Monday, January 11, 2016

The Top Five: Best Writing-Related Articles from January 4-8

5. "5 Easy Tips for Dealing with Email" on Romance University (Kayelle Allen)

Link: http://bit.ly/1OYyAAL

Maybe your New Year's goals or resolutions include slimming down everywhere, not just so you can wear clothes a size or two smaller. Is email taking over your life? Do you feel more beholden to your inbox than to your family, friends, or writing? Time to make an adjustment. Start with these five practical tips for how to rein in that inbox.

What do you do to manage your email so it doesn't manage you?

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4. "Want to Speak at Writing Conventions? How to Write a Great Pitch" on The Write Life (Arin Black)

Link: http://bit.ly/1Z7sgwe

What do you need to know or be or do to start speaking at writing conventions and conferences? For starters, you need to tailor your approach from the word go because first impressions really do make a tremendous difference. Read this author's tips for crafting a pitch that will get your name in the ring the next time a conference coordinator needs a presenter.

Have you ever presented at a writing conference or convention? How was your experience? What would you do differently in the future?

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3. "Most Common Mistakes Series, Pt. 47: Ineffective Setting Descriptions" on Helping Writers Become Authors (K.M. Weiland)

Link: http://bit.ly/1Ovm2F0

When is description in a novel unhelpful or unproductive? Probably about the time that you start skipping over it, or skimming through it, if you're me and you're reading a novel. So how do you keep your readers from doing that with your writing? Weiland offers expert insight into correcting the problem and making sure that your setting descriptions do their fair share of the work.

Some authors love description. Some authors abhor it. Where do you land? Why?

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2. "Improve Your Writing Platform (or Author Platform) in 30 Days" on the There Are No Rules blog at WritersDigest.com (Robert Lee Brewer)

Link: http://bit.ly/1kW5sSQ

If 2016 is your year to either create or better your platform, then Brewer's thirty-day challenge is the place to start. From branding yourself to defining your goals to joining select social media as a way to connect with your potential audience, his recommendations are broken down into (heard of setting SMART goals?) measurable, attainable, specific, bite-sized steps that you can take, one per day, until you've got a platform to be proud of.

What step(s) will you take, right now, to improve your platform?

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1. "Personal Branding: Why You Should Start an Email Newsletter" on The Write Life (Meryl Williams)

Link: http://bit.ly/1Ph509Q

Your personal brand is what will sell your books, your classes, your workshops, your blog, your social media presence ... everything. It's about how people see you, and what they associate with you, far beyond the most basic "Nora Roberts writes romances" sort of association. I couldn't resist including this second post from The Write Life in this week's lineup. What could an email newsletter do for your brand?

Do you have an email newsletter? If so, does it reflect you as you want to be known? If not, why not?

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As always, comments and questions are more than welcome. I hope everyone is settling into his or her new year routines!

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