#WordOfTheDay – Newfangled is one word

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Today’s word sounds very attractive right? What could it mean? Before we tell you the meaning, let’s go back into history. 

Newfangled is actually a pretty old word. It dates all the way back to the 15th century, and likely developed from a combination of the Middle English newe, meaning new, and the Old English fangol, from a verb meaning “to take.

Now can you guess what it means? 

Newfangled means attracted to novelty or the newest style or kind of a thing. Don’t make a mistake of writing new fangled. It is Newfangled

Here are a few synonyms of this word; Ultra modern, new, contemporary, fashionable

Look at this word in a few examples and be sure to form your own sentences

  1. My grandson owns all of the latest newfangled electronics.

  2. I don’t understand the newfangled speech used by teenagers

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#WriterSpotlight – “Your followers won’t come overnight. Originality will bring them to you, but consistency will keep them with you.” Abiola Adebola

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Hey Sparkle Writers! It’s Thursday and you know what that means. It’s time to meet another amazing writer! Today, we have Abiola Adebola as our guest and we really enjoyed our chat with him. There are lots of useful nuggets to gain from today’s Writer Spotlight on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub. Enjoy!

Hello Abiola, kindly introduce yourself.

My name is Abiola Abdullateef Adebola (Abiola AA). I am a Dramatic Arts graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. I am a freelance writer, a PR strategist, an actor and a director.

At what point did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I fell in love with writing as a kid. I was always alone, so writing just kind of became my way of handling my emotions. I think I pretty much made up my mind to be a writer back then.

How has the journey been so far?

Good, mostly rough but that’s why it’s been good. I have enjoyed the challenges, the setbacks, but then I have had very good friends who have encouraged me to go all the way. God really blessed me with amazing friends.

You studied dramatic arts in school, how did that help your writing skill?

It helped in a way I guess, though I majored in Directing in my final year, but I have always paid more attention to the playwrights who were my lecturers. They had a great impact on my writing career.

You mentioned that you are also a script writer. Can you tell us how that different from regular writing?

I enjoy both. I enjoy creating lines for characters, and I also enjoy the freedom that comes with writing prose, not having to create discussions between actors. At the end of the day, you are telling a story in both cases, just different techniques being used.

Congratulations on the launch of your book ‘Catharsis‘. Why did you decide to write a book that bares it all?

I was going through a lot of things when I started writing Catharsis. I had just lost a movie deal that was going to change my life, my brother’s health was deteriorating, my mum was very sad and I was very sad. I wrote the book in less than a month. I was that down at that moment and it was the only thing I could think of doing. I just had to purge it all. I had too much pain in my system, and too much ‘nature’ too. If I didn’t bare it all out, who knows what I would have done to myself.

In one of your Instagram posts you talked about how stressful the process of writing this book was. Could you tell us some of the challenges you faced and how you overcame them?

It was more of an emotional stress. I was scared that people may judge me for the things I wrote in Chapter 3, that my mum may see it and she may be disappointed in me, you know how African parents are. I was also worried about the literary critics, those who may say the book is too short to be a book, those who may not understand that I have no interest in the rules. Lastly, I didn’t think I was big enough to write an autobiography, like who am I to write about myself? So how did I overcome these fears? I decided to damn the consequences and put my story out there. Thank God I did.

abiola aa chataris BOOK COVER

What major lessons have you learnt since you published your book?

Take risks, take a lot of risks, do things your own way, the world will adjust. Donald Trump is President of the United States of America. Anything is possible.

What has the response been since you launched Catharsis?

It’s been amazing. I expected judgment and criticism, considering the kind of society we live in, but people concentrated on my story, and not my mistakes. Even my mum ended up reading the whole book. Despite the fact that I tore the pages of Chapter 3 from the copy I gave her, she still found a way to read the whole thing, and she didn’t judge me. She didn’t scold me. She understood, and she chose to encourage me. That has to be the best thing that’s happened to me all my life.

What impact will the book have on readers?

Owning your truth, and harnessing it. You don’t have to look like where you are from or what you have been through. The sun will rise again if you keep fighting.

Many writers struggle to get a good following but you have managed to overcome that. Can you tell us a few things every budding writer needs in order to build a strong presence online?

I think a lot of writers stopped writing because of the size of their audience, that’s sad. Your followers won’t come overnight. Originality will bring them to you, but consistency will keep them with you. I took a lot of online social media courses which helped me capture my target audience. I am a PR strategist like I mentioned earlier, so it’s my job to build brands.

As a writer, where do you see yourself in years to come?

I want to make Catharsis a movie, a timeless one. I want to write more books, non-fiction mostly. I want to help a lot of people write their stories. I also want to help writers gain more respect here in Nigeria. In years to come, I want to look back and see that these dreams have come true.

Where can readers get a copy of your book?

You can purchase a hard copy directly from me. You can also go on Okadabooks to get a soft copy. If you are in the US, UK, Canada, you can order from Amazon.com.

You have time to write and this is proof

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“Gosh! If only there were 26 hours in a day, I’d at least have time to write!”

If you have been saying this, it is safe to guess that you have not written anything substantial in a long while because you ‘don’t have time.‘ Our experience from coaching writers has proved to us countless times that everyone has time to write but not everyone makes it a priority.

If you were told that for every page you write in a day, you’d get $1000, we are sure many of us will come up with pages of work because we have moved writing to the priority list. We understand that the hustle and bustle of everyday life can get overwhelming but everyone who wants to go beyond writing occasionally must attach some level of importance to it.

You say you don’t have time. What time do you wake up everyday? What do you do when you wake up? Some of us wake up by 4 am and are already checking social media sites for what someone else has posted. Where is what you have posted? Before you know it, it is 7 am and all you want to do is rush out. How about utilizing that period when everyone is sleeping and your neighborhood is quiet to write? If you are a morning person, it is even better. Even if it’s just two pages you manage to write in one hour, it is okay because you have at least gotten something down. 

There is another group of writers who just need to give up something they do for writing. Like we said before, you have to know what’s important to you. If you love your TV and it’s your relaxation time, maybe instead of watching two hours, you just watch for one hour and then spend the other hour writing.

You don’t need to have a four-hour block of time in order to work on your book. If you have 15 minutes, or half an hour, get some words down.

It’s all about scheduling.

Wondering what scheduling has to do with it? You need to actively schedule the time to write.

We make time in our lives for what’s important to us.

The question is this, Is writing important enough for you to make time and plan it in advance?

 

#WritingQuote – Get it down, it’s the only way you can do anything really good

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“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”  William Faulkner

Too many writers have missed out on writing great stories because their ‘perfectionist’ mentality got the best of them. 

Have you ever read that ‘good writing is great editing?’ It’s the truth.

Most of the bestsellers we read today may have looked uninviting when the authors started writing the first draft but they decided to finish the story first.

Dear writers, you must learn that you have to get that idea written down first. Don’t be too quick to shove it away as not good enough. Get it down! 

Taking chances is also another thing every writer must learn to do. 

Don’t be too quick to hide in your shell or too lazy to step out of your comfort zone.

Good writing is sometimes an adventure and you can’t lead your readers where you have not been.

This is why your story is not compelling enough

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You know it.

Your story needs help; you look at it and tell your self that a primary school student can write something more appealing or maybe you gave it to a third party like we usually advise and the person couldn’t go on after the first page. 

But you really don’t know what to fix or how to start. 

Here are a list of things that could have gone wrong with your story and how to fix it.

Poor Plot 

If you do not have a particular plan of action or a direction where you want your story to follow, then your plot will be poor. Remember those books that you drop because nothing significant happened in the first three chapters? Yeah, that is probably where your story is heading to if you don’t get a plan asap. 

It is also possible that your plot is no good because:

  • It’s just plain boring
  • It’s totally unbelievable
  • It only appeals to a very small audience

Clumsy Characters

If your characters don’t think, behave or talk like real human beings, then your story will not work. 

Your characters are the stars in your story and if they are not well developed, people will find it difficult to connect with your story. Are your characters thinking like human beings will orare there too many characters that your readers cant distinguish between them? These are some of the things you should look at when creating your characters. 

 Lazy use of Language

You know one reason why we continually put up our Word of the Day post? It is because you need to get a grip of your language if you want to write a good story. 

 Consider the following:

  • Do you use the same words too often?
  • Do you spend too much time describing things or people?
  • Have you overused adjectives and adverbs?
  • Have you resorted to using cliches?

Remember, a story is only as good as the word used to tell it. 

This is how to make money from blogging

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One of the major concerns of many bloggers is how to monetize their blog. What are the steps to take and how do you value your content?

Sue has got all the answers!

You can create a plan to make money with your blog, even if you have never sold anything before.

The first step?

Listen To Your Readers

Your goal is for your readers to see you as a trusted friend and a valuable resource. Before you sell anything, you need to build a relationship first.

And the key to building that relationship? Focus on your reader’s needs.

When you can put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be able to understand exactly what they want and how to deliver it to them.

Find Online Conversations

In order to really understand your readers’ problems, you need the hard data that they will actually provide to you themselves.

You need to listen to the conversations they have online.

The easiest way to learn about your audience’s thoughts and feelings is through:

  • Blog posts
  • Blog comments on other blogs
  • Forum postings
  • Social media sites
  • Amazon book reviews

Even better, you can ask for the specific data you need by directly asking your readers to take a few minutes to give you feedback.

Online surveys are easy to conduct these days, and there are free tools, like Survey Monkey which walk you through it step-by-step.

Understand Their Problems

So the key is to listen closely to understand their problems and desires. Selling isn’t about forcing a product down anybody’s throat.

In fact, you’ll be far more successful in the long run and make more sales if you take a completely different approach.

When you empathize with your audience, you can create a marketing message that resonates with them and shows that you’re a responsive blogger that listens and cares.

You can then offer the products and services that your readers are already actively seeking, rather than trying to convince them to buy products they never wanted in the first place.

Start by listening closely. See what your readers are thinking, feeling and saying while you cruise around the web this week.

Remember, it’s never too late to turn your blog into a business. 

 

 

#WordOfTheDay – Learn what excoriate means

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Whoosh! The new words just don’t stop coming. Today, we have another word which, even though it looks difficult, is pretty simple. 

Excoriate means to remove part of the surface of (the skin). Have you used this word, in this context before? 

These words are similar in meaning to excoriate – rub away, rub off, rub raw, scrape, scratch, chafe, damage.

Here’s an example of how to use the word;

The discharge is acrid and excoriates the skin of the nose.

As vocabulary students, we however know that one word could mean more than one thing. Excoriate is one of those words. 

It could also mean to criticize (someone) severely.

Here’s another example;

He excoriated the government for censorship.

I don’t agree with excoriating the vice chancellor in public.

#PickOfTheWeek – Depth cannot be faked

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Hey Sparkle Writers! Today’s title for our #PickOfTheWeek segment is inspired by one of the posts for today. We fell in love with it instantly and couldn’t agree more. 

Let us know which pick resonates with you. 

farmto table (4).png This is our first pick of the week and we could not have said it any better. When you try to pretend to be something you are not it eventually shows and you’d realize that staying true to yourself would have been better, In whatever you do avoid being fake. 

Thank you Ikimi for this. 

farmto table (3) What does your pen do for you? To many writers and poets the pen is a powerful  tool that helps them create their own world 

farmto table (2)Akin Daves has a beautiful imagination. We love how he described our memories and our realities. Both are important, beautiful and should be treasured. 

  farmto table (1)This is a known fact but sometimes it is best to remind ourselves. You cannot successfully love others if you don’t love yourself. 

Here’s how to overcome ANY kind of writer’s block!

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Do you think we’d ever exhaust the writer’s block subject? We honestly do not think so. Today, we are highlighting writer’s block in all the forms and types you may have experienced it. This will help to demystify the entire problem and find practical solutions to it. 

Ready? Of course you are! 

Here are some of the things that cause the popular writer’s block and what to do. 

You’ve run out of ideas. 

There are times you experience writer’s block not because you are lazy or you’re not meant to be a writer. You just simply go blank and you are running empty on ideas. 

When this happens, what you need to do is research. Seek information and the writing will flow. 

Trust us. 

You simply need a break. 

If, for example, you have been on a writing marathon for days or let’s say hours, you may need to take a break. Take a walk, eat and drink something and maybe even nap for some hours. Once you do this, go back to your work and you’d see how different things would be.

Burn out. 

This one requires more than an hour of napping . You, your mind and your body need to go on a vacation. Now, it doesn’t have to be anything expensive but your creative juices will thank you for the time out.

It’s not fun anymore.

Sometimes we take the fun out of writing because we’re too hard on ourselves, or we become overly serious and stop writing altogether because our writing gets stale and feels too much like a hopeless chore to continue. If this sounds familiar, reflect on why you started writing and recapture your true, raw passion for writing.

Remember, however, that deadlines do not recognize writer’s block. If you have a close deadline you really just have to deliver! 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – It’s the little things

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We have four brilliant writers on today’s #PickOfTheWeek and each of them focused on seemingly small issues that have weighty consequences. 

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Adenike Bamigbade talks about something that which although doesn’t happen all the time can bring an indescribable amount of joy! No traffic on Lagos roads. Who else agrees with her? Truly these little things do matter. 

 

farmto tableDunsin is a fine writer who has a way with words. Here she describes writing in a unique way using rather mundane objects to illustrate, farmto table (1) A write to Love always gives a fresh insight about love and everything that has to do with it. This is a fine way of explaining love in its truest and most sacrificial form 

 

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We have never thought about the word crush like this before. Our writers are truly detailed people. But do you agree that it shatters like this? Don’t some graduate into true love?