Be always for learning

I love starting my sentences with the word “and”. But there’s some grammar rule that goes like this: Thou shall not start your sentences with “and”. Oh, really?

So you can imagine my disbelief when I heard an English professor say, You can start a sentence with the word “and”.

Me: You can?! How did I not know this sooner? And from then on guess what?

I use any opportunity I can to start my sentences with and. There’s something rebellious about it.

I also learned that the grammar rules that we’re taught in school growing up were meant to help us sound formal. We weren’t taught how to write casual like how we speak in informal settings.

I recently read a Ghandi quote about learning and life on Pragati Chauhan’s blog Meldoy of Words that goes like this:

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.

Mahatma gandhi

This quote speaks to me because I’ve been reading a book about grammar lately. Yes, I read grammar books for fun :). Not always though. I’ve been reading the grammar book because I’m always for learning how to improve my writing skills.

Did you know these things about writing and grammar?

Did you know that how and where you choose to add a comma, period, dash, or parenthesis in a sentence makes all of the difference on the effect your message has on your reader? One of my favorites is how commas create pauses, and when you remove the commas it makes the writing flow quicker.

For example, I could have added commas to the following sentence, but I chose not to.

And from then on guess what?

And, from then on, guess what?

It helped me get to my point quicker. (Or so I think. What do you think?)

Your choice on where you choose to punctuate can add emphasis, create a dramatic effect, or create contrast. It can make your message sound formal or casual. A tip on sounding casual is to use contractions such as we’re instead of we are.

The purpose of applying grammar rules is to make it easier on our readers to understand our message, says Joseph M. Williams the author of the book. He says that we can always revise a sentence if it’s not clear enough. 

This grammar lesson is so useful for our writing because it helps when you’re writing everything, from a birthday card to an email.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book:

We can create different stylistic effects simply by the way we punctuate: punctuation is not governed by rules, but by choices. 

Joseph M. Williams from Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace

What fascinates me about all the ways in which we can use grammar rules in our messages is that we have so many options. You can choose how many dashes to use or not use them at all. You can choose to use a comma or a colon. It just all depends on the effect you want to create.

Why you should be always for learning

Going back to Ghandi’s quote about learning as if you were to live forever, you have the option of learning something completely new like a language or how to play an instrument. Or you can choose to keep learning about the things you’re passionate about.

The effects of learning or the wisdom gathered from learning change us. We can share wisdom with others or become better at using our talents such as someone who’s really good at baking and continues to improve through practice. If anything, learning allows you to grow, to question, and to innovate as you go.

Are you picky with punctuation and grammar rules? And what have you been learning lately?

Your amiga,

Andrea

5 tips to make self improvement easier

Changing your life for better requires tons of patience, effort, and a completely different mindset. Often, we complicate life, by coming up with all of the reasons for why something isn’t possible. Instead, focus your energy on how you can create change even if it’s little by little.

Have a humble attitude.

Make a little bit of fun of yourself, of your mistakes. If you don’t get things right, there’s room for growth. And growth is where the magic happens. In fact, I’d argue that growth is one of the most beautiful things you can experience & witness.

Start now.

We often leave change for future. Start with the change you can make now in this present moment. This present moment is that powerful. Even if change means starting on a Thursday or at 3 p.m.

Keep learning.

Learn from your experiences or from other people. They say everyone is a mirror who reflects to us the qualities we can have if only we set our minds to feel the way we want to feel and be who we want to be.

Have an open attitude.

Remember that saying, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain? Say yes to something you’d never said yes to before. When change is thrown upon you, welcome it with open arms.

Start simple.

Set time aside each day for one of your goals. Change doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s the little things that make a difference.

It’s the simple things that make a major difference. From a change in attitude to a simple choice.

What change are you putting off? What’s one simple thing you can do today that will make positive difference in your life?

how to blog productively when you got a million things going on

blogging is a journey, an adventure. As you keep showing up to your blog, you grow as blogger. For example, you learn how to write better blog post titles.

Becoming a better blogger definitely takes time and effort 👩🏽‍💻. When you feel like you got a million things going on in your life, does blogging start taking last place?

As you continue to schedule in blogging time into your already packed calendar, you can still keep blogging productive. Productive blogging starts with finding a meaningful purpose, structuring blogging, and giving your best effort

#1. find a meaningful purpose

by BK https://www.flickr.com/people/pictoquotes/ (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

As of late, my intention for this blog has been to keep it on a hopeful-positive-light vibe.

The intention is that readers will find hope for the day, inspiration to feel joy, or strength to follow their dreams.

In much the same way as I feel inspired when I watch Marie Forleo’s videos on YouTube (she always ends her videos with, “the world needs that special gift that only you have”)

and in much the same way, I feel wholeness when I scroll down the “You Are Luminous” feed on Instagram, I want this blog to help readers get out of a funk or help support them during difficult times of self growth 🌱. 

Find a meaningful purpose for your blog, so that when you feel like giving up or you feel like not showing up, you remember why your content matters.

#2. structure your blogging

At the beginning of my blogging journey I had no structure.

Little by little the structure came, starting with a blogging schedule followed by setting aside writing time.

When you give your blogging structure, you find discipline and motivation to write even when your eyes feel droopy after a long day of work.

You begin to write way ahead of the scheduled times. You find the right balance between reading other blogs and writing for your blog.

#3. give your best effort

It’s super important to keep growing as bloggers. Sometimes I’ve gone back and reread posts that I wrote a long time ago, and I can’t believe what I wrote because I’m always changing as a blogger.

To give you an example, this whole week I used a GIF in every blog post, I also recently changed the color of the post headings to gold.

Give your best effort during the time you’ve allotted to blogging. Within that time frame, choose the most important things that need to get done. 


I hope these tips help you experience a meaningful and productive blogging journey!

Join the conversation: what helps you blog productively, especially when you feel like you’ve got a million things going on?