My latest DeHaan Fitness and Weight Control article is "Mind Games for Weight Control Dieting".

"Cat with Corn Chips" by Pretty Poo Eater
Pretty obvious who lost this mind game!

Based on new research, my article explains the importance of setting up cues and triggers to help you stick to your diet.

Follow-up with Habits for Weight Loss

"Popcorn and Soda at the Movies" by ScypaxPictures
Almost precisely a month later, I followed-up the August article with "More Mind Games for Successful Weight Loss Diets" in September.

The trigger was a research paper about people who would eat stale long as it was in a movie theatre! Hence my focus on more "mind games", specifically how to beat older, bad habits by replacing them with good habits.

Writing Tip

This writing tip may seem obvious to those who read my Environmental Graffiti and Suite 101 articles, but it is absolutely vital for bloggers and anyone writing specific niches.

Read widely in your areas of interest, and be open to the topics that those articles may inspire you to explore and exploit.

In this case, my ongoing interest in weight control led me to read the report; to recognize where I had used a similar approach; and to decide where I should write my own article.
Last night a reader asked about a Mennonite I had never heard of; one that he did not have the correct spelling for.

Who was John Holdeman?

"Bible" by Adrian van Leen...was the only image that made any sense.
(There were no "commercial-reuse" images available, so far as I could find. I stuck with this rather generic "Bible", which had been used in several of my previous "Mennonite" articles at Suite 101).

This new article was challenging because I had no starting point...until my wife and a sister-in-law brainstormed to provide the name "Holdeman".

Low and behold, "John Holdeman Began the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite" has joined my set of "Mennonite"-related articles at Suite 101.

As a matter of course, I also publicized this on my DeHaan Services blog. "A New Article on Mennonites: John Holdeman" does not add much to the discussion, unfortunately.

Writing Tips

Today I have several quick writing tips:
  • Be open to readers' suggestions. Many blogs deliberately ask leading questions to wrap up the article. This encourages interaction and participation.
  • Thank your reader for suggestions and feedback. In fact, I had replied very quickly, admitting that I could not find what he requested. Then I thanked him again (by e-mail) with a link to the new article.
  • Proof-read the article's title. After re-working the title several times, it ended as " Christ, Mennonite Church". Only my third proof-reading saved me from leaving that as my title.
My latest Suite 101 article, "The Slowly Evolving Botany Sands Aquifer Ecological Disaster", explains how this disaster had grown for a century.

"Botany Bay Industrial Sunrise" by brentbat
Beautiful Botany Bay's industrial landscape fills the background of this image.

My intention when starting this article was to continue in the "Natural Disasters" section in Suite 101. Once finished, I realized that it really belonged in "Environmentalism". Fortunately, both sections seem to have a slow turnover of stories.

From my perspective as a writer, magazine sites such as Suite 101 that list the most recent articles in each topic provide a challenging opportunity. Regular readers will check the lists for new articles, so being in a slow-moving section can increase readership simply by being listed. On the other hand, a section with fast turnover might be more popular and therefore gain more readers for a shorter time.

One problem I found while writing this article was the discomfort with drifting away from the "natural disaster" theme. The Botany Sands Aquifer was polluted by human activity, so it is not a "natural" disaster.

As always, I also publicized this article in my DeHaan Services site. "New Hope for the Polluted Botany Sands Aquifer in Australia" discusses the science rather than my writing technique.

Writing Tip

My writing tip is remarkably brief today.

If you plan to write in a topic or theme, either be sure that the article fits, or be ready to jump to the correct category.

Meet this fascinating and accurately-named woodpecker in my latest Environmental Graffiti article, "The Ecological Importance of the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker".

"Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker" by Life Lenses
Appearance and behaviour contributed equally to the name, "Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker".

As always, this article is also publicized in my DeHaan Services blog. "Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers are Good Neighbours" adds little to the discussion; it is just another signpost to Environmental Graffiti.

Writing Tip

One of the many people whom I know from the USA was disappointed by President Obama's compromise on the August 2011 "debt ceiling" compromise. One comment compared some US politicians to yellow-bellied sapsuckers.

That made me wonder...just what is a yellow-bellied sapsucker? Does it deserve to be compared to a politician?

My writing tip is: keep your mind open to topics from a variety of sources. Usually I scan science news for unusual plants or animals; in this case a political comment triggered some research into a truly fascinating bird.

    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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