Jackie Hosking Networking Column 12What's Your Passion?
Part 2

by Jackie Hosking


Last month we talked about our passions and ways to explore and nurture them. One way is through an email newsletter. Newsletters are a great way to have a direct connection with like minded people and more personal than surfing the internet.

Not that I am taking anything away from the internet... it is a brilliant resource but often overwhelming if not down right confusing. Linking like minded people through your email newsletter allows you to utilise and share the skills and expertise of yourself and others. 

To coordinate an email mail out you need to be organised. Rather than having your email addresses scattered throughout your address book, try creating a 'group'. This keeps all your subscribers together. Here are the steps to creating a group for Outlook Express… 

1.       Open your address book and click the "New" button.

2.       Then click on "New Group"

3.       Type in your Group's Name. For example "Flower Lovers' Group"

4.       To add addresses to your group you can either "Select Members" from addresses already in your address book or add a "New Contact".

5.       To select members from your address book, click on the "Select Members" button, then type in the name of the person you would like to add…  

(Whether you type in their first or last name will depend on how you have set up your address book. To change the way that names are displayed, move your mouse down and hover it over the top of the column titled "Name". The button will highlight. Click on this button a few times and notice how the names are displayed. When you are satisfied -- stop. I prefer to have surnames first with the "A's" at the top of the list and the "Z's" at the bottom.) 

…the name will be highlighted in the list, to be selected with one click of the "Select" button.

6.       Click "O.K."

7.       To add a completely new contact. Click "New Contact" and fill in the details -- as much as you deem necessary. Then click "O.K."

8.       Now when you want to send an email to the group -- open a new message but instead of filling out the "To:" line with a list of email addresses, click the "To:" button which will take you to your list of recipients.

9.       Firstly enter your own name and click the "To:" button on the right.

10.   Then type in the name of your group and click the "Bcc:" button. This hides all the email addresses from your recipients. Some people prefer that their email remains private. Then click "O.K." 

So that's it. That's how you create a group in Outlook Express.  

Now what about a template? Do you want to include similar items in each issue? Here's what I do. Open a new email choose a font type and size and list topic headings. You can centre and bold them too if you like. Then separate them with a horizontal line or divider of some sort -- see below for an example of what I mean… 










…you can include competitions and flower sales, anything you like really but don't fill in any details yet. When you are happy with your template, email it to yourself and then file it in a folder titled "Newsletter Template" or something similar. You do this by right clicking on the message in your inbox. Select "Move to folder…" click "New folder" and type in the folder name, then click "O.K." your message will be automatically moved to the new folder. As you collect relevant information for your newsletter you can create another folder -- mine is called "Contributions".  

When you are ready to compile your newsletter open your list of folders by clicking on the button marked "Inbox" found on the left side of the screen in your inbox window. You can keep this side window open by clicking on the "pin" to the right of the window. Select the "Template" folder and open the message by clicking on the "Forward" button. This retains the template for future use in your "Template" folder. Then select the "Contributions" folder and click on the first message, received from your contributors, and cut and paste the information into the relevant section of your newsletter. See below… 






  • Botanical Gardens -- 13th -- 17th March 2006




…repeat with all your contributions for the week or fortnight or month, depending on how often you want to send out the newsletter. When your newsletter is ready, send it to the group. Simple! Soon you will become known as the person to ask -- the expert, if you like. Your newsletter will not only allow you to gain respect in your chosen field, it will also give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are bringing together people who may never have had the chance to meet. And that, of course, includes you! 

If you have a questions please feel free to contact me via the writing4successclub website. 

Till next time, 

Your writing buddy 



Jackie has been writing professionally for 7 years. She writes mostly for children but does enjoy the odd flash fiction piece for adults. Jackie is the editor/compiler/publisher of the children's writing and illustrating industry newsletter, PASS IT ON (PIO). PIO was recently voted the best non-fiction e-zine for 2008 by the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. Jackie also offers a rhyming manuscript editing service. You can find out more about Jackie, PIO and writing in rhyme at her website -  www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com 

© copyright Jackie Hosking


The Busy Writer's One-Hour Plot

The Busy Writer's One-Hour Character

Book of Checklists

The Busy Writer's Self-Editing Toolbox

The Busy Writer's KickStart Program

Write a Book Fast