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Write an article a day

Write an article a ... (c) 2002 by Angela Booth ** This article is adapted from my new email ... Writing ToSell In The Internet Age. If you want to get a taste of ... you can s

Write an article a day

Copyright (c) 2002 by Angela Booth

** This article is adapted from my new email workshop, Writing To
Sell In The Internet Age. If you want to get a taste of the
workshop, you can sign up for the free mini-course based on
Writing To Sell In The Internet Age, on the Web site ---

Want to become a better writer? Easy. Just write an article a

When you write each and every day, you develop skill. Writing is
a skill that demands the easy interaction of various parts of
your brain. This interaction isn't developed without practice,
nor does the interaction seem to remain viable unless you
consistently practice --- unless you write every day.

I imagine writing skills as being like developing communication
pathways between different areas in the brain. If you don't
practice your writing daily, those pathways disappear, just like
untraversed paths through a forest.

===> Please write an article a day for seven days

No instruction I give you about getting ideas for articles, doing
research, or how to structure an article will do as much for you
as actually writing the things. Consistently. Day after day. For
at least seven days.

I promise you, at the end of the seven days you will be a better
writer. You've been reading articles in newspapers, magazines and
online for years. You know how it's done. Doing it will bring out
that hidden knowledge you have and make it consciously usable.

Writing articles is a skill you learn by doing, just as you
learned to tie your shoelaces and to walk.

I'd like you to write an article a day, of at least three hundred
words. That's just over one page.

Use the BEST formula below to get your articles written.

The BEST formula is an easy way to remember basic article
structure. I discovered it in June Duncan Owen's book How To
Write And Sell Articles (Penguin Books 1992, ISBN 014 0146 253).

===> The BEST formula for writing articles

BEST is an acronym for ---

B --- Bait

E --- Explanation

S --- Step

T --- Termination

===> The BAIT

The BAIT is also known as the hook. It's an intriguing beginning
for your article.

As well as being the beginning of your article, it's also the
most important part. It tells the reader why she should care, why
she should stop and read the article. It's important because if
your reader doesn't like the bait, she's not going to read the
rest of the article.

Pick up six different magazines, ones you have at home, or ones
you go and buy. Look at the baits, the first couple of
paragraphs, in each article in those six magazines. All the baits
in the articles will be different.

Don't spend too long writing the bait for an article. I often
write the bait after I've finished an article. The only time you
need to spend a lot of time on getting your bait exactly right is
if you're writing an article for a major market. If you're
getting a dollar a word or more, it's worth it to write out ten
or twenty forms of bait and pick the best one.

When you're writing your seven articles for the next seven days -
-- and forever afterward --- don't be too enraptured or concerned
with the bait paragraph or paragraphs. Your bait is important,
but not so important that you stall over it, and never get around
to writing the article.

The bait can only become a stumbling block if you let it. Get the
article written, and then you can worry about individual
components like the bait.

===> The Explanation

This part of your article explains the article's subject, or
thesis. If you're writing about a computer program, you can
explain what the program does in a nutshell, or why the program
is important. If you're writing a personality profile, the
explanation tells the reader why he should read the profile.

Sometimes you won't need an explanation, it will be covered in
the article's headline and the bait.

===> The Step (s)

The Steps are your argument. They can be individual anecdotes, or
pieces of evidence. If you're writing about a computer program,
the Steps could be various ways of using the program, or how to
get started with the program. If you're writing a profile, the
Steps could be your subject's career, his family life, the
details of his run for office, or the details of how he won the
tennis championship, what others say about him, and so on.

I usually write the steps in any order, and then rearrange the
order with appropriate transitions as I work through later

In a short article of 300 words, you won't have space for more
than one Step.

===> The Termination

The ending of the article.

In the case of the article about the computer program, it could
be how many people have bought the program, when the next version
will be available, or where you can buy it.

In your personality profile, the ending could be a final quote
from the subject.

A circular ending, when you manage to refer to the bait or the
explanation in the ending, is satisfying, and is an easy way to
wrap the article up without working too hard.

Although the BAIT formula seems prosaic, it will release your
creativity. It gives you a structure, which is always the hardest
task in writing an article. So go ahead. Write an article a day
for the next seven days. At the end of the seven days, you'll be
a better writer.

==> Resource Box (publishers please use) <==

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Article Tags: Seven Days, Best Formula, You're Writing

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Australian author, journalist and copywriter Angela Booth
has been writing professionally for over twenty years. She writes
business books and copy for businesses.

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