I’m on a Mac, use Time Machine for backup and have four external hard drives, some off site. That probably seems like overkill. (Actually, now that I’m reading this, it really is overkill.) But if you’ve ever had an external drive die on you or suddenly hear clicking coming from one, you can get a bit paranoid. Sounds horrid, but I’m expecting one of these babies to keel over any minute. Thinking about my files and […]
I’ve heard that more people fear public speaking than they do death. I don’t know if this is true, but I do know that all of us, like comics, fear dying on stage. And therein lies the problem: We think we have to make people roll in the aisles. But really, our task is easier. We just have to be helpful. Here’s why: Our audience is egocentric People attend speeches and/or presentations because they have […]
Be inclusive When writing for the Web, use simple terms and phrasing that everyone will understand. When in doubt, leave it out (or reword). Know your audience Be inclusive, yes, but know your audience. Just as people in different countries speak different languages, so do visitors to your Web site. Age, sex, educational level — all influence word choice. Purge jargon Jargon turns simple concepts into complicated ones. It’s unimaginative, even lazy and adds flab […]
NOTE: I wrote this piece years ago, when my daughter was a babe and I was syndicating “Sunshine,” my parenting column. Ah, the memories it revives — eeek!! I’m a mom who works at home. For those who think I’m being redundant — what mom doesn’t work at home? — let me be specific: I work for a living in my living room. It’s not exactly an executive suite. There are blocks and rattles where […]
I LOVE these “Sprout Leaf Book Marks”, which were a gift from my daughter. Put them inside the pages of a book and when you open to your page, voila, they pop up. You can also use them in a more traditional way, of course. If you do, remember to wedge them between the pages because they’re quite small. It’s pretty wonderful to hold a book upright and see this sweet little plant sticking up. […]
Writing is a business, like any other. You may not have a storefront or factory, but you produce a product, be it a book, a screenplay, or series of articles. It’s critical then to have a business plan to help you achieve success. 1. Identify your product. What do you intend to produce? A book, article, series of promotional pamphlets? A service by which you enrich, encourage, inform others through the written word? Be as […]
Do you have a heart? One of those trusty tickers folks carry around with them? That heart got you here today, you know. To this site and article. It also got you up this morning, helped you wash and dress and head out the door. And that was just for starters. The heart is an incredible piece of machinery, allowing you to do zillions of things. You couldn’t live without it. What a shame then […]
As writers, we have ties to the world beyond our projects. We work full or part-time, have families and other social responsibilities. We are part of a community, and with this comes a whole set of duties and responsibilities. It’s important that we meet them. By doing our fair share, we support others and they, in turn, support us. It’s a win-win situation for you, others and your writing.
Advice to procrastinators You don’t need long periods of time in which to write. In fact, long periods can be problematic, even detrimental to your work. For two reasons: 1) They are more difficult to schedule; and 2) It’s difficult to stay focused beyond a certain number of hours (and sometimes even minutes. Therefore, play with different-sized blocks. Start small and build up to get a sense of what your optimal-sized block might be.