Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, October 18-22, 2012

Go on the road for a few days and the Great Stuff (and laundry) starts to pile up. So much that I’ve decided to put out a bonus Great Stuff post tomorrow. (The laundry’s already taken care of.) Today I’ll focus on articles on craft and the writer’s life. Tomorrow will be all business. Here we go.

CRAFT

I’ll confess right up front that I’m no fan of writing prompts and exercises—I’m BUSY, dammit!—so when Jane Friedman posted 3 Steps for Using Prompts to Writer Better & Get Published by Gabriela Pereira (@DIYMFA), I was a bit dubious. OK, more than a bit. But Gabriela’s approach is practical: use writing prompts to build writing stamina through practice, improve your skill at specific techniques, then apply what you’ve learned to a project. If you’re not sure about using writing prompts, give the post a look and the suggestions a try.

Characters’ emotions are at the heart of fiction, so David Farland’s (@davidfarland) Surprising Emotions: How Will Your Character React? on The Bookshelf Muse immediately grabbed my attention. Even better, his article offers three surprising (to the reader) ways of presenting emotion. The surprises are having the character: under-react, over-react, or react the “wrong” way. Used with care, these reactions will reveal something interesting or important about a character, and readers are always up for that.

James Scott Bell’s (@jamesscottbell) Baloney Advice Writers Should Ignore on The Kill Zone shouldn’t just raise a smile—or an out-loud laugh—it should clear away the fog of bad (or at least questionable) advice that gets handed out to new writers. Check out his five bad pieces of advice and the counterexamples that prove them wrong.

CRAFT AND LIFE

I decided to use that subhead because these next two pieces live on that boundary between a writer’s craft and his or her life.

Anna Elliott (@anna_elliott) gets us started by Exploding the Perfect Writer Myth on Writer Unboxed. We’ve all run into it, probably, particularly from non-writers: the belief that a writer’s words come out as perfect pearls perfectly strung the first time we put them down on paper or screen. HA! Worse, of course, is the new writer who believes that’s what he’s just done. That’s a painful critique group meeting! But the flip side, as Elliott points out, is that nagging, secret belief that we should produce those perfect pearls each time. That’s why, she says, it’s so important to love the revision process.

So you got the darn thing DONE and it’s out there in reader-land. KM Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) thoughts about How to Tell if Your Book Is a Success on WORDplay center around each writer’s personal definitions of success and failure. Her 14 questions just begin to scratch the surface of the topic, focused as they are on ratings and money, but they’re a place to start the conversation—one that’s good to have before that book comes out.

THE WRITER’S LIFE

Dr. Rita Hancock (@ritahancockmd) addresses preventing a problem that many writers have to deal with: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on WordServe Water Cooler. She covers the symptoms, diagnostics (which don’t sound like any fun at all), treatments, and most important, how to prevent the condition in the first place. Hint: it has to do with sitting position, arm angles, and keyboard height. Sound complex? It’s not. Check it out.

Finally, Harvey Stanbrough (@h_stanbrough) suggests 12 Ways to Make Your Critique Group Effective. Twelve may sound like a lot but a few are one-time-only actions and the rest become automatic parts of how the group runs quickly. Practical and effective.

That’s all for today. What Great Stuff have you found? Share it in the comments below.

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Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, October 13-15, 2012

YIKES! Where has the day gone? Well, that’s what happens when you drive 45 minutes one way for a 30 minute radio interview—and lunch with writer friends first, of course. Oh, and there were errands to run, too. Of course.

But that’s not getting this post written! It’s been a value-packed weekend and Monday, so let’s get to the Great Stuff, shall we?

CRAFT

Harvey Stanbrough (@h_stanbrough) reprises a July piece containing his Top 10 Steps to Proofreading Your Own Work. Ones I hadn’t heard before: check long words for omitted vowels; check words for omitted suffixes like –ed and –s; know which words have double vowels and which don’t. And my #1 all-time this is really important one: read your work out loud.

NaNoWriMo

Didn’t I tell you there’d be lots of articles leading up to the National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo? Here are two more:

James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) offers his suggestions for How to Write a Novel in a Month on The Kill Zone. He (of course) suggests starting with a week of planning using his LOCK method: Lead (who is it?), Objective (what is it?), Confrontation (the antagonist), Knock-Out Ending (you want one). The ending may change—probably will—but having one to work toward is vital to getting started, even if you’re a “pantser.”

Meanwhile, over at Writer Unboxed, Martha Alderson (@plotwhisperer) advises you to Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo. With a Twitter handle like hers and books like The Plot Whisperer already published, this is no surprise, but her take is to lay out the plot week by week: character introduction and story start in week 1 (or The End of the Beginning), character explores the exotic world of the middle of the book in week 2 (the Recommitment), character faces major challenges in week 3(the Crisis), big finish in week 4 (the Climax).

SOCIAL MEDIA

We’ll head off to the business side of the business with another stop at Writer Unboxed, where Nina Badzin (@NinaBadzin) begins a monthly series on simplifying Twitter. Episode 1: Be a Person, Not a Brand. Her 3 quick tips: have a picture of your face as your avatar; write an inviting, writer-oriented but still human, bio; NO automatic messages! Pop on over to get the details.

BUSINESS

Today’s business posts all have to do with attitude and expectations.

Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) leads off with Big Dreams vs. Realistic Expectations. She notes the contradictory advice writers get: on the one hand to dream big, on the other to keep their expectations realistic. Her take on this is to be persistent about pursuing those dreams but to manage and control your negative emotions when things don’t go well—which they will at times. Managing your emotions, Rachelle suggests, is the way to keeping your train on its tracks and headed toward your dream destination.

So, how do you deal with that negative emotion of self-doubt? Jon Bard (@CBIClubhouse) offers 5 Ways for Writers to Blast Through Self-Doubt. There’s #3: The Pimple Rule—don’t worry about what other people think of yours; everyone else is worried about theirs. And #2: Ignore the Haters. Check out all 5.

OK, so the book’s done, it’s about to be published. It’s time for you big book launch. Are you ready? Are you planning to do things that sound great—but aren’t? Publicist MJ Rose lists on Buzz, Balls & Hype 11 Things Not to Do Before Your Book Launch. Like: don’t assume people are going to just rush out and buy a book they’ve never heard of, or don’t spend more than 10% of your marketing/PR budget on a trailer. How does she know not to do these things? Because she’s done them all. If you’re getting close to launch time, be sure to check out this post.

This week we welcome Dean Wesley Smith (@DeanWesleySmith), best-selling author and husband of Kristine Kathryn Rusch to the Great Stuff fold with his post The New World of Publishing: Maybe You Wrote a Good Book. Really! Maybe you did. But if you did, you probably got there with an attitude of being hungry to learn the craft and become a better storyteller. But the only way to know for sure is to put your work out there, learn, if possible, from the rejections, and KEEP WRITING.

But what if your book isn’t selling. Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn) lists 10 Questions You Need to Answer Honestly if You Want to Sell More Books. A lot of the questions and answers in this long post seem like they should be obvious—has you book been professionally edited, has it been submitted to the right e-book store categories—but others, and the answers to all, are worth the time and study.

Whew! That’s a lot of Great Stuff. What Great Stuff have you found? Share it in the comments.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, September 29-October 1, 2012

Lots of Great Stuff showed up over the weekend, so let’s get right to it.

CRAFT

One of the on-going problems I see with the new writers in my writers’ group is punctuation. This isn’t a “kids today don’t know how to…” rant, in part because some of these writers haven’t been kids for a while. Harvey Stanbrough (@h_stanbrough) provides a one-post summary of most of what writers need to know in Punctuation for Writers. Here’s the one-phrase summary of  the summary: it’s all about the pause. Check it out.

I announced a while back that Angela Ackerman (@AngelaAckerman) and Becca Puglisi (@beccapuglisi) of The Bookshelf Muse were starting yet another thesaurus, this one on physical attributes. Their first sample from this one, Hands, appeared over the weekend. If you haven’t checked out any of their thesauri, take a look at this entry. It’ll grab you.

BUSINESS

Jael McHenry’s (@jaelmchenry) Show Me the Baby on Writer Unboxed starts out with what seems like a rant but its real focus is on professionalism: how to be one in query letters, conference pitch sessions, and author interviews. Her point is that “the baby”—how much time and effort we put into writing our book—is of little or no interest to many people, including agents and interviewers/listeners, so we need to minimize how much time we spend talking (or worse, whining!) about that.

James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) addresses a question we all wonder about these days: How Will Your Book Get Discovered in The Roiling Sea of Digital Publishing? This is, of course, an important question and Bell takes a long time answering it, in part because as his first of six points notes, “There is No Consensus on What Works.” No surprise if you find that unnerving—the entire publishing industry is in such a state of flux right now—but Bell’s suggestions provide a sense of direction and a reason for hope.

Joel Friedlander’s (@jfbookman) Author Bloggingg [sic] 101: The Evolution of Spam is, to be clear, a little mistitled. Better than being just a dry piece on how spam (in this context, the phony comments on blogs) has evolved over time, it offers at the end several ways we bloggers can block, filter, and mostly avoid spam comments, while providing the important reminders that no anti-spam method is perfect and spammers are always coming up with new methods and approaches.

THE WRITER’S LIFE

Here’s a new category of columns for you, with four entries today.

Lucille Zimmerman (@LucilleZ) guest posts on Michael Hyatt’s blog on something we all need to know how to do from time to time: How to Avoid Procrastinating When You Feel Overwhelmed. You don’t have to follow all six of her suggestions—in fact none of us probably will—but I’ll bet there will be at least a couple that will click for you and bring your stress level down. “Break assignments down,” her first one, works for me.

What cued me to create this category was two closely-related posts that appeared over the weekend. Kimberly Vargas’ (@_KimberlyVargas) Ever-Increasing Returns on WordServe Water Cooler and Vaughn Roycroft’s (@VaughnRoycroft) The Mentor/Mentee Benefit on Writer Unboxed (isn’t “mentee” an awkward word?) both talk about how we writers benefit by giving and receiving help from others. Finding a mentor, or being one, or giving critique as well as receiving it, help us not only become better writers but get us out of that writer’s garret syndrome it’s so easy to fall into.

Finally, we’ll circle back around to interviews, or in this case, a correspondence. The first writer was in unidentified college professor. The second, Flannery O’Connor. In Flannery O’Connor Gets Snarky, Robert Bruce (@robertbruce76) shares a part of the professor’s letter to the author, seeking, let’s be honest here, confirmation of his and his class’ literary “interpretation” of A Good Man is Hard to Find. O’Connor’s reply reads, in part, “Too much interpretation is certainly worse than too little, and where feeling for a story is absent, theory will not supply it.” Yowch! You can read the entire O’Connor reply here, on the web site Letters of Note.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, September 8-10, 2012

Whoo-ee, it’s been a busy weekend and Monday out there in writer/blogger-land. Lots to share with you, so let’s get right to it.

On the pure craft side there’s really only one post, Harvey Stanbrough’s (@h_stanbrough) To Capitalize or Not To Capitalize: That Is the Question. This is a good summary of a few of the rules regarding capitalization but then there are many more Harvey could cover, and I hope he will. If capitalization is one of your personal bugaboos, give this post a look.

There were a surprising number of posts on the writer’s life, the process of writing, writing tools, etc.

  • If you’re a Scrivener user (I’m just getting started, myself) and you intend to self-publish, then Nick Thacker’s (@nickthacker) Live Hacked post Scrivener: The Ultimate Guide to Exporting Ebooks (Kindle, ePub, etc.) may be just the thing you’re looking for. Thacker takes you step-by-step, with pictures, through the process of converting a Scrivener file into the ePub and .mobi file formats, using both Scrivener’s built-in tools and a separate program called Calibre. NOTE: this is fairly advanced stuff, so if you’re a new Scrivener user and/or aren’t sure you want to handle e-publishing on your own, just bookmark this article and save it for later. Thanks to Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) for pointing this article out.
  • While we’re on the topic of technology, Whitney Adams lists five Mobile Apps for Writers on DIY MFA. Some, like dictionary.com we’ve probably all heard of; others, like Inspiro, maybe not. But if you’re a mobile-enabled writer, check these out.
  • James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) writes on The Kill Zone about A Writer’s Ego. Face it, we all have one: how else could be dare to write things for publication, to believe what we have to say is worth reading? But of course,our  ego can get us in trouble in all sorts of ways, too, and Bell writes about how to avoid some of those traps.
  • Kim Weiland (@KMWeiland) writes about 10 Excuses for Not Writing – and How to Smash Them on her WORDplay blog. Many of these are inverse-ego (that is, negative self-image) beliefs: “I have no talent,” “people will ridicule my work,” and so on. Kim’s practical yet realistic tips should help if you have problems believing in your own abilities.

Shifting all the way over to the business side now.

  • MAYBE the biggest news of the weekend was Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ announcement that not only was Amazon about to release new versions of the Kindle and at new price points, but that Amazon was going to start offering e-books in serial form. That generated a whole spate of comments.
    • The Bookshelf Muse guest blogger Sue Quinn’s (@susankayequinn) take is all positive: It’s a Great Day to Be a Writer. While she’s not just stoked about this new take on an old concept (Charles Dickens, anyone?), she’s certainly right that we writers have more options and opportunities to reach our readers, whether 5 or 5 million, than we’ve ever had.
    • Joe Hartlaub’s take on The Kill Zone, Books on the Installment Plan is more cautious, looking at what he sees as some of the pros and cons of the concept.
    • Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) takes that view into even more detail in his long, as usual “Extra Ether” post, Serial Iterations. This 4-part post discusses the basics of how serialization is going to work on the Kindle, British writer Roz Morris’ experiences with serialization (some positive, some negative), speculates on how reader reactions to a serial’s installments might influence future installments, and closes with some cautionary notes about what that might mean for writing. My take: interesting idea; some writers will embrace it, others won’t at all, still others will use it only in ways that suits their writing and preferred ways of working; but this is not the end of writing as we know it.
  • One more piece on independent publishing. Irish writer Nick Rooney writes about The Self-Publishing Honeypoton The Independent Publishing Magazine’s blog. Rooney notes how the Big 6 publishers are finally, slowly, getting into the electronic publishing world themselves as they realize its business (read money-making) potential. Two interesting and perhaps disturbing points:
    • Rooney identifies a number of publishers who are using services “powered by ASI” (that’s Author Solutions, Inc., the company with a questionable reputation recently purchased by Pearson Publishing). What, exactly, does “powered by” mean and what “services” are these “independent” (?) companies going to provide?
    • Rooney may not have been aware of it, but “honeypot” has a second meaning in American slang which comes from the days before indoor plumbing. “Thunder mug” is a synonym. Significance?
  • And finally (TOLD you it was a busy weekend!), Joel Friedlander is back with a discussion of Chris Brogan’s Hub and Outpost Method of Social Media Marketing. The concept, intended to be a time-saver, has a writer establishing a social media “hub”–their web site or blog, say–and then picking social media “outposts” from which they can reach the kinds of readers they’re looking for and bring them back to the hub via links. Joel’s going to be hosting a (NOT free) webinar on this topic next week.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, September 1-3, 2012

Happy Monday, everyone. Today is Labor Day in the U.S., a day on which governments (generally–police, fire, and the military excepted) stop laboring in honor of labor unions who represent a smaller percentage of the total workforce than they have in decades, while many businesses stay open. Hey, no one said this had to be logical!

The last couple of posts have been real downers, I know, what with some of the scandalous and/or sleazy news that’s been out there lately. Fortunately, the weekend has provided a respite and we can get back to articles on craft, on the good sides of the business, and even have a little fun.

As usual, we’ll start with the pieces on craft, and start those with a couple on character.

  • Kim Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) 17th entry in her WORDplay blog’s Most Common Mistakes series asks, Do Your Characters Lack Purpose? This can be a real problem. Purposeless characters, like purposeless people, wander aimlessly through the story–a story most readers won’t finish because it’s, well, aimless. Characters need goals, Kim writes, and she’s right. Goals are similar to wants and needs, but perhaps a bit more tangible. And if a character has a goal, then the reader has something that will maintain their interest as they watch the character struggle to achieve it (more on this a little later).
  • Not all characters, of course, are nice people, and some of those not-nice people can be story protagonists–the antiheroes. Dr. Antonio del Drago’s (@mythicscribes) The Antihero–Writing a Dark Character that Readers will Love deals with how to develop that complex character whose take on the moral dilemmas he or she faces is different from that of “ordinary” people, while being fully understandable.
  • Another Writer Unboxed entry is Jael McHenry’s (@jaelmchenry) last post in her Flip the Script series. Appropriately, at the end of the series, she advises us to End Anywhere. OK, that sounds too easy, and in fact Jael provides suggestions on to write a satisfying–or at least appropriate–ending without falling into any of these traps: “happily ever after,” the too-twisty twist, or tying up absolutely every single loose end that was ever spun in the story. Of course, a story can end happily, it can finish with a surprise, and it can tie up the loose ends. It just doesn’t have to.
  • Stefani Nellen is a German native who lives in the Netherlands and writes in English (it’s a long story). Her Glimmer Train article (via Jane Friedman’s blog) Things to Do in German When You’re Bored might at first not seem to have anything to do with writing, but it does. You see, she tried translating some of her work originally written in English into German, and discovered in the process that doing so, and trying to make the result something that sounded right and natural in that language, forced her to stop doing some of the tricks she’d been using to try to impress other writers and readers and get to the core of the story. If you speak another language well enough, this might be an interesting exercise. (And am I the only one to notice the irony of an article like this appearing in a literary magazine like Glimmer Train?)

Harvey Stanbrough’s piece On Setting Priorities serves as our transition from craft to business posts, since doing so is ultimately one of those things we all have to do in order to get anything done. Despite all of the other demands on his time, Harvey’s #1 priority is his writing. What each of us places as #1 tells us how much our writing really matters to us.

  • Clare Langley-Hawthorne puts what I hope will be a period on the discussion on buying positive on-line book reviews in her Kill Zone piece Another Bell Tolling? Reviews in the Age of Amazon. Clare’s provocative question is this: do on-line reviews even matter? Has, in other words, this whole kerfuffle about phony reviews been much ado about nothing much? While in some respects, I think the answer is clearly no–there’s a major issue of integrity here–but at the same time, if potential readers are not making their purchasing decisions based on those reviews, why have them at all? Food for thought.
  • Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) reprises a 2010 article from The Book Designer explaining the Top 10 Worst Self-Publishing Mistakes. Some of these are real doozies, like being proud of a “deal” that gives the author ten (ten!) “free” copies of their book for a $6,000 cost to publish. All ten represent the kind of ignorance and naivete that can get newbie writers into real trouble.

OK, let’s close with a little bit of fun: Debbie Ohi’s (@inkyelbows) Writer Prep comic on Writer Unboxed. This one’s especially for all of you who write flash fiction.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 25-27, 2012

Welcome to the first full-weekend edition of Great Stuff. Of course we’ve got stuff on craft and stuff on business but we’ve also got something new–stuff on writers’ conferences–and some just-for-fun stuff. We’re well and fully stuffed!

Nothing crafty about the fact that we’ll start with craft stuff.

  • Stories, of course, start with the opening line–hey, how about that for a revelation!–and that’s where we’ll start, too, with Clare Langley-Hawthorne’s Kill Zone piece on That all important first line. There’s some debate in the comments about how important it is that the first line be great, but it should be clear that a bad opening line (á la last Friday’s Bulwer-Lytton contest winners) can be the wrong kind of killer.
  • Next, Kim Weiland (@KMWeiland) warns of 5 Ways You’re Preventing Readers from Suspending Disbelief. Experienced writers know all about (or should) avoiding the things on Kim’s hit list–incorrect facts, clichés, plot holes big enough to drive a truck through (oh, sorry), and the wrong kinds of character behaviors, but this is a good review for new writers.
  • Writers’ conferences can be a terrific asset for writers, new or experienced, but only if the potential attendee picks wisely and well. Harvey Stanbrough (@h_stanbrough) offers A Crash Course on Writers’ Conferences on his Writing the World blog.

Moving on to the business stuff, we find:

  • Victoria Strauss (@VictoriaStrauss) adds another thoughtful, rational piece to the discussion on the publishing industry with her Writer Beware post Vanity, Vanity: Turning the Label Around. Strauss calls for an end to the “vanity” versus “legacy” name-calling and distorted story-telling advocates on both sides are engaging in and refocusing on producing quality work, irrespective of how it’s published. Hear hear!
  • Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson) addresses one of the possible reasons for all the name-calling in his somewhat long Writer Unboxed post ‘Social’ Media: Author Ignorance. Porter’s central point is that if you’re going to speak out on the issues surrounding what’s going on in the publishing world right now, it’s wise to have the real facts, not what your own beliefs and biases tell you are the “facts.”

Enough of that serious stuff, let’s have some fun.

  • For starters, Chuck Sambuchino (@ChuckSambuchino) follows up on the Bulwer-Lytton contest with one of his own on Writer Unboxed: the “Worst Storyline Ever” Contest: Seeking Awful Plot Ideas. Instead of an awful opening line, Chuck wants to see your ideas for horrible “loglines”–those one-sentence (60 words maximum) descriptions of a story’s plot. Want to play? You’ve got until 11:59 PM Pacific time on September 3rd to submit your (maximum of 2) loglines. See the post for the rest of the rules.
  • And finally, Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) must have had too much time on his hands over the weekend 😉 because he came up with this: The Publishing Process in GIF Form. I’m not sure I want to know where he came up with all of these animated GIF clips but, well, just take a look.

Have a great week. I’m off to a radio interview on writing in a few hours. Should be fun. (No web link, unfortunately, or I’d invite you to listen in.)

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 21 & 22, 2012

Welcome to the first multi-day edition of Great Stuff. There’s lots to share, so off we go…

Let’s start with some posts on craft, shall we?

  • Joe Moore’s (@JoeMoore_writer) post Fried Catfish and Grits isn’t about food; it’s about setting written so well (in Ace Atkins’ The Lost Ones) that it gave Joe a hankerin’ for those southern staples. He then goes on to discuss ways to make your setting details contribute to the story.
  • Kim Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) video on How to Use Foreshadowing to Jazz Up Slow Scenes tells the tale of how fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss uses foreshadowing to keep his readers engaged through what Kim calls “[a] couple hundred leisurely pages of everything going pretty much the protagonist’s way.” A COUPLE HUNDRED PAGES!!! That’s some serious foreshadowing!
  • Next, David R. Gillham (@drgillham) provides 5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction on the Guide to Literary Agents blog. While the title says “historical” and Gillham does indeed focus on that genre, what he suggests applies to just about any genre: “Fiction = friction,” “Using language or accents” to name just two.

OK, enough for craft, how about the business side of things? Sure!

  • We’ll start with Alan Petersen (@AlanPetersen) discussing 3 Really Good Self-Publishing Ideas and 5 Hilariously Bad Ones on The Book Designer. I don’t know if the the 5 bad ones are hilarious, really, but they definitely are bad. And the good ones? I’ll summarize them this way: if you want to make money (from your books), you’ll need to spend money (on getting them ready) first. Just do it wisely.
  • Speaking of bad ideas, M. J. Rose (@MJRose) discusses how not to commit Social Media Suicide on Writer Unboxed. Of course, don’t write stupid things is part of her prescription. So is not going crazy on social media. Seems being smart about how to use social media isn’t so easy, at least for some folks.
  • So how do you market yourself effectively on social media (and elsewhere)? Harvey Stanbrough (@h_stanbrough) offers a set of Resources to help you figure that out. While he includes himself, he does also list Steven Pressfield of The War of Art and Dean Wesley Smith’s web site, which includes the tab “Think Like a Publisher.” Hmmm. Have to check that out myself.
  • Finally for this section, Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) wonders, Does the Publishing Industry Care Too Much About Writing Quality? This is a continuation of the discussion about the quality (or lack thereof) of indie-published writing. Seems to me the answer is clear: the publishing industry cares (as it should) about making a profit. The books that sell lots of copies but aren’t “quality” writing in the eyes of self-appointed experts are the very books that allow publishers to sell the “quality-writing” books that don’t make money. This shouldn’t be an either/or question. The answer is both/and. IMHO.

So much for the business side, let’s close with a couple of personal life posts.

  • Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) writes about Dealing with Impatience: what might cause it, why it can be a problem, and what you can do about it if it’s a problem for you.
  • Karen Jordan (@KarenJordan) offers some tips on Taking Time Out on WordServeWater Cooler when something–maybe it’s that impatience–gives you a “flat tire” on the journey of life.