Firm up flabby prose

How to Firm Up Flabby Prose

Want to be a lean, mean, writing machine? Then put your words on a diet. Here are some great suggestions for cutting flab, firming muscle and punching up your prose. Learn to strip Brilliant as your prose may be, you likely can toss a word or two … or three or twenty. Be brutal. Strip away the extraneous until your sentences go buck naked. They can then, like streakers, zip across your page. Remember the […]

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Gain Subscribers to Your Newsletter

Newsletters have great appeal—to a limited number of subscribers. But that’s okay. A limited number can be substantial; it can even run into the millions. To gain subscribers, you must focus on their wants and needs. Follow these five steps. 1. Narrow your scope Newsletters differ from mass market magazines and newspapers in that they appeal to a very specific, narrowly targeted audience. The narrower your focus, the greater your depth. That’s because you provide […]

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Beth Mende Conny of Write Directions and writes about how writers need to avoid negative voices and criticism.

Beware of Pestimists

Pestimists are those pesty, pessimistic voices that make us question our actions and dreams. They play in the background of our lives, like Muzak—barely noticeable yet incredibly potent. The messages they deliver vary from person to person; however, the words they use often go something like this: You can’t write. No one cares about what you have to say. You have to be an expert to write a book. You’re wasting your time on a […]

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Beth Mende Conny of Write Directions discusses how to write a good book title.

How to Write a Good Title for Your Book

The first sentence of your book is not what grabs your readers’ attention — it’s your title. Dull titles say to readers, “This book (yawn) is about love/losing weight/preschoolers/using computers/paintings/stuff, etc.” What a sales pitch! What you need is a title that draws the eye, tugs on heartstrings, offers hope and entertainment, and promises to make it worth someone’s time and money to read. Here are great approaches you should consider taking: Note: You can […]

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Beth Mende Conny of Write Directions and Lifenicity write about the need to write and how to share your love.

Becoming a Writer Is Not a Choice

Enough of the handwringing. No more of the moans. It’s time to do what you must do—write. Here’s why: The urge to write is physical and demands a physical response You can feel your ideas swell like the tide. The words are fast behind. They long to find land, the page. You alone can bring them to shore and hold them like a shell to your ear. And when you they whisper, “Let me become,” […]

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Beth Mende Conny of Write Directions shares news about her mother, Judy Korotkin, being profiled in USA Today.


Wow! My 87-year-old mom, Judy Korotkin, was in USA Today! An article about cool stuff folks were doing in their retirement. She’s writing poetry. Pretty inspiring, and not just because she’s my mom–the fact that she’s been so prolific. Hope I can say the same when I reach her age.

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Article about writing and publishing a newspaper or magazine column written by Beth Mende Conny, author and president of Write Directions.

Become a Columnist: 10 Key Steps

Columns are a great way to share information and ideas, promote your business and philosophy, and have some fun in the process. But that’s just part of their appeal. They also help you develop your “voice” and writing muscle, so you can move more confidently toward equally ambitious projects, be they articles or books. How do you create—and market—a winning column that attracts a loyal following? Read on! 1. Understand the genre. Shorter than most […]

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Here's how to prepare your print bid. Use the tips from James Hersick of Rocketfuel Design Company and Beth Mende Conny of Write Directions, who will be team-teaching the class "Self-publishing: From Inspiration to Publication."

Printing bid worksheet

If you’re thinking of self-publishing, print out this handout. It was developed by James Hersick, president and creative director of Rocketfuel Design Company. He developed it for the self-publishing class we are team-teaching this Saturday, April 12, 9 am to noon. My experience shows that clients often panic when it comes to pricing out their books. The process is pretty straightforward, actually, especially if you view the handout. It’s one of several he created for […]

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Beth Mende Conny and James Hersick of Rocketfuel Design will be teaching "Self-publishing: From inspiration to publication" on Sat., April 12, 9-12 at Cowork Frederick in Frederick, MD.

Self-Publishing: From inspiration to publication

This Saturday, April 12! 9 am – 12 pm Cowork Frederick, Frederick MD $69 Register! Self-publishing is no longer fringe publishing, undertaken by wannabees who couldn’t otherwise get published. Rather, thanks to technology and the Internet, it has moved into the mainstream, allowing aspiring authors to say: “I don’t need your permission to get my message out.” Consider: the number of self-published books jumped 59 percent from 2011 to 2012. Self-publishing has advantages: You’re in […]

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