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beth mende conny graphic designer

How to find and work with a graphic designer

Looks matter. The design of our books, brochures, Web sites and stationery tells others who we are—personally and professionally. That’s why it’s critical that we find just the right graphic designer to create just the right image for our material. But where and how do we find such a talented soul? And what can we do, as clients, to keep our projects on track and within budget? As the founder of WriteDirections.com, I work with […]

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beth mende conny quotations

And You Can Quote Me: How to Incorporate Quotations in Your Writing

I don’t mind having others put words in my mouth—not when their words are witty, wise and succinct. Put another way: I love using quotes in my writing. I’ve been collecting quotes since I was a teen. My notebooks, computer files and bookshelves are filled with them. It’s no wonder then that more than half of the dozens of books I’ve published are quotation anthologies, original and otherwise. Quotes, I find, add depth and perspective […]

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Beth Mende Conny of the Write Directions Institute describes her class Self-Publishing: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

Ready to Self-publish? Follow These Five Guidelines

1. Identify why you’re self-publishing Your reasons for self-publishing will affect both your writing and final product. A book of family recipes, for example, may not take much time or skill to write. A definitive biography, on the other hand, may take months, more likely years, to research and write. Either way, you will need to examine your motives to determine if you are up to the task. But that’s just the beginning. You also […]

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beth mende conny time management

You DO Have Time to Write (and here’s how to find it)

So, you’ve got that Great American novel inside of you, just itching to get out … or that how-to book that will change the lives of millions … or that screenplay that would be perfect for Hollywood. Now all you need is the time to commit your words to paper. But where, how do you find it? Let me give you a hint: It’s right in front of you! Seriously. Time isn’t some mysterious, elusive […]

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beth mende conny bestseller

Want to Write a Bestseller? Heed This Advice

Before you write a bestseller, write a book. Before you write a book, write a chapter. Before you write a chapter, write some paragraphs. Before you write some paragraphs, know what you will say. Before you know what to say, pinpoint what you WANT to say. Before you pinpoint what you want to say, ask yourself why you want to say it. Before you ask yourself why you want to say it, listen to the […]

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ten ways to request and receive constructive criticism

10 ways to request — and receive — constructive criticism

1. Understand and recognize the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. The former may not make you comfortable, but it does make you think and ultimately act to improve your writing. The latter saps you of energy and confidence, setting up hurdles and blocks that slow or halt your personal or professional growth. Constructive criticism is to be embraced, destructive criticism is to be ignored. 2. Don’t ask if you’re not willing to accept. Criticism, […]

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beth mende conny writing space

A Writing Space of Your Own

When we talk about creating a writing space, we’re really talking about two kinds — a physical space and a mental space. You need both in which to work. Sure it would be great to have a fantastic office with a great view, but if you can’t keep others out of it or get yourself into it, it won’t do you much good. Let’s start then with mental space. You lay claim to it through […]

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Source: flickr Creative Commons

Shut Up and Listen! A Guide for Talkative Interviewers

Being able to listen is essential to your writing; ditto for making conversation. Here are some listening tips, many of which I’ve excerpted from my book The Confident Schmoozer. Keep Your Trap Shut It’s hard to do, of course. You’re one of the world’s most fascinating creatures, not to mention its most intelligent. You know everything about everything, be it politics, movies or the differences among coffee beans, and you gladly share that information with […]

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Beth Conny's 5 reasons you should self-publish

5 Reasons Why You Should Self-publish

1. You have something to say and don’t feel like keeping it to yourself. Call it stubbornness or drive, but you don’t want someone else to determine whether or not you speak, let alone when and to whom. That someone, of course, is a publisher. Publishers are not bad folks, however. Like all of us, they’re doing their job, and it’s a challenging one. Mergers, acquisitions, downsizing—all affect the industry. Add in soft sales, rising […]

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Beth Conny writes about sexist language and how to avoid it.

Safe Sex: How to avoid sexist language in your writing

Gone are the days when we referred to women as gals or by marital rank. No longer do we describe women as women doctors, pilots or athletes. Our language, at last, reflects our values … or at least political correctness. Or does it? Vestiges of the past still slip by. We’re all guilty. It takes time to break old habits and, for some of us, change our perception of others. The challenge is none the […]

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