danah boyd at the Writers on Writing about Technology roundtable at Yale University marking the publication of The Best Technology Writing 2009 (Yale University Press), to which boyd contributed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More on writing today. And today I’m sharing today’s email
from one of my favorite writers-copywriters, Bob Bly.
He notes below 5 good habits for writers:
1) Write every day
2) Read widely — and be a voraciou reader.
3) Take a writing course
4) Study the formats and media you write (or want to write) for
5) Always be learning
Now, I do not put anyone on a pedestal. A successful life takes
more than being really good at one thing. But as for writing and
copywriting, and internet marketing too — Bob is a success.
He consistently earns $500,000 or more every year. He works
very hard, and is very good.
So read and enjoy his tips for becoming and staying a really
“rockin'” writer OK!
Subscriber JW writes:
“Bob, I don’t know if you have done it yet, but writing about
more daily activities to keep improving your writing would be
good whether you’re seasoned or just starting out.”
That got me thinking: Are there in fact daily activities we
should be doing to improve our writing?
I came up with the following….
>> Write every day.
Mark Ford, Malcom Gladwell, and others say you have to do
something for 1,000 hours to get good at it and 10,000 hours to
become a master.
There are really only two ways to learn writing: write a lot and
read a lot. If you write an hour a day every day, it will take
you about 3 years to log in Gladwell’s thousand hours. Write 20
hours a week and you can do it in a year.
>> Read widely. With a few exceptions, most writers I know are
avid readers. They read fiction. They read nonfiction on a wide
variety of subjects. They read books, magazines, newspapers,
online newsletters, and blogs.
There are 2 reasons to be a voracious reader if you want to
improve your writing.
First, you are exposed to the writing styles of writers more
advanced in their careers than you.
Second, you acquire knowledge — facts and ideas you can use in
your own writing.
Read voraciously. Your nightstand and living room coffee table
should hold piles of books, magazines, and newspapers.
You will pick up all sorts of information that you store in your
subconscious and which your brain draws upon when it needs
content for you to write about.
I especially like books about writing because they reinforce your
good habits and give you tips and techniques you aren’t using but
>> Take a writing course. I took the same local writing course
twice, and doing so has been enormously beneficial to me.
The first time I took it I wrote essays for my homework
assignments, and they were eventually collected in a paperback
book by a mainstream publisher. I got a $20,000 advance, too.
The second time I took the writing course I wrote short stories
for my homework assignments. I combined these with other stories
I had written over the years and sold this book to a mainstream
publisher; it will be out early next year.
>> Study the formats and media you write for.
I do not use a spam filter because I want to see all the e-mail
advertising that’s sent to me. Reason: I write a lot of e-mail
and so constantly study the form.
If your writing specialty is white papers, go to www.bitpipe.com
where you can spend hours reviewing published papers.
If you are a catalog copywriter, the holiday season is like
Christmas every day for you, as your mail box is flooded with
great catalogs you can swipe ideas from.
>> Always be learning.
One of my copywriting niches is the chemical industry. So I
diligently read the monthly trade journal published by the
chemical engineering trade association.
The more you know about the topics you write about and the
markets you write for, the better your copy will be.
Copywriter / Consultant
Line art representation of a Quill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am a writer. I write a blog. I get writing gigs. I study, learn from and practice the art of a specialized kind of writing – copywriting – with famous copywriters.
Is it presumptuous to call myself a writer when I’ve never yet been published by a mainstream publisher? I don’t think so.
I’ve written two ebooks for an established writer who’s written 80+ books published by mainstream publishers. He gave me an A+ on my first effort. Told me I was “Good.” Yes, he said I was “Good.” And he writes for a living earning around $500,000 a year for his efforts. He meant it that I really am good – a good writer.
I know how to write. I’ve written professional sales reports/sales letters locally for a doctor and his clinic. I’ve been published in local magazines and newspapers.
I am a writer. No big deal right. And I guess I just wanted to share and state that today – as I have not been attending to my blog as regularly as usual.
FOLLOW AND KEEP UP WITH ME
If you want to follow what I’m doing, keep up with me, hear and see what I have to say about writing and other things – first visit my blog here, and sign up for my ezine. Also, I’m fairly active on Facebook: www.facebook.com/katherine.kay.71
I’m also on LinkedIn and Twitter; but not very much these days. Facebook is a better place to keep up with and find me.
I do a lot on Amazon – as I have a store and sell a lot on Amazon.
In conjunction with Amazon I use Pinterest. I use Pinterest a lot, and have a very active Pinterest presence, because I pin items I’m selling in my Amazon store. It brings attention to the items, and I sell a lot more. Pinterest is not so much about communication and messaging – but it’s still fun to see what our friends enjoy and the images they share.
I also re-pin a lot of inspirational, funny or make-you-think quotes I find – with images. I also promote a lot of books and reading materials – because I mostly sell books on Amazon. And I have a Pinterest board for Copywriting where I post information, images, helpful tips about copywriting, writing, and all things related to that.
English: Blogs on JoopeA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I haven’t blogged in over a month? I can’t believe this. Excuse? Why? I don’t know. I guess I was just too busy — and didn’t see the real need. Not good!!
I own a formula for internet marketing. If I or anyone keeps up with the formula consistently, we will have results. Takes a regular schedule though. Keep saying Hello. Keep talking with people.
Once upon a time…. I blogged nearly every day. Today I suggest 3x a week. But not a whole month, plus a couple of days. We must keep up with our blogs!
The reason? Blogs work. Readers visit and read what we have to say. You doubt it? Do not. Because if you were standing on a street corner and started talking to people passing by — they would listen. They would pay attention. They’d show some interest.
Yes, there’s a lot of traffic on the Internet. You have a message? Speak it. Talk it. Tell the world. You have a mission? a purpose? a service or product? Tell people. They will listen!
“Quarters of the news editor”, one a group of four photos in brochure Seattle and the Orient (1900) collectively captioned “The Seattle Daily Times—Editorial Department.” This is part of a long section on The Seattle Daily Times, publisher of the brochure/booklet. The newspaper is now known simply as the Seattle Times. In 1900, the Times offices were in the Boston Block on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and Columbia Street. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did you know that there are 3 to 5 levels of editing?
So, someone calls me up and says they are writing a book. They’ve typed it all into their phone. (; Yes, there phone!
They’re hoping and thinking it may get picked up for a movie, or a book publisher, and they’re looking forward to seeing it on the big screen or displayed at Barnes & Noble.
I say to my friend, “OK — may I see what you have?” “Sure!” they say. And they send several emails of the document over to me.
The first thing I see is that there’s so much basic cleaning up they can do themselves. Grammar tenses are off – English actually is the second language for this writer. That’s OK.
But…. the fellow should at least have a girlfriend or someone clean it up just a bit …. you know the easy stuff. Why pay my editing prices to just make it look nice and read a little better?
So before I go into the Levels of Editing and then ghostwriting on this blog after that……
Remember there’s a lot you can do on your own up front before you ever even talk to an editor – and it will save you a lot of money.
Take the time to read your transcript over and make it read as good as you can. Do a word spell check!
You may even find after you go over it again – that the plot, structure or flow has gaps or missing pieces. Get it right before calling the editor. If you don’t the editor will need to help you re-arrange the entire story at high editing fees costs.
So clean up the work, do a word spell, re-arrange, strengthen characters, throw out others. Do your best! It will save you a lot of money. And then the editor can focus on the Levels of Editing and using their skills – and it will be more than worth the cost.
Later, we will get into what some of the levels of editing are.