Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How do you fill that blank blog?

August 19, 2009

We’re writers, you and I. It’s our job to fill endless screens with scintillating text. Words should flow effortlessly from our keyboards, right? Blogging in 500-word bursts should be far easier than writing book-length manuscripts, you think?

Maybe for you, but not always for me. And I’ve been at this more than 40 years.

Recently a book publishing colleague at another house suggested several ways to spark your blog writing:

  • Tell personal stories. Be transparent, share your own personal narrative.
  • Describe historical events. Use events from your family, your community, your region of the country to illustrate a point and end by challenging readers to draw their own conclusions.
  • Comment on a news item or an interesting conversation. Establish yourself as a thought leader on a subject you’re passionate about.
  • Write a step-by-step explanation of how to do something, whether it’s home repairs or writing resumes or getting a job. All of us love steps to success.
  • Answer your readers’ questions. What was the feedback on your latest book? How can you clarify or comment on your message?
  • Organize a group. Assuming you wrote a nonfiction work, how can the subject of your book be turned into an ongoing conversation between yourself and your readers. How can they contribute to your next work?
  • Explain how you write. Most people are fascinated with writers, even though we don’t sit around in silk smoking jackets puffing on distinguished-looking pipes. What is your writing process like? Where do you get your ideas? How do you find time to get them written?

The next time you get stuck blogging, try some of these.

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How To Increase Your Platform

June 2, 2009

So, the last time we chatted we talked about the need, and the opportunity, for authors to build their “platforms” via social media. Whether blogs or Facebook or Tangle or Twitter or YouTube or other online communities, generating a following is easy enough from the technology end.

As authors know, the hardest part of writing is staring at the blank screen. Whatever will you write? Whatever do you have to say that’s interesting and/or useful to anybody, let alone the entire blogosphere?

Wait a minute! You just wrote an entire book. Or you’re in the midst of writing one, right? What’s your subject matter? Can you expound on a specific fact beyond the scope of your book? If you’re a chemist (pay attention, Richard), what new developments are there in the world of beakers and test tubes? If you’re a geologist or (more…)