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‘Writing is all about rewriting, which means you’ve got to get something down.’

Essential writing tips from author, writing coach Chip Scanlan:

Steps for Managing Your Stories

  • Lower your standards.
  • Get something down.
  • Swallow the bile that rises in your throat when you write a first draft.
  • Print out early.
  • Read aloud.
  • Apply very critical standards.

“Print out early” is my favorite. Your writing always looks different on paper.

Another tip I recommend is publishing a draft to a Kindle device or Smartphone/Tablet. It’s like looking at your work with a fresh pair of eyes.

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The Fear of Bad Reviews

There’s an erroneous comment on my book page on Amazon which is negatively impacting my sales.

The person obviously misread the book, if even opened it up at all.  

I originally ignored the rating.  And then I responded to the feedback with some comments.  And after it itched me some more, I researched the Internet to see if it was possible to get rid of a false review.  

Apparently you can’t delete false reviews, nor will Amazon take them down upon request.  

But at least I stumbled upon some practical reminders about creating and publishing art.

If you fear negative reviews, you shouldn’t publish.

And this one:  

Anyone that creates a piece of art, in any medium (painting, sculpture, music, film, the written word), and decides to put their art out on display for all the world to see, has to take the good with the bad. Some people might love it, some people might hate it, some people might feel indifferent toward it, but they are all entitled to their opinions.

Everyone has their own perspective, their own bias, their own attention, and is responsible for their own actions.  

I refuse to let the fear of criticism prevent me from publishing again.  My second book will be out next month.  Bring it. 

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Cheers To Print!

Apparently reading a print magazine or printed book means you’re a ‘serious’ reader.

Even highly touted authors like Seth Godin proclaim that books are simply better.

Nostalgia and a fear of technology seem to be buttressing the print market.

But when you show someone a magazine or book an Kindle or iPad, not just how to flip between pages, but how to easily save highlighted text and imagery, take screenshots, scribe notes, and share feedback it changes perception.

All of a sudden technology looks more like a benefit rather than a bane to books.  No need to stuff away pounds of papers into briefcases.  One device with books, magazines, and newspapers on it is all you need.

I love the feel and smell of books.  But digital print just makes way more sense, not to mention we save trees and we can easily store our favorites forever.

I do, however, want to build my first office surrounded by books.  They’re like trophies of the past, providing inspiration in the present moment.

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The Durability of Blogs

Blogs get a bad rap.  The perception is that micro-blogging and real-time reporting obviate them. 

So here are three reasons why blogs aren’t going to all of a sudden disappear into irrelevancy as a platform for creation and consumption:  

  1. Some people want to own their own self expression domain.  For bloggers and creators, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are outlets to spread the word about content on their blog.  These social networks are valuable marketing drivers. 
  2. Despite the decreased attention span of the digital age, people will still give you their attention to consume quality content.  Originality is key but bloggers can also be a source for awesome curation. Tumblr is a great platform for demonstrating that expertise.  
  3. Using social channels as a blog host is like using social channels for sales.  Social platforms are meant for conversation and building relationships.  They are the engagement glue that sparks interest in product.  You still need to visit a blog or an e-commerce site to own something and get all the perks.  

Blogging is about control.  Facebook and Twitter can’t monetize your content without your permission.  Create a website or an online store because whatever it is, owning something makes your responsible for shipping.