors and bloggers at any level, from this course you will learn how to write from good to great in just three minutes a day!

If you're taking any of my other courses, then these are perfect exercises to get you into the writing groove in the first week of that course while you're planning out your book.

This online writing course to help you become a better non-fiction writer is also a perfect fit for anyone creating video, audio or any kind of written information product - the same principles apply and these exercises will help you learn how to write engaging content whatever format you are using.

What are the requirements?

  • three minutes a day to practice...

What am I going to get from this course?

  • to build confidence and technique into your writing

Who is the target audience?

  • writers
  • authors
  • bloggers
  • information product creators
  • anyone who wants to improve their writing or build more confidence to publish their information products!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome! And How To Use This Course
Welcome! And Orientation
Becoming A Writer: Building Confidence And Technique For Non-Fiction Writing
Section 2: The Four Principles Of Great Non-Fiction Writing
The Four Principles Of Great Non-Fiction Writing
31 pages
Downloadable handbook to accompany this course. This is NOT a video lecture - it's a pdf document you can save to your computer or print out as a handy reference guide. It goes into more detail than the video lectures on the exercises (and gives examples as well). Enjoy!

Some students have shared that they would like access to this on their ipad or iphone app and I wanted to let you know that there is a button under the lecture that says "save for offline". Just click and the lecture downloads for you to read whether you are online or out of reach of 3G or wifi. Very cool!
Section 3: The Twelve Writing Exercises
Introduction To The Writing Exercises
Equipment - Get Set Up!
Exercise 1: Lists
Exercise 2: What's Your Why?
Exercise 3: Random Connections
Exercise 4: The Good In People
Exercise 5: Processes (Writing To Teach)
Execise 6: Principles (Writing To Teach)
Exercise 7: Telling Stories
Exercise 8: A Single Sense
Exercise 9: Giving Advice (Writing To Teach)
Exercise 10: Opposite Perspectives
Exercise 11: Less Is More
Exercise 12: Love Your Writing
Section 4: Final Words
Final Words...

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Instructor Biography

Cathy Presland, Thinker, Teacher, Outspoken Optimist, Retir(ing) Runner.

Cathy Presland, a former economist, has over two decades of experience across government, international organisations, corporate, business, and non-profits. Best-selling author, and highly-regarded trainer, Cathy is widely published, has over 20,000 students in her online training courses, teaches for The Guardian Masterclasses series, and is an engaging and popular speaker.

In her former career as an economist Cathy advised governments and organisations around the world. She set up a micro-credit fund for women, negotiated European regulations, managed multi-billion pound economic programmes, and designed and led global anti-poverty initiatives.

Cathy's ambition is simply to inspire you to be your best self and to do more of the work that makes a difference in the world. 

Professionally, Cathy works as a consultant, trainer and facilitator. "I help people get to the solution that's already in the room," she says, and she specialises in supporting people or organisations in who are doing interesting work in public policy and economics. 

Cathy's Udemy courses are mainly focused on supporting writers and people who want to share their expertise, experience and passions. "It's exciting to help someone shape their ideas into something tangible. Writing, especially, stretches us as a person, we grow and change in ways we didn't imagine. You change, and you can change the world. It's really simple." 

In her spare time she loves to be outdoors and one of her recent trips was to the Annapurna base camp in beautiful Nepal.

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Twitter Writing Skills

Anyone who has texted while using the autocorrect function on a smartphone has undoubtedly sent a text with a mistake. Sometimes laughable and sometimes awkward, these autocorrect errors can often be partially blamed on the device - texting happens fast, and who has time to check everything? At least texts are relatively private.

However, on social media - and particularly Twitter - errors can pretty much be blamed solely on the user. After all, when a message is going to be seen by potentially thousands of followers, the sender really should take the time to make sure that those 140 characters are correct.

So which social media users write the most grammatically correct tweets? We examined millions of geotagged tweets from a period of approximately 15 months searching for about 40 misspelled and misused phrases to see which states made the fewest mistakes.

After the District of Columbia, the states whose writers had the fewest number of mistakes in tweets were Mississippi, Vermont, Hawaii, and Arkansas - interestingly, some of these are the hardest-to-spell state names.

Fortunately, thanks to software - or proofreading - misspellings can often be caught. However, misuse of words and phrases is just as rampant on social media. Misuse of the different "there," "they're," and "their" as well as "your" and "you're" is quite common, but unfortunately there isn't a way to determine the proper use in the context of the tweet on a mass scale. However, we did search for misused phrases that are never correct - in any context.

Sometimes what annoys people more than misspellings and typos are misunderstood phrases. Many figures of speech don't have obvious origins, making it easy for people to mix up what the words actually are (even when they know what the phrase means). A great example is "all intensive purposes," which should really be, "all intents and purposes." We searched for several phrases like this, and "could care less" (instead of "couldn't care less") and "mute point" (instead of "moot point") revealed interesting results.

Note: 0.00 on a state means that in our set of analyzed tweets, no one used the phrase in that state.

After exploring the geographical trends, we also examined gender-based differences. In our study, women spelled and correctly used words and phrases more often than men did. One reason could be the way women and men use their brains: While men typically use one side of their brain more than the other, women use both equally, which leads to better verbal skills.

With Twitter and other forms of social media, people are able to disseminate news and information quickly. However, just because social media is meant to be fast doesn't mean messages shouldn't be checked before sent. Inaccuracy has implications. Lack of professionalism aside, there is the real possibility of "occasionnal" "embarassment" when people don't "try and" spell and use words and phrases correctly, even if they think their readers or customers "could care less."