WHAT DOES IT MATTER?

“When you’re young you’re naïve enough to think everything is about your own personal ideals and view of the world. When you grow up you become experienced enough to think everything is about the way the world actually operates. When you become old and truly wise you come to understand that the world is about both your own personal ideals and the way the world actually operates, and what you can do to make both work together cleverly enough to transform things into the Kingdom of God.

For what does it matter if your ideals are all perfect and yet the world is still broken, or if you’ve perfectly mastered the ways of the world, and it is still but a cesspool of wrong?”

from Memorable Literary Lines

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Great morning. I’m listening to Buddy Holly and the Crickets while I work.

Love that Midnight Shift

 

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A COUPLE OF NEW THINGS

I’ve started a new literary short story entitled, The Long Lonely Estate of Daniel J. Despair, and a new children’s book called, Tea and Ticklebiscuits.

NOT YET…

“I’m such a mess,” she said suddenly, burying her head in my chest. “I don’t even see how you put up with me.”

There wasn’t necessarily a good response so I asked her, “What do you mean?”

“I mean you deserve much better.”

She was probably right but that wasn’t gonna get us anywhere. Not being able to do much else I took her by the shoulders and pushed her away to look at her.

Her eyes were welling up with tears and it suddenly struck me that she might actually mean it this time. There was no way to be sure, but she at least looked and sounded genuine. I smiled at her.

“Woman, I think we both know that deep down inside, where you actually are, there’s no real problem in you. Trouble is that you’re not really any kind of solution yet either. So the question is, what are you gonna do about it?”

She lowered her eyes and as she did a single tear fell in the space between us. Then she looked up again and I could tell she wanted to say something, but before she could speak I placed my finger on her lips.

“Nothing you can say will matter,” I said. “Everything you do will.”

She nodded and then I walked out the door.

“We’ll see,” I thought to myself. “We’ll see.”

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The above is an extract from my literary novel, The Cache of Saint Andrew.

WRITER’S BLOCK AND WRITER’S LICENSE

I’ve never suffered the creative malady, Writer’s Block – as it is typically defined anyway, as an inability to generate new material. I’ve always had the opposite problem, Writer’s License.

By that I mean too many ideas, too many projects, and not enough focus on one thing at a time. And when it comes to a single project constantly adding onto it and ceaselessly building it without any real restraint until it grows overly-complicated and unwieldy. That is to say that often I have an overindulgence of ideas, and it is my lack of desire to restrict and redact that is the problem for me, not my ability to generate and grow.

My ability to constantly generate more is almost unlimited. But over time I have learned to better control that, though the problem still remains and sometimes I will subconsciously find my desk and myself surrounded by hundreds of sticky notes for idea and scene and plot inclusion into a book and then I’ll have to say to myself, “Realistically kid, this will be impossible.

So for those with Writer’s Block as it is atypically defined, or as I define it, as Writer’s License (for it should have a separate term and definition altogether), then here is an interesting and generally useful article to address that/your problem.

Of course it depends on exactly what you’re writing as to how useful any particular writing advice may actually be.

 

Half the Words, Twice the Hits: 7 Tips for Removing Writer’s Block

When you write for fun, the knowledge that you’ll be the only one to read your words can make it easy to fill three journal pages in ten minutes. But when you’re working with a deadline, two problems may slow down your writing process:

  • Writer’s block. A form of anxiety that makes it temporarily impossible to produce new work because nothing seems good enough to be published.
  • Inability to self-edit. Deleting your own words means detaching your emotions from the time and energy you just spent creating them.

Writers have been publicly battling this malady since Coleridge wrote about his own struggles in 1804. Writer’s block is widely accepted as an occupational hazard. But as a professional content marketer, you simply don’t have the luxury of sitting around and waiting for your muse to appear. In order to meet deadlines and company expectations, you have to write quickly, smoothly, and succinctly.

That last point is especially important. It was Chekov (or Faulkner, or Ginsberg) who once said, “Kill your darlings.” Intense, but good advice. Sometimes, your most cherished sentence can be what’s keeping you from saying what you really need to.

Last year, Flavorwire collected and published tips on overcoming writer’s block from 13 famous writers. Here are seven of ours:

1. Start with Research

Read the creative or content brief and your assignment sheet, then do third-party research to become well-versed on your subject. Take your time, and trust that your brain absorbs information whether you’re conscious of it or not.

2. Just Write

Subscribe to the saying, “Don’t get it right, get it written.” Record your thoughts on what you’ve researched. What do you need to tell your audience about your product or services? What are your readers’ pain points? How will you solve their problems?

3. Look for Patterns and Think Chronologically

Look for trends in your draft. Have any themes emerged on their own? Is there a logical outline or structure to the piece? Move sentences or paragraphs around and refine your vocabulary, phrasing, and grammar. If readers were to follow your advice, what action should they take first?

4. Spunk It Up!

Write blog posts that engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. If you’ve got a great sense of humor, bring it to your writing (if the topic allows). Cite relevant research and articles, include interesting links to outside sources, and capture readers’ attention with eye-catching photographs.

5. Give It Shape

Your job as a marketing content producer is to take a big idea and make it snackable. Clearly define paragraphs, use numbered or bulleted lists, and remember that white space is a blog writer’s best friend. If that means you end up turning one post into two, all the better!

6. Be Ruthless

Ask yourself, “If I had to cut the word count in half, what would stay and what would go?” This reductive process will force you to write concise, relevant sentences. Ask yourself if every paragraph offers new or useful information. If you’ve merely restated your point, identify and eliminate it. It’s difficult to do, especially if what you’re ditching is witty, but it’s worth it in a culture that thinks in tweets.

7. Understand That Practice Makes . . .

. . . you better. You won’t get it right on the first try, so don’t fool yourself into thinking you will. No writer is perfect. Work with a good editor and consider every piece of criticism a gift. One of the best ways to improve your writing is to carefully review your edited copy and use what you learn the next time you sit down to write.

Want more content-creation tips to help destroy writer’s block for good? Register for the Content Standard newsletter.

What’s your brand, author?

THE TRUE BRAND

I agree with both the original post and the comments made by dpnoble (on the comments page).

I think the question really comes down to this, “what is exactly is meant by a brand (as dpnoble said), what does it represent, and how is it expressed?

Is a brand an expression of the inherent nature of the formulating individual (or individuals in the case of a company or corporation) and does the individual who created the brand adapt that brand over time to changes in their own nature and personality and achievements (in which case to me that is a perfect Brand or Marque for that individual), or does the brand-creator seek to create a static, unchanging, unadaptable, unreal, or “fixed brand or image” to which they seek to conform themselves for the sake of the brand no matter what they are really like?

If a brand is a Flexible Mark that expresses both individuality and flexibility over time (as well as makes a statement about certain unchanging things, such as ethics and morals and character, etc.) and that establishes a natural association between the brand itself and the actual individual who created the brand then I think branding (in that sense) is both perfectly logical, and entirely valid and profitable.

If branding is merely the fixing of a stale and static image or artificial set of characteristics to which the individual attempts to conform or comport themselves, then branding is to me a very big mistake and likely to be highly ineffective as either a business or a personal tool. The brand will eventually become transparent and noticeable for it’s overt hypocrisy rather than for its integrity and truth. What you really want is a True Brand that is not separate or divorced form whom it truly represents.

The Man should be the Brand, the brand should not be the man…

THE UNSPOKEN ANSWER from MEMORABLE LITERARY LINES

Modern man wants everything explained to him. Not understanding that the very best and most perfect explanations are those left unspoken.