Web Explored: Failure, Motivation, and Research

Web Explored - Exit by Kev Seto CC0 Public Domain on Unsplash

Failure, and motivation can certainly be reasons to do something. Most of us hate failure. Those statements like “it is better to try and fail than never try at all” are irksome. It is far better to succeed, but failure does come on the path to success and it is motivation enough for many. Research is something most people have little motivation to do, but again is a cornerstone to success. This web explored collection should allow you to succeed in your goals.

Failure, Motivation, and Research

This collection is opened by Angela Ackerman from Writers Helping Writers. In “Character Motivation Entry: Trying Again At Something One Previously Failed At” she follows the philosophy that we should try and try again in order to achieve success. Sometimes this is about returning to previous high points, like the injured athlete who seeks once again to achieve their personal best. Another example is returning to school, after once having dropped out. I guess the point is we can take on board personal lessons, know what skills we can improve at. Do better next time.
Google Street ViewHelena Fairfax provides the next gem. “How to Research a Location you Haven’t Actually been to” answers a question that many writers have. You are writing a novel and you want it to take place in a city you have never been to, what do you do? Fairfax has some answers for that question. She recommends the use of Instagram, Flickr, maps and many other resources. I was writing a factual blog page recently and was using Google Street view to remind myself of what the area looks like. The limit of street view is that there are places that have never been photographed by the Google car. It is great in cities, but very poor in the countryside. Truth is, today we have many tools at our fingertips, it is simply a case of using them as a part of expanding our writing.

Birth of Tragedy

Exit or Failure? by Kev Seto CC0 Public Domain on UnsplashIn “The End of History Is the Birth of Tragedy” Hal Brands and Charles Edel remind us that “the ancient Greeks took tragedy seriously”. They point out that this “tragic sensibility was purposefully hard-wired into Athenian culture”. The intent being that Athenians looked tragedy face on and used it as a form of communal accountability. But the challenge “after more than 70 years of great-power peace and a quarter-century of unrivalled global supremacy”, further “Americans have lost their sense of tragedy”. An interesting thought.
This article makes an interesting read. David Corbett also thought so and added his own comments in “Reflections on the Next American Tragedy“. He asks the question “So, if tragedy didn’t save the Athenians, how could it possibly make any difference to us?
These are interesting questions that are worthy of much thought. As a non-American I have never accepted that the USA is as great as some Americans think it is. That is my right to think that way and is a part of the duty of free speech to point out the opposite. Now I am not saying that there aren’t great Americans, there clearly are. But, there are great people and great ideas from other cultures as well and we must always remember that greatness in humanity is not centred in one nation. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all had to learn this lesson.

Company Blogs

Does you company have a blog? Should it? These are important questions every business owner should be asking. Freelance Business Writer Jennifer Mattern asks Should Your Company Run a Business Blog or a Niche Blog? She then talks about building relationships and the increased visibility the blog brings. I agree, which is one reason I also wrote on this topic some time ago.
I am a great believer in businesses having a blog. The blog should compliment their website. The latter being relatively static information about the product and/or services offered, while the former can talk about the challenges of the industry sector as a whole or can show ways products can be used.

Guest Blogging

Seasonal Guest By Lydia Harper (CC0 Public Domain) from UnsplashDarren Rowse always has some great thoughts. This month was no exception in How to Craft an Outstanding Guest Post. He states, “As a guest poster, you want to provide a great post that readers love … but also one that helps you achieve your own goals”.
One crucial question about guest posting is, what value can you provide? Will what you have to say change reader’s lives? I am not saying that have to in a big way, but they should provide some small inspiration that connects the guest blogger with the new reader that they encounter. The reader is hoping to get something new, then so is the writer. For a moment their goals are aligned. When it works well they stay in alignment and you as a writer can pick up fresh readers. Certainly a part of my current thinking/planning – publishing guest posts on a variety of popular sites.
I am currently making enquiries about guest blogging at a number of sites, the aim to widen my horizons and readership and to learn from the whole experience. I plan to publish guest writers as well.

The Big Tease


On Writers Helping Writers I found the thought “suspense is one of the storyteller’s biggest teases“. Although it will apply largely to fictional writing there is no reason why it cannot similarly apply to factual writing. Many stories will consist of raising questions, it is a natural thing to do. Suspense is a device that a good writer will use to delay the answer, perhaps making what they have to say more dramatic. It provides a sense of uncertainty.

This is a great post about the use of suspense. One of the aspects this article points out is that although some suspense is predictable, it is best to make the outcome something unexpected.


Closing Emails

In “What’s Wrong With This Complimentary Close?” Lynn Gaertner-Johnston takes a look at the compliments line you may use on an email or letter. Business Writing is a blog that specialises in the helping readers become more effective business writers. There are all manner of weird things said in emails, often because people are being informal, trying to write as if they were speaking to a friend. Email has a lot of power, and the complimentary close is so important. Take a look at this closing, then look at her post for analysis:

“Thanks, and Best Regards,”

This takes us right back to the beginning, the ability to learn from failure.


Web Explored


I hope you have enjoyed these gems that I have included in this month’s column. Failure, motivation and research are necessary components of everything we do as writers. Other Web Explored contributions include:

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