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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