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John Lemke

7 Writing Prompts to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing - 0 views

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    I think these are some decent writing exercises.
John Lemke

3 Times You Should STOP Writing - 0 views

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    While I personally feel that you should write daily, this article does give three good times to just "let go".
John Lemke

20 Rules for Writing So Crystal Clear Even Your Dumbest Relative Will Understand - 0 views

  • Spreading an idea means getting it from your brain into someone else’s. It means putting together the essential facts, the logical arguments and your insightful conclusions together in exactly the right way to recreate your brilliant idea in the mind of your reader.
  • Try to describe your audience with this simple formula: X who Y. For example: “Bloggers who want to get more traffic”.
  • If you can’t explain what your post is about in one simple, short sentence, it’s probably too complex or unfocused.
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  • Make sure a clear connection exists between the opening of your post and the headline.
  • If a sentence, phrase or word is particularly important or significant, use bold or italics to add stress. But don’t overdo it.
  • Always be consistent with your terminology.
  • If a point is worth making, it’s worth making twice. Or even three times.
  • Only tell them what they need to know to follow your argument. Share the minimum you need to convey the desired message.
  • Clear examples help readers understand difficult concepts.
  • Concrete language describes something detectable by the senses. Something you can see, feel, hear, smell or taste. Abstract concepts are much harder to imagine.
  • When you provide specific detail in your writing, there’s less room for ambiguity. Your reader is far more likely to end up with the same idea in their head as you have in yours.
  • Clarity does not tolerate “might,” “may” or “possibly.” If you can’t say something with certainty, perhaps you shouldn’t be writing about it at all.
  • if you’re in the business of spreading ideas, you must make friends with bullets.
  • Bullets are a valuable tool, but you should never drop your reader into a list without first setting the scene.
  • make sure each point is recognizably related to the others.
  • If you were giving your reader a list of steps, you’d present them in the order they needed doing, right? Obviously. But if the items in your list aren’t steps, they often still have a natural order – even if you didn’t have one in mind when you wrote them.
  • always supply everything the reader needs to fully understand your points within the post itself.
  • You think you’re being generous but truthfully you’re being greedy. Greedy with your reader’s time, their attention, and their patience.
  • include a clear call-to-action. Tell your reader what you want them to do.
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    20 tips on writing with clarity.
John Lemke

How To Write Well: 10 Essential Self-Editing Tips | Write to Done - 0 views

  • The easiest way to write well is to edit your writing. The best person to edit a manuscript, article or blog post is the author herself.
  • Leave your writing alone for a while
  • Pay attention to what jumps out at you as awkward.
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  • You’ll catch clunky sentences, missing and repetitive words, and misspellings.
  • Make a list of your most common offenders. Then search for those words and see if you can take them out without altering your intended meaning.
  • Take a look at each sentence and see how many words you can cut out.
  • Check to make sure you put commas before direct address in dialog.
  • The most mutilated verbs are lay, sink, drag, swim, and shine.
  • Flowery verbs such as quizzed, extrapolated, exclaimed, and interjected, stick out. Instead, use said and asked, with an occasional replied or answered.
  • When sentences begin with “it was” and “there were,” readers are left wondering exactly what “it” is. These words are vague. “It was hot today” can easily be replaced with “the sun baked his shoulders,” which paints a clearer picture. Think: strong nouns and verbs.
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    A good list of tips to help you with your re-writes.
John Lemke

The Smart Way to Use Other People's Audiences to Build Your Own - Copyblogger - 0 views

  • That’s the basic idea: Get in front of OPA, and then publish fantastic content so you can earn that audience’s respect and trust.
  • Interacting with others, sharing the content of others, and participating in communities are all great ways to generate attention and build an audience.
  • build an audience that is relevant to what you do
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  • If you get attribution links as a result of the guest post, then the site and page giving you the link will be closely matched to your site and the specific page receiving the link.
  • You are not a fit for every audience. Don’t worry about it. Pass on opportunities where you can’t bring the good stuff, and focus your energies in the places where you can.
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    As people often say regarding writing, "it is just as much about networking as it is working".  If you blog or write, these are some great ways to build your audience.
John Lemke

Do You Have an Editor-Repelling Email Address? | The Renegade Writer - 0 views

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    The same thing holds true for the email you use on your resume. "lazyboy@aol.com" for example is certainly not going to be your best first impression.
John Lemke

Freelancers' Questions: What if a client objects to my copyright clause? :: Freelance UK - 0 views

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    While this blog is UK specific, the situation could happen anywhere in the world. The key is "If you give up copyright, are you still able to showcase it as something you are the author of?"
John Lemke

Writer Unboxed » Day In, Day Out - 0 views

  • “Do you HAVE to do what you are doing right now?” I can almost always answer “no.” And the answer to the follow-up question, “Do you WANT to be doing what you’re doing right now?” is almost always yes.
John Lemke

The lazy person's guide to writing great copy - fast! » SEO Copywriting - 0 views

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    Some tips to keep your output rolling on schedule.
John Lemke

How to Write When You're Not a Writer - 0 views

  • The content on your website doesn’t need to appeal to a broad audience like print media does. It also doesn’t need to be on a broad topic. Quite the opposite, actually. Your website and social media content will be quite specific. And what’s more, unlike print media if you do make a mistake it only takes moments to correct. What’s not to love about that?
  • web content is also more conversational. Content is written to feel personal – as if you’re speaking directly to your audience
John Lemke

Three Tactics to Stop Letting Inspiration Rule You - 0 views

  • the muses are tempestuous and unreliable. Inspiration is demanding, pushy, and withholding in turns to keep us under their thumb.
  • the force of habit begins to take over, and your brain will respond by getting into writer mode in your designated writing time.
  • So when inspiration does hit, encourage it by taking swift action—write it down and store it somewhere safe.
John Lemke

Writer Unboxed » A 'Logic Model' for Author Success - 0 views

  • in this age of the “writer as an entrepreneur” responsible for a growing share of the work required to not only create but also sell a book, adding management skills to our repertoire of abilities is not at all a bad idea.
  • as launch time approaches, authors get overwhelmed by thinking that they have to do “everything:” Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, ad campaigns, bookstore talks, conference panels, media articles, email newsletters, book clubs…you name it.
  • what our goals are beyond sales
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  • Based on our mission and our definition of success, we can then work out a manageable set of steps to take in line with our specific interests and goals. We feel more in control and less anxious about having to “do it all.”
  • A more viable definition of success does have a quantitative element, but it doesn’t necessarily mean “number of copies sold or dollars earned.” It can mean other measurable outcomes such as landing a teaching job or a column in a respected publication.
John Lemke

The Ten Worst Pieces of Writing Advice You Will Ever Hear (and Probably Already Have) |... - 0 views

  • Take that advice beyond the beginning stages, though, and what you get are stories that really should move the reader but don’t, either because the emotions are all related from the outside or because the narrative doesn’t provide the sort of dense, information-rich substrata upon which complex characters are built.
  • Which leads me to my second point: Your story is about Gina, at forty, deciding whether or not to leave her boyfriend. Are you really going to spend half your story showing us Gina’s white-trash childhood in Elbridge, Michigan (a key bit of backstory)? Or are you just going to cut to the chase, provide a few key details, and move on?
  • But push this advice too far, and again, you’ll get stuck writing mediocre fiction. Because sometimes the things that don’t work are actually important. They don’t work not because they’re the wrong things, but because they’re the hard, ambitious, at-the-very-edge-of-what-you-even-know-how-to-say-things, and the only way to land them is to dig deeper, work harder, and sometimes even (god help you) add rather than cut.
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  • To keep advancing you have to stretch your limits. And sometimes that means writing from the point of view of someone who is super not you.
  • Language is your Swiss army knife, and you can’t do shit like this with just the knife and the corkscrew.
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    I must admit, I have heard most of these. However, I don't fully agree with all the points.
John Lemke

Top 10 Websites That Pay Upfront For Your Content | Grow Your Writing Business - 0 views

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    I don't necessarily agree with the rankings but I do actually get paid by a few on this list.
John Lemke

This One Tiny Habit Can Help You Become a More Productive (and Wealthier) Freelancer | ... - 0 views

  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
  • Not only did his book confirm for me that the best way to create a positive change is through small acts repeated daily, but the book was exceptionally well written and researched — impressive in that the author is not a professional writer — and so applicable to the many writers I meet who struggle with getting query letters out the door or writing big projects like books and novels.
  • There are two kinds of motivation. The first type is having a reason for doing something. My motivation for exercise is to look and feel healthy. My motivation for doing this interview is that you asked me to do it and I want to spread the word about mini habits. Unlike the next definition of motivation, your reason for doing things is generally very stable and changes very little over time. There’s also emotional motivation, which is rooted in enthusiasm and determines your willingness to take action in the moment (“This year I’m going to get in shape so I’m off to the gym!”). Most goal systems rely on this type of motivation; they’ll tell you that you need to find this motivation to succeed. The problem is that emotional motivation isn’t reliable or habit friendly.
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  • There’s a quote from Sun Tzu’s Art of War which sums up the Mini Habit system: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” By taking one small action a day—just one small behavior change—we start with a win. After that point, you’re free to do more.
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    The article talks about taking small steps to make a big difference.
John Lemke

SEO and content writing tips: Week ending March 4, 2014 » SEO Copywriting - 0 views

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    This is a good long list of links to other articles.
John Lemke

How I Make a Living as a Writer (and You Can, Too) - 0 views

  • If you sit down at a blank screen every day and simply do nothing then you are a writer. If you write one word, even better. Some people will disagree. Maybe you will disagree. That's fine. We also can all disagree. Meanwhile, our DNA is telling us we are pretty much exactly the same.
  • I try to read pieces or chapters in 3-4 books a day or more. I read at least from one non-fiction, one or two quality fiction, and one inspirational. I try to read at the level I want to write. I do this in the morning before I start writing.
  • Destroy every gatekeeper.
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  • Do what you want. Self-publishing simply means you write a book and you figure out how to get it into the hands of other people. It might just be you sell it on your email list. Congrats! You're then a published author. In my post "How to Self Publish a Bestseller" I write about the details and the numbers.
  • This seems opposite of what I said above. But blogging is not such a bad idea. How come? Because it makes you write every day. And it also is fun to build friends and community around your blog. But if you want to blog, don't just register a domain name and start blogging. You won't get any traffic.
  • There's a thousand ways to build community and practice writing on the Internet. Blog is one of them but there are many others. My #1 suggestion: first practice on Quora (cc Marc Bodnick) If you go there, follow me and say "Hi!".
  • If you don't write every day, you won't know what your potential skill level is. You will be producing sub-par work. And in a world where 15 million books will be published this year, your book will have little chance to shine.
  • Do the math: if you just write 1,000 words a day that are publishable then you have a book every two months. 1,000 words a day is not easy. But it's not hard either.
  • No. You used to be able to make a living writing articles. Just a few years ago. In 2005 I made a good living writing about 3-4 articles a day for different publications while I was running my fund and before I started and sold Stockpickr. But those days are over. People just don't pay for content. And there are too many writers. It's a supply and demand thing.
  • ou have to write more than one book. And for most people, you have to write dozens of books.
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    A great article of advice from a published author.
John Lemke

Self-Publishing Truism Bingo « terribleminds: chuck wendig - 0 views

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    A good read exploring the "publishing war" and self-publishing.
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