Today, 30 MILLION pieces of content flow onto the Web, each and every day. That’s a LOT of content. You, I, and every other writer has to compete with that for attention. As we said in Professional Writing Going Forward to 2015, professional writing is changing. If you want to make a great income from your writing, you need to become much more entrepreneurial.
The Free Content Library helps new writers to get up to speed on the world of writing as it is in 2014, and in 2015 and beyond. Eventually, we’ll have many ebooks in the library for you to download, and put to use. You can download the first two ebooks now. My hope is that they’ll arm you to develop a real writing business.
Mostly, I read on my iPad. I use Flipboard, and if I find something I want to post to social media, I can do it right away. Alternatively, I can save an item to Pocket, and read it and share it later.
If I’m having lunch at my computer (yep, bad habit), I read social media on my iPad. It’s relaxing. Later, in Pocket on my Mac, I can tag items, send them to any social media network I choose, or I can send articles to Evernote. Of course, I can just delete an article too.
I create a lot of content, of many different types, every day. So I tend to jump on any tool which might make creation easier. Your mileage will vary. I test and discard lots of tools, but that’s OK. Creating content consistently is a real challenge, so any tool which helps with that is a worthwhile investment.
Currently, my favorite tools include…
Evernote. Always. It’s always open, and I do a lot of writing in Evernote. It means I can write on my phone or tablet, and add ideas as they come to me.
Scrivener. Invaluable. Don’t know where I’d be without it.
Ember. (Mac) A recent acquisition. For research, as well as to check what assets have been created, and need to be created for a project.
When you’re working on a project, think about how you could promote it on social media. No, you can’t just tweet: buy my book! Well, you could. Then later, you can complain that social media is useless.
Grab little quotables from the text, and save them on a spreadsheet. You’ll need them later. Gather some images you can use in your social media campaign for the content: snap photos, or source images from the Web. I shouldn’t need to say this, but: assume that ALL images on the Web are under copyright. The only images you can find and safely use on the Web, are the ones clearly marked “Creative Commons.” Even then, read the restrictions on how you can use each image.
Yosemite, the new Mac OS X is here. When it was announced yesterday, I promised myself that I’d wait a month before updating. Updating is always risky; if your most-used programs haven’t been upgraded to work with the new OS, you’re stuck.
“Yosemite announced, wait a month before upgrading” — that’s what I wrote in my bullet journal. Then I looked at the features, and noticed Handoff. I could start creating a presentation, and could finish it on my iPad.
I’m no artist. If you’re like me, and nevertheless want to create graphics for your Kindle book covers, your blog, and your website, I’m sure you know all about Canva. Here’s what’s new: Canva for your iPad.
Here’s Canva’s blog post announcing the new app. I love the idea of creating images for social media, right on your iPad. No more excuses, you can create images for Twitter and Facebook while you’re sitting on your sofa, watching a movie.
I haven’t downloaded the app yet; however, I’ll make time to do it on the weekend.
Your writing career can switch from busted to booming in the blink of an eye.
When your own personal dark night of the soul hits you – and it will – here are some rules to follow.
Rule 1: Keep Writing
If no one wants what to have to offer, their loss. Keep writing anyway. You don’t need anyone’s permission to write.
If your rejections mean that you’ve stopped writing, take a break from it. If you can afford it, take a three-week vacation. If not, take a mini-break. Call up your dear great-aunt who lives on the beach, and invite yourself to stay for a few days. If your family commitments mean you can’t get away on your own, have a family day out. Changing your location can change your mood and mindset.
I had lunch while reading social media, and found this gem from Hugh Howey, Group Hug.
Had to snicker at this one:
3) It will end your writing career if you self-publish.
Actually, it’s just as likely to start your writing career. A friend of mine just sold his self-published book to a Big 5 publisher for several hundred thousand dollars. It may have been true at one time that publishers only looked at material if it had never been published anywhere else before, but that was laid to rest a long time ago. The stigma is gone within publishing houses. 50 Shades of Grey selling a bazillion copies changed all that.
Yes, it’s fascinating that all the “you’ll be ruined!” screams about self-publishing have died down. Now the screamers just bash Amazon. (Sigh.)
If you’ve been reading these writing journal entries, you know that I’m a big fan of planning and scheduling.
Everything I do is scheduled, otherwise I’d never get anything done. Left to myself, I’d dither around, reading books on my Kindle app, and messing around on social media.
Scheduling is vital, no matter what kind of business you’re in. Creative people tend to fight the idea of scheduling, until they experiment with it. It’s usually a revelation. We like to think that we can’t access our creativity on demand. We can.
Your Goals: What’s Your Primary Goal for Your Website?
If you’ve read my writing journal entries, you’ll know that I’ve been procrastinating on my new site. I keep changing my mind about the elements I want.
It occurred to me that it’s been a while since I set up a site for myself, and that the process: goals, planning and organization, would be a good topic for a series of articles. Today, anyone, no matter how inexperienced, can set up a site. However, if you don’t know what your goals are, your website won’t achieve what you want it to do.
Think on the page: it helps you to become a better writer
I’m always telling my writing students: “you’re a BETTER writer than you think you are; and — you’re over-thinking this.” Then I advise them to think on the page, because not only will they get started writing and keep going, they’ll also get fresh inspiration.
Big tip: inspiration happens while you’re writing.
So, in ALL my writing, whether I’m writing an advertising spiel, a blog post, or a novel, I think on the page. This means that I end up with lots of what I call “junk”. It’s the equivalent of paper notes which you ball up and toss over your shoulder when you’re done.
Evernote Essentials – Brett Kelly’s excellent book. I’ve skimmed most of it; even if you’re an Evernote veteran, it’s useful to scan it occasionally to see what you’re missing. There’s so much in Evernote it can seem overwhelming at first — this is why I say, just dump everything in there. :-)
“I’ve been using Evernote wrong” – a great Lifehacker article, which discusses the Web clipper (essential), saved searches and tags, and more. The article points out that the more you have in Evernote, the better it becomes. Very true. The Related Notes feature surfaces articles I’ve long forgotten, because I’ve been using Evernote since 2009.