Gregor Connections LLC

Inspiration Identified

Inspiration Identified—What Speaks to You?

Shanna D. Gregor

Have you ever felt uninspired? I’m an idea person. My wheels are always spinning, and yet, I’ve had those moments when the idea bank felt empty. What was spinning in my head was nowhere close to the destination my client had in mind for my writing assignment. So we’ll start here with the list and future blogs coming up, I’ll cover these topics more in depth. Here’s a list—some ideas to help you stir the pot of creativity and open up new avenues of inspiration.

bench for quote

  1. People Watching
  2. Reading
  3. Tours for Inspiration (art galleries, historical sites, nature)
  4. Music
  5. Break your routine and do something completely different
  6. Explore quotes on a particular topic
  7. Research (ask questions on social media)
  8. Journaling (review old ones)
  9. News (human interest and success stories)
  10. Life from a child’s perspective
  11. Get moving – exercise and fresh air
  12. Travel or vacation (day trips or a week away)

Bonus – Freewriting can also inspire. Click here to read Freewriting – Learing to Fall without Fear

Say Goodbye to Someday

Have you said, “Someday I’ll write a book…I’ll tell my story,” but someday hasn’t come yet? It’s been my experience, without a plan of action, someday never comes to fruition. If you’re anything like me, you’ve taken notes about what you wanted to write. Perhaps you’ve started documents filled with ideas of the next blog, article, journal or book—and then it was left undone—saved forever in you list of incomplete documents on your computer.

Now is the time to make good on your promise to yourself. Yes, the task can seem overwhelming. It is an enormous goal, but many people have done it and been very successful. And you can too! It takes commitment to your dream and follow through.

I encourage you today to:

  • reset your schedule. vintage typewriter
  • make an appointment with yourself for the next 30 days and set aside “writing time.”
  • start with as little as a 15 minute commitment. (Give yourself some flexibility in your schedule so you don’t have to rush to your next appointment in case you actually get into a flow.)

The big news is that once you make time to write, you’ll be really surprised what you are able to pour onto the pages.

You can live your dream of writing. Set a schedule and go from “someday” to “today.”

If you’d like to know more about Author Mentorship and the help we can provide writers click here.

Weeding Out the Good Ideas for Something Great

Shanna D. Gregor

I have “good” ideas all the time. But weeding out the good ideas for something great?  A title for a devotion or blog will pop into my head, and I’ll jot it down. Sometimes I’ll sit down at my computer and just start a new article, story or first chapter of a novel. Maybe you’re like me—one of those people with 10 or 15 just sitting in your idea folder waiting to come to be developed. Maybe you even have entire books near completion but struggle with which one to focus on.

Weeding Out the Good Ideas for Something Great

Here are a few ideas to help you weed out the good ideas and discover the great ones.

  1. Which one of your projects rest move heavily on your mind?
  2. Which of the books you’ve started do you have the most creative passion to finish.
  3. If you can’t decide, talk it through with a friend who stirs your creative soul.
  4. Is there a project that is closer to completion than any of the others? Focus on that one first.
  5. Set a time each day dedicated to the completion to that project and be faithful to put effort and focus into it.
  6. While good ideas are going to continue to come—jot them down, but don’t go beyond that. Put your energy and focus into that project you want to see become something great.

A good idea will only be good in your mind, until you finish it. It can become that great idea when you finish it and are able to share it with others.

Are you looking for help with your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.


Arranging Your Ideas

Shanna D. Gregor

I am one of those few people who absolutely and completely enjoyed that portion of the grammar class. I believe my love for order, for organization and for the process flow are all somehow tied to that. Writing is a progression. It is a sequence a writer must follow in order to produce his or her finished piece of art. (Yes, writing is an art!)

When ywoman with camera - Arranging Your Ideasou’re reading, writing or editing—you are looking for order. You want your art to flow from one component to the next—from one sentence to the next and from one paragraph to the next. The important key is coherence. You want your ideas arranged in a clear and logical order that holds the paragraphs together. Here are three ways to meet those goals and organize your writing:

  1. Order of importance challenges you (the writer) to order your paragraph or chapter from most important to least important, or you can do the reverse by starting with the least important and build toward a climax at the end of the paragraph. You want to choose the formula that gives your writing the most dramatic power as you deliver it.
  2. Space order is all about the big picture. Through space order, you give your reader a panoramic view (like a camera’s eye) of the person, place or thing you are describing. You want to define the scene from left to right, floor to ceiling or from background to foreground. (You can mix these up, but I think you get the picture.)
  3. Time order arranges ideas chronologically. Whatever you are writing can follow the logical order of time. You give your reader an understanding of events from past to present or present to past.

Are you looking for help with your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.

Freewriting—Learning to Fall without Fear

By Shanna D. Gregor

Writing is much like riding a motorcycle—or at least learning to write is like learning to ride. On my fifth birthday, my dad came home with a red, QA50 Honda mini-bike in the back of his pickup truck. He was so excited for me to ride it. He started it for me, and put me on it with little instructions. I guess he thought that since I knew how to ride a bike, I could easily learn to ride a mini-bike.  My answer to that at five years old, after giving it gas and running my new gift up a big oak tree, where it came right back down on me, burning my leg—was, “No, thank you. Take it back!”

The mini-bike sat in the garage for three years before I defeated my fear of falling (and failing) and finally got on it and learned to ride. (I loved it—and rode bikes until a few years before getting my first car.) chalkboard freewrite

So, the biggest thing in pursuing your desire to write is to be able to fall without fear. Most people procrastinate until they have to cram that English paper or report for work in at the last minute. Even more often people write a sentence, delete it, write a paragraph, delete it and spend hours sitting at a blank screen.

The more you practice without fear of falling (or perceived failure), the more you will look forward to any writing challenge.

One secret to overcoming that fear is freewriting. It is an exercise specifically to help you warm up and get ideas on paper. Here’s the basics of how it works:

  • Write for 10 to 15 minutes about anything and everything that pops into your head.
  • Let go of any concern for complete sentences, correct punctuations and misspellings. (This is hard for some of us.)
  • If you come to a pause in thought and it seems like nothing is coming, repeat the last few words you wrote and launch off from that into the mysterious deep.
  • Set an alarm; (the one on my cell phone works well).
  • Don’t stop until you hear the “ding.” Once you’ve completed the freewrite, read what you wrote and highlight the parts you like.
  • Mark anything that really stands out or speaks to you, moves you emotionally, makes you laugh or makes you say—“I’m a genius!”

It’s very possible that some of your freewrite will give you an idea or a starting point for something you want or need to write. If nothing amazing happens, that’s okay too. The point is to get over your fear of failing to put something on the page.

Are you looking for help for your next project? Check out Author Mentorship and Editorial Services. Connect with us on the contact page here.

The Thrill of Ghostwriting

Shanna D. Gregor

Ghostwriting is an art. It takes a particular person to be able to capture the voice and heart of another writer’s message and put it into words that sounds like the author instead of the writer. Over the years I’ve had the honor and pleasure of ghostwriting for dozens of authors.

To ghostwrite is to write on behalf of a person who is then credited as author.[1] I have written for others in a variety of ways. The two ways that I prefer is to write from my own notes, or from a transcript taken while the author is speaking to a group.

The Thrill of GhostwritingActually sitting in the audience and taking notes, gives me an opportunity to become familiar with the author’s personality, communication style and the way the audience responds to them. Sometimes, I am able to mix the two and write from transcripts on a topic I have heard the author speak on before.

The artistic element required by a ghostwriter, in my opinion, is to capture them in such a way on paper that the reader has no idea the product delivered was ever touched by anyone other than the author. That’s success!

Are you looking for a ghostwriter for your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.


Do You Know Your Audience?

Shanna D. Gregor

Do You Know Your Audience? The truth about writing is that you’re not really writing for you. It often seems like it because it’s your passion—it’s what you want to do. You have something to say—a story to tell or a point to get across. But it all falls short if you miss your target.

When I was learning to write for different audiences, a mentor and friend suggested imagining my “audience of one” as a friend sitting on the couch next to me, listening as I delivered my important information to him or her. That was extremely helpful to me.

When I’ve written something for teens or young adults, I imagined I was speaking to my niece, who is an early teen, or my own sons, who are twenty-somethings.

When thinking about your audience, here are some things to consider as you write:

  1. Who will be reading what you are writing? (Who is sitting on your couch?)
  2. How does your topic relate to that person?
  3. What questions might they have about your topic?
  4. What needs do they have that you are meeting as you write? (Is there a felt-need?)
  5. How will they receive the information?
    • Are you writing book they will open or a download from kindle?
    • Is it an article in a magazine or online?
    • Is it a blog?
    • What additional information do they need (i.e. links or resources)
  6. Are you speaking their language?
    • What does their world look like? Are they students? Parents?
    • How old are they? What generation are they from?
    • What technologies are relevant?
    • What medias are they familiar with?
    • What things are relevant to them in media and culture?

We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let us know what you think?

Do You Know Your Audience?

Develop Your Passion and Remain Consistent

Shanna D. Gregor

If you have a passion to write, one of the greatest gifts and biggest hindrance is all the wonderful ideas you have. For me, I have many documents where I’ve started an idea for an article, a blog, or even a book and then not gone back to finish it. Life just gets in the way.Develop Your Passion and Remain Consistent

Here are a few quick tips to develop your passion and remain consistent (and advice even I need to take to heart):

  1. Set aside time each day to write. Start with 15 minutes a day.
  2. Leave some flexibility in your schedule so that if you get into a flow you don’t have to stop at 15 minutes, but continue on until the inspiration stops.
  3. Determine your most creative or inspirational time of day and try to write at that time. (For me, I’m most creative first thing in the morning.)
  4. Don’t push it. If you find you’ve got nothing after fifteen minutes of free writing, let it go and don’t beat yourself up over it.
  5. Keep notes! (I have a notebook I keep by my bed. Sometimes ideas come in the middle of the night, right before I go to bed, or first thing in the morning.)
  6. Write it down. If an idea pops into your head—write it down—even if it seems insignificant at the time. You may have more later to build on from that little nugget of inspiration.
  7. Guard your dream—don’t share it with just anyone. Naysayers can zap the creativity and passion out of you. Trust your ideas with those you know will encourage you to keep on keeping on.
  8. If you have lots of projects going on, pick one. Which one are you the most passionate about? Which one is the most complete? (Great energy comes from finally seeing a finished product that can compel you to the next great piece of work!)

The Question Why—Determining Your Purpose

Shanna D. Gregor

I can follow directions, but it helps me a lot to know why I am doing what I’ve been asked to do. When it comes to writing, it is very important to know the purpose of your writing. I like to tell stories. As a writer, if you can’t answer why your reader should care about what you’re saying, chances are you don’t know your purpose for writing.

In many cases, you may be told what your purpose should be—especially if you are a freelance or ghostwriter. Sometimes as writers, we can get the wrong idea about our writing purposes. We can choose to summarize when the reader needs us to analyze. We can express an emotional state about challenges instead of offering solutions. It’s really all about what you want to accomplish through your writing.

As you begin to think about your writing, ask yourself first, “Why am I communicating with my readers?” The “why” will help you solidify your purpose.

Here are some of the purposes for writing—just to jog your memory:

  • to inform
  • to evaluate
  • to persuade
  • to recommendThe Question Why—Determining Your Purpose
  • to entertain
  • to request
  • to call readers to action
  • to propose
  • to change attitudes
  • to provoke thought
  • to analyze
  • to express feelings
  • to argue
  • to summarize

Are you looking for help with your next project? Connect with us on the contact page here.

Bleeding Red – The Gift of Edits

In serving as a writer and an editor over the years, I’ve received feedback on the other end of the line as a writer gasp in shock at my heavy edits to their masterpiece. Once or twice a few writers commented, “My article is bleeding red.” As a writer, I never struggled with heavy edits because I chose to trust my editor. I learned early to “let go” of my piece. Most of the time I waspaletten’t writing for my own pleasure. I was crafting my art to fit their needs. The heavy edits shaped my work into the box they wanted it to go in.

When you’re willing to open up and let someone else critique your work, you learn a lot. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Writing is one of the few areas of my life that I haven’t held on to tightly. I’ve discovered creative types like myself have a vision for the work they’ve asked me to do. My challenge is to listen closely and deliver a piece of art in written form that is as close as possible to what they have imagined in their own minds.

My early editors with their red pens or pencils, gave me great insight into how to formulate that image based on the feedback that comes in the form of a page bleeding red.

So, don’t be afraid of those tracked changes. They help you to form your art into something more than it possibly could have been without them. Let your page bleed red—and let it become more than you imagined.





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