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Writers Block: What Causes it and How to Overcome it (writers block) If you are a writer then you know what I am talking about. You have everything ready, a drink, a snack, the topic, and even reference material. You sit down ready to start typing or writing, which ever you prefer, and it happens. You are stuck, your mind is blank and you have no idea how to fill that blank canvas in front of you. It is a writer?s worse nightmare come true. You have writers block. First you need to figure out what is causing it. There are a multitude of things that can be causing it. Stress is one of the biggest factors that cause writers block. Whether it is stress caused by personal matters, deadline dates, or fearing your article won?t be good enough it can block the words from flowing as easily as the should. Sleep deprivation doesn?t let your mind function to its full potential. Getting a good night?s sleep is imperative to having a clear mind and being able to focus. The project itself could be causing the writers block. A topic you are not interested in can easily turn your normally resourceful mind into jelly. The research on that topic turns into a grueling task. Then trying to put the words on paper that make sense and will peak someone?s interest seem impossible. If a topic has personal meaning to you it can be hard to write objectively about it. A simple informative topic can easily become a personal rant session. Writing because you have to, not because you want to makes it hard to concentrate and focus. Now that the basic causes have been covered, you need to know how to fix it. Writers block is not permanent. Identifying the reason is the hard part. Relax. The world is not going to end if the article isn?t as perfect as you feel it should be. Just because you don?t think it is perfect doesn?t mean someone else won?t. Go and read some of your previous writings. Even if what you read has nothing to do with your current topic, it can be inspirational to you. Don?t burn yourself out on a topic. Try to split up the writing process. Research and brainstorm one day and write the next. This will give you time to think about your topic and figure out the angle you want to write. Talk your way through it. Call a friend or colleague and chat. Tell them the topic you are working on and get their opinions or ideas. They may be able to offer fresh insight and ideas. Work on multiple projects at one time if you can. Bouncing back and forth between a few topics can keep your mind hopping and will keep boredom at bay. Take a break from you current project and write about something that motivates you. Chances are once you get those creative juices flowing they will continue into your next project. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. If your schedule says 500 words by noon, write your 500 words and stop. Even if you don?t have a project going, by writing daily you will stick to your schedule and keeps your imagination going. If you write from home, which most of freelance writers do, make a quiet time and treat it like a real job. If you have young children at home, write while they nap. Let your answering machine be your secretary. If it is important they will leave a message. Most importantly remember why you started writing in the first place. Even the best of the best have gotten writers block at one time or another.

The Ins and Outs of Free Writing Contests (free writing contests) Free writing contests are available by the thousands. They are virtually a dime a dozen on the Internet. No matter what your niche is in the writing community there is a free writing contests out there for you. How do you know which ones to enter and which ones are legitimate? That?s simple. You do what you do best-- research. While providing the story for the free writing contest will probably be the easy part, researching the thousands of available contests will be a daunting task. If this is un-chartered water for you, you have the start at the beginning. Finding what free writing contests are available. Grab a notebook or start a word document and list the contests that are available. Beside each contest name you will want to put what kind of writing they are looking for and when it needs to be done by. By doing this first you will be able to eliminate any that do not coincide with your writing niche or with your schedule. Now the free writing contest research begins. Finding out if a contest is worthwhile and legitimate is comparable to running a background check on a person. First check the contest website. Do they have all contact information available? Do they tell you what company is hosting the contest? If they are not, you will have likely found warning number one that it is a scam. So scratch those off your list or at least move them to the bottom until you can find out more information on them. Start asking around to colleagues and writers groups. Search the writing forums and the Internet scam sites. The Better Business Bureau is also a good place to look. Once you narrowed the free writing contests down to the legitimate ones, read the contest rules and regulations. Some contests require you signing over all rights to a story even if you don?t win. Are you willing to do this? Giving up rights to you writing is a lot easier to do when you are getting something in return. After you enter there is no going back, so make sure this is what you want to do. The final thing you need to look for is if the contest is just a cover up to get you to buy services or products. This does not necessarily mean they are a scam or don?t actually award winners. It simply means that they will try to entice you to use their critiquing services or offer you a book at a reduced fee that your work will be published in. Being published sounds like a great deal but is it a book that carries prestige that people are going to see? Many authors think that writing contests will launch their career into a successful endeavor. This is not the case, especially for free writing contests. Even winning the grand prize of a smaller known contest is not going to affect your literary journey. Even though they may not springboard your career, there are good reasons to join writing contests. You will get unbiased opinions and valuable feedback from the judges. If you make it into the higher rounds, editors could also see your writing. Ultimately whether you enter a free writing contest the choice is yours. Just ask you self if the time spent writing and researching the piece you choose to enter is worth writing for free in most cases. The critique and feedback may be the most worthwhile thing you receive from the contest. But then again the judges opinions are a dime a dozen just like the contests.

Patent and copyright law Understanding Patent and Copyright Law Patent and copyright law gives the inventor the exclusive rights to the invention. No one else can produce the invention for a set period of time under patent and copyright law. Patent and copyright law is set up to protect inventors. The law on patents can be found in the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 and in Title 35 of the United States Code. The agency that is in charge of patent laws is a Federal Agency known as the Patent and Trademark Office. Anyone who applies for a patent will have their application reviewed by an examiner. The examiner will decide if a patent should be granted to the inventor. Individuals who have their patent application turned down can appeal it to the Patents Office Board of Appeals. Just because someone has a patent does not mean that they have the right to use, make or sell the invention. For instance, if a drug company comes up with a new drug, they can get a patent on it. However, it would not be available to be sold to the general public until the drug becomes approved by other regulatory bodies. Likewise, someone may invent an improvement to an existing product, yet they will not be allowed to produce or sell the item until they obtain a license to do so from the owner of the original patent holder. For someone to receive a patent, as stated, they must fill out an application on their invention. The application will entail the details of the invention and how it is made. In addition, the person applying for a patent must make claims that point to what the applicant deems or regards as his or her invention. A patent may have many claims with it. The claims protect the patent owner and notify the public exactly what the individual has patented or owns. If someone infringes upon patent and copyright law, it is usually enforced in a civil court setting. The owner of the patent will generally bring a civil lawsuit against the person who has infringed upon their patent and ask for monetary compensation. In addition, the patent owner can seek an injunction which would prohibit the violator from continuing to engage in any acts that would infringe upon their patent in the future. Many patent owners will make licensing agreements (or contracts) with others. These agreements allow another person or company to use someone?s patented invention in return for royalties. In addition, some patent holders who are competitors may agree to license their patents to each other to expand both of their profits. Most everything we use in our day to day life was invented by someone. That person had to seek out a patent for their invention. Patent and copyright law protects inventors from having their ideas and inventions stolen out from under them. This makes the playing field more level for individuals. Without these laws, the marketplace would be out of control and the small guy would probably be eaten alive by big business

Writing Tips for all Styles of Writing (writing tips) Most writing tips you will come across are usually geared towards certain writing topics. You can find fiction writing tips, short story tips, and poetry tips among the different ones. These tips are suitable for any style writer. Setting aside a time to write: You have to choose which is best for you. Some writers prefer having a set schedule. They schedule their days as if they are working a 9-5 job. Or some write in the fly and impulsively. Neither way is right or wrong. It is just a matter of choosing the one that fits your lifestyle and writing techniques. Know how to prevent writers block. It often helps keep your mind fresh and writers block at bay when you write about more that one topic at a time. This can keep the creative juices moving and the brain actively thinking about what the next lines are going to be. Writing about topics you know about or have a desire to know about also help the words continue to flow onto your canvas. Writing daily keeps your imagination open and always running. If the words start to become difficult to create, take a break and change the scenery before they are lost. It is easier to add to ideas already in your head than it is to try and start from scratch again. Another great writing tip is to keep a notebook and pen with you at all times. How frustrating it is when you have this fantastic idea but you forget what it is before you can find a pen and paper to write it down. Or you have a dream and wake up thinking that a great story could come of it and then in a flash it is gone. Set daily goals for yourself. Whether you are on a schedule or an impulsive writer setting daily goals will make sure you reach your intended outcome. Daily goals are usually much easier to obtain than weekly goals. If you do not have an education in writing but love to write it will help your career to learn writing basics. Understanding the different writing techniques and styles or basic grammar are imperative parts in a writers career. There are low cost and even free online course that will lead you in the right direction. Another helpful writing tip is to have a proofreader. This can be a family member, a colleague, or a friend. Every writer proofreads there on work over and over but a proofreader will often pick up things that we miss. The writer of a story knows what they want to say; therefore it is to miss an out of place word because you often read what you know it should say instead of what it really says. A proofreader will read the actual words and let you know whether they make sense or need changed. The research you do for an article needs to be accurate and update. A topic with information can be detrimental to your career. It shows lack of responsibility to find correct information. It shows apathetic writing abilities and reflects poorly on your character. The most important tip that you should know is to know what you are trying to achieve with your writing and knowing what its purpose it. By knowing this you will be able to keep focus on the point of your writing. Whether you are writing a story and try to keep reader enthralled with your characters or a late breaking news article by remember the purpose of your story will help you stay focused and on the right track.