Month: October 2014

Users’ Advocate: Blame the Author If Communication Fails? by Marc Baker

Well, it’s Monday and rather than writing something ourselves we came across this article on the Techwhirl site.

Users’ Advocate: Blame the Author If Communication Fails? by Marc Baker

What do you think?

A Positive Attitude Can Open Doors

Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer

What is your attitude when you step outside your door? Are you able to leave your personal problems at home? Can you separate your personal life from your work life? 

I have had social anxiety for over twenty years. What this means is I dislike crowds, I dislike going to new places, and I have a hard time working with people. I do have anxiety attacks, my heart will race, my blood will pound, and I just know everyone is judging me negatively.  However, the field I have chosen to go into requires constant contact with all of the above.

I chose to go to college and get a degree in English, emphasis in Professional and Technical Communication. I chose a professional field that puts me in contact with people on a daily basis. I chose to start and run two business that also puts me in contact with people on a daily basis. What in the world was I thinking?

Actually, I wasn’t thinking. I was reacting to an article in the Utah State University paper, The Utah Statesman, that ran an article on how smiling can affect not only your self esteem but other people. It stated that even if you are having the worst day in your life you should still plant a smile on your face because some one else might need a friendly smile more then you do.

My reaction was well I’ll give it a try. I started to smile around the campus and before you know it people were responding. The shuttle drivers would ask how my day was, other students would walk with me and we would talk, professors even seemed more willing to help me out with my assignments. My self esteem sky rocketed and I realized that my attitude was changing and I become more positive and confident.

My point is this, your attitude determines how you will feel at the end of the day. Your attitude will make you a better human being, a better student, or a better employee.  Your attitude will either draw people toward you or push them away from you. It is up to you to chose the type of person you want to be.

By Melinda Anderson

Three Tips to Fight the Blank Page Effect

PHD Comics: Writing

You have a report to write for work, an essay for school, or the perfect novel that will make you rich and famous. You know your audience, you know your topic, you have done your research. You think this is going to be the easiest thing I have ever written. You sit down at your desk, fire up the computer, and open your preferred program for writing. There it is the blank page.

You stare at it, five minutes go by. You begin to type, shake your head, and delete the thought that had  just formed. You reread your notes or browse through your research. You look at your computer but the blank page is still there. Another five minutes go by. You decide to get a drink, go for walk, do some more research but the blank page is still there when you get back.

How do you fight the blank page effect? Do you really want the secrets? Do you really want to know? Here are my three tips:

First, just type or write something that is relevant to your topic. Don’t delete it just keep going until you find your inner muse that will guide you through the document. Believe me once you start the words will flow.

Second, have a co-worker, friend, or professor look it over once it is finished to get some advice. There is a rhythm to words that if done correctly brings excitement and curiosity to the dullest of topics. However, if the sentence structure or punctuation is in correct, the reader is jolted out of the topic and quickly loses interest. Having someone read your document and just have them mark the places that jolt their eyes will help you correct your document and make you a better writer.

Third, be your self. If you are a class clown don’t try to come across as an academic. If you are an academic don’t try to come across as a class clown. Each of us has our own life experiences, therefore, each of us have our own voices when we write. This is probably the best piece of advice I can give you, however, it is one of most difficult to achieve. Writing is a very personal experience, it lets people see a side of you that normally does not show. For me, its like, I forgot to put a bra on before going to work. I am still covered but I feel like everyone is staring and judging me. However, if you can find and use your inner voice, you will be one hell of a good writer.

By Melinda Anderson