Personal deadlines: Beth Mende Conny explains the pros and cons.

Setting personal deadlines: pros and cons

Next time you think of setting personal deadlines, think again. They have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. First the Cons: Deadlines are a smokescreen, a way to trick yourself into believing you’re doing something to achieve a goal. Trouble is, you should have been doing that something all along. That you haven’t, signals an underlying block. If you don’t address it, you’ll be setting deadlines forever and making little progress. Deadlines are unnecessary. Not everything […]

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Funny headlines posted by Beth Conny of Write Directions. These will convince you of the importance of editing your work!

Funny headlines (that aren’t funny if you’re the one writing them)

  — Include Your Children When Baking Cookies — Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Experts Say — Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers — Drunks Get Nine Months in Violin Case — Iraqi Head Seeks Arms — Is There A Ring Of Debris Around Uranus? — Prostitutes Appeal to Pope — Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over — British Left Waffles On Falkland Islands — Teacher Strikes Idle Kids — Clinton Wins Budget; […]

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Beth Conny of Write Directions on how to choose the best idea for your book or other writing project.

Spring Cleaning: Clearing out your idea closet

If you’re like most writers, you have dozens of ideas for books, articles, plays, etc. Although you’ve yet to act on them, you swear you will one day. Meanwhile, you add to the pile on a daily and weekly basis. The result: a cluttered mental closet. What a mess! Isn’t it time you did some spring cleaning? Here’s an exercise to guide you through the process. 1. Make an inventory of what’s in your closet. […]

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Yeti Blue mic for podcasting -- reviewed by Beth Conny of

Yeti podcasting mic

My new toy: a Yeti USB professional microphone (see below) that hooks up to my laptop. Even I could master it (no joke; new equipment scares me). All I did was launch GarageBand, plug the mic in and I was ready to do the voice-over for my client. If you’re thinking of doing podcasts — as I am — this is the way to go. It does stereo, omnidirectional (sounds come in from all sides; […]

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Beth Mende Conny's laptop and pen.

6 things every writer needs

I’ve been writing ever since I first learned to form letters on a page. I went “pro” some 20 years ago and have learned much about my craft and self in the process. I know, for example, that I must have certain things in my life if I am to succeed. Let me share some of them with you. 1. A reason to write I write because I have to, because the urge is almost […]

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How to write email article by Beth Mende Conny.

12 tips for writing effective emails

Over the years I’ve written thousands of emails. Although none has won a Pulitzer, each, incrementally, has taught me how to communicate more effectively. Hoping to flatten your learning curve, here’s some friendly advice. 1. Become a poet Some define poetry as the best possible usage of the least possible words. Think then of your emails as poems. Don’t be dramatic or flowery, of course, but do use simple, easy-to-understand language; the fewer the syllables, […]

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Beth Conny and Cowork Frederick - The Collaboration Room is a great place to meet.

Workshops, Me-shops

I’ve been writing since I was seven and publishing since my twenties. During that time I’ve taken numerous workshops on how to write query letters and proposals, short stories and novels. I did so to learn more about my craft. I’d never taken one to learn more about myself. That changed three weeks ago. I was at my computer, fingers scrambling to make yet another deadline, when a line came to me, a lovely, magical […]

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daily lesson beth mende cony

Take to the seas

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic. — Unknown Not all writing projects require an expert’s background or touch. All, however, must take to the seas, to go with and, if need be, against the flow if they are to arrive at a distant yet inviting shore.

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beth mende conny support system cheerleader write directions

A Writer’s Guide to Building a Support System: Find Cheerleaders

We all need cheerleaders in our lives, especially when we enter uncharted territory. As writers, we make this territory our home for extended periods of time, and so our need for supporters is especially high. But how do we find these key individuals? Follow these five steps: #1 — Take inventory Make a list of all the people in your life: family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues … everyone. You’d be surprised by how many people […]

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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, I work with […]

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