How to Innovate

Happy accidents can set you off into new and dynamic directions, but intentionality is also a path forward and one more in your control. Consider this example. Music-video maker Chris Milk had begun to feel his medium, which includes YouTube, was stale, when he met up with web star Aaron Koblin who was also frustrated […]

11 Ways to Improve your Writing

1. Writers tell stories. That’s what the job requires. Self-expression, money, acceptance, fame, catharsis, purpose, might supply your inner drive, but they aren’t essential to the job of writing. 2. Don’t use twenty words when ten will do. Not sure what to take out? Ask yourself if a word, a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, […]

The Writer and Frustration

Has it been a day for you? Banging your head against the wall?  Oh well. Take heart. It comes with the territory.  And it isn’t all bad. Here’s a plan for managing frustration: 1. Frustration can be a prelude to a creative breakthrough. There will be times when you’ll feel you’ve had enough, and so […]

Pick a Decent Title, and Move On

Titles are a variation on names. And names, as we all know, can set destiny. Whether you’re naming a book, story, essay, blog, or post, you’ll find a good title. You just have to prime the pump, let the backwater gush, and wait for the clear, clean answer to emerge. Here’s how it went, for […]

The Writer and the Restless Mind

Which came first: the restless mind or the writing life? For this writer anyway, it was a mind like a swollen river that cascades with a ceaseless vengeance down a steep and rocky decline.  It refused to settle down and behave already. And it remains ever so. A romantic looks at this all-powerful surge, the […]

Where’s Your Story Going?

As I’ve written before in this blog, a pair of magnificent ospreys took up an unlikely residence on the power pole at a key intersection in my town, built a huge stick nest, and then another when the power people took the first one down. The ospreys set up housekeeping, one bird keeping a vigil […]

Why Do We Write?

Why do we write? Respect, income, and the desire for perpetuity come to mind. One of the most prevalent answers is likely: because we must. We are writers. It’s more than what we do. It’s who we are. But there are reasons within the reasons, and these can be as individual as each of us. […]

Long Live . . . Our Work

I have a thing for the royals, an interest my British friends find despicable, but I like the fairy tale elements. It’s not just the wash of beauty and glitter that draws me but the instructive parts. Here’s a recent example: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, nee Middleton, known as Kate, walked down the aisle of […]

How to Find your Brand

Finding your brand—voice, approach, look, message, identity—is not as hard as some make out. Rather, it’s a question of gathering lots of data. That’s first. And then, analyzing it with an open mind. One small concrete example is provided by this blog. When I started, my mission was to address any and all things related […]

A Daily Rhythm

You have a working life, and another life. For this writer, anyway, it’s really best if the two don’t merge or things get muddy, neither side of a day managed with the crisp efficiency I prefer. Real life, it seems, is a raucous, wild, wonderful, tragic, crazy thing with ups and downs that can curl […]

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