Want to write? Think farming

if you want to write think farmingI recently started website called My Farm Education, and I had a random revelation about writing today, “if you want to write, think farming.” Bear with me here, there is a connection.

If you are a farmer, there are a few things that you need to be:

You have to be creative

As a farmer, you have to be creative.  When a part breaks, you need to be able to come up with a creative solution to solve a problem. The solution you come with won’t always be the most obvious one, but it will get the job done.

Likewise, as a writer, you need to be able to come up with ideas and expand them. Writers have to make connections with different aspects in order to present old information in a creative and engaging way. Christopher Penn uses a hand coffee grinder for an activity called,” an enforced creative break.” Christopher made his post interesting and engaging. On top of that he related it back to marketing. If he can draw inspiration from a hand coffee grinder, you can think about how creative farmers are.

You have to build a community

Farmers take community very seriously. The community is their livelihood. If you don’t build strong community, you will have no one to come to your aid when something goes wrong. I experienced this first hand when I was on my in-laws farm during harvest time. My in-laws don’t own  combine, but they know someone who has one and is willing to help out. That is the power of community.

Community is equally important for writers. These days you can build communities through social media, which you should be doing. By creating strong communities and relationships with other writers, you create a place that you can bounce you ideas around. Communities also act as a water cooler ( a place to chit-chat about work.)  If you are a entrepreneur, this is where you have your daily coffee talk.

You have to use the tools you have

Farm implements are expensive, and they aren’t always possible to buy, so farmers have to use what they have.  Sometimes that means they have to use what they have in a different way.

Writers have their individual talents as well. If you are good at writing long posts, write long posts. That is not to say that you always have to write long posts, it just means that you need to know what you are good at doing. It also means that you have to use your assents in creative ways.

You have to be constantly learning

Farmers are continual learners. They have to be constantly adjusting their techniques in order to get the largest yield from their crops. They must learn or else they are not going to persevere in farming.

Similarly, writers need to be continually learning and changing their methods to engage readers. It also helps to keep them captivated. If the learning ceases, the writing becomes dull.

Conclusion

Without trying new things your writing will become boring. That doesn’t matter if you are writing  briefing notes or a blog, you have to try new things out and see how your readers react.

What do you think? Do writers need to think more like farmers?

How to improve your spoken English

How to improve spoken EnglishPeople often ask me how they can improve their spoken English. Whether you’re doing your PSC language exam, or you just want to improve generally here are a few tips with, “how to improve your spoken English.”

Have conversations with people

Many people are shy when it comes to practising a new language. You should give that extra effort to practice talking. Also, ask the person you chat with to correct you. This will help reduce the number of mistakes you repeat.

Listen to the news

This is  a great way to listen to how to pronounce words. People who do the news tend to speak very clearly and pronounce their words carefully. This is great if you are a second language learner because you really get to hear the words pronounced correctly. Once you hear the words used in the news, you can practice them on your own.  As a side note, if you are looking for a great way to find out how to pronounce words, you can check out TheFreeDictionary.com. I recommend this site because it has both British and American pronunciations.

Podcasts

First of all what is a podcast. A podcast is, “A multimedia digital file made available on the Internet for downloading to a portable media player, computer, etc”  Podcasts are great because they are many  topics. They aren’t always the best of quality and the level of speech changes with each one, but they are entertaining. If we can make learning fun, why not? A great place to look for podcasts is Itunes.

Those are some tips for people who are looking to improve their spoken English.

If you have any other suggestions about “how to improve your spoken English”, leave me a suggestion.

The Importance of Grammar for Business

Grammar for business
I can’t believe you forgot your question mark.

Today I was having a conversation with one of my students about, “why is grammar for business important.”  The answer that I got was rather interesting.

She talked about if she made mistakes in her reports, she would be perceived as less of an authority in her work . Now, for someone whose mother tongue is English, this isn’t as much of a concern. However, for a second language learner, it is important to do a job properly.

Some might think, if you make grammar mistakes when you are young, you are  still wet behind the ears, and haven’t polished your skills yet. However, if you are a middle-aged adult, one would hope that you make fewer mistakes.

This conversation about business English brought up an interesting thought.

The importance of Grammar for Business

With all the technology we have today, and all the short forms we have adopted due to the internet, we have lost the importance of grammar for business.

The small things like, what’s the difference between their and there.

I work with English as a second language students. Perhaps that is why many of them consider grammar important. The average Joe/Jane may not put that same emphasis on it. They might think, “English is my mother tongue, why should I bother?”

What they don’t realize is that it matters more.

Think about this situation. You are creating a report for senior management, and the document that you have created has errors in it. If senior management notices those errors, it will make you, as an English speaker, look like less of an authority in your job.

I don’t know about you, but as a young professional, this is bad.

This brings me back to my main point, pay attention to grammar.

I am going to provide a couple of easy tips to help you reduce the amount of errors that you make in your work.

Take time to proofread

One of the easiest ways to prevent errors on your reports is, proofread your work. It doesn’t take very long, and it can save you a lot of grief.

Personally, I read things out loud to proofread them. I find that I am able to catch many errors that I would have missed. I know I’m not perfect that is why I proofread in the first place.

Get a friend to double-check your work

This is really a second proofreading. You’d be surprised how many things you still miss if you read your work out loud.

I tend to ask my girlfriend to read over my work, but it isn’t always easy to get her to read about grammar.

Having someone look over your work  makes a huge difference in understanding. Our brain tends to fill in details that we never wrote down, so having a colleague check your work is fantastic.

If you don’t have someone who can look over you work for free, perhaps try Elance which is a  platform for online employment.

 

Those are the tips I have for you. Do you have any other tips that might be helpful?