Web Explored: Get Out There & Other Stories

Get Out There - EWeb Explored February

Get Out There

getting out there - the bud.Canadian author Kelly D. Smith has penned a guest post on Ryan Lanz’s blog, A Writer’s Path. This titled “20 Ways to Get Yourself Out There as a Writer” which are 20 tips about how writers need to get themselves noticed. “Get out there! Meet people, and don’t be scared” is her opener. Blogs, guest writing, reach­ing out to bookstores, handing out excerpts, getting help from friends and family, are all part of getting better known. “Use websites like VitsaPrint to print off promo­tion­al mater­i­al” (such as bookmarks) is a good way to become better known. The key here is in meeting people. e.g. get out from behind that computer screen, something I must do more of.

How will you get yourself out there? We all start as a bud, which can then devel­op and open. As they say to do it, create an action plan.

 

Research

How The Chicago Reporter Made ‘Settling for Misconduct’ from The Source is all about the work of an invest­ig­at­ive journ­al­ist looking at lawsuits made against the Chicago Police. I select this piece because it says much about the process of invest­ig­a­tion. Something a blogger could do well to learn from. Part of the challenge was to “connect issues of police miscon­duct to fiscal account­ab­il­ity.” You should get the vibe that research is vital to this process. I get the impres­sion that it took time to build their case, enabled with the aid of a computer program. Real invest­ig­a­tions take time and a lot of patience.

Many on-line writers fail to do adequate research and have a tendency to rush to publish. Charts and tables do aid present­a­tion of findings, they help you persuade those that doubt the truth of what you are saying. The journalist’s exper­i­ence teaches us that we should avoid the rush to publish.

Journalists know how to get out there in a way that perhaps fright­ens other writers. They invest­ig­ate and find the real story.

Being Noticed

 

Career? Making money?

Callie Oettinger asks the question many writers should ask Should Writers Be Paid For Everything? Here is the question — “You argue that writers shouldn’t work for free, but isn’t that exactly what they are doing when they spend time on social media? What about their blogs?” She answers the question in terms of garden­ing. “my yard might be crap, but in a few years it could be a glori­ous master­piece due to all the work put into it.” It is not wasted effort!

Many writers are advoc­ates of giving away work as a way to reach new audiences. There is of course something said for this, but if your blog carries advert­ising or affil­i­ate links then it is the writer’s hope that their readers click on the link and purchase some things along the way and in that way they get some income. She has a point when she say that if you are going to build something then you o it for yourself before you do it for someone else.

Blog writing is as much a career choice and any other. Why can’t bloggers make money? It is simply a case of putting in the right effort in the right place.

 

Tag Lines Get you Noticed

Marilyn L. Davis in “Tag It, Track It, Tweet It: Blogging Tips” from the Two Drops of Ink blog discusses tag lines (and other things), you know that state­ment that drives business in. Such as Nike’s famous “Just Do It!” The reason “a great tag-line stays with your readers because it gets their atten­tion, and if you’ve sent the message well, they will return the next time they need inform­a­tion.” So a good tag line can clearly benefit the writer.

She is right in saying “if they don’t remem­ber you, they’re not coming back.” Life is tough for the independ­ent blogger. Being remembered is vital, which is the reason we must expand our network and expand the number of people we touch. Another reason to get out there and get noticed.

Rewriting

 

How to Know You’re Finally Finished Rewriting: When Is Enough Revision Enough?” This is the tough question asked by Jerry Jenkins. It is true “in the old days, when we used typewriters, every change meant erasing or whiting out words or start­ing an entirely fresh page.” Changing your text becomes so much easier today with the word processor. This allows you to edit, re-edit, move it all around, then change it all over again. You may never finish.

Applying the cutHow do you know when a sentence is the best it can be?” This is a good question to ask. Each writer, or editor, will probably give differ­ent answers. I have talked before about reading your words aloud and this is something sugges­ted by Jerry.

 

Cut out all prologues. 

Burn all adverbs. 

If you don’t plot, you’re a mess.

If you do plot, you’re a robot.”

So says Cathy Yardley, from Writer Unboxed, in “The Number One Subject to Study for Writing Success.” Then the first thing she does is apolo­gise for the “click­bait title.” Although she does give some sound advice through this piece. I like the twisted path she carves, but she does have a point, a writer’s life is not easy, there are no hard and fast rules. Well there are, but there are (almost) always altern­at­ives. This is both in terms of grammat­ic­al rules and the tone adopted. If one way of writing is badly struc­tured then there is anoth­er way to do it.

If only they do everything right, then their path to writing success is assured.” Well as we all know life doesn’t come with a guaran­tee. I have found Cathy’s piece so enlight­en­ing. I look to do more things right than wrong, in some respects that is the best we can hope for. The biggest take away this month though is “get out there”.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for mention­ing me in your post. I appre­ci­ate that. Hopefully, people will start using their creativ­ity and devel­op a tag line that reson­ates with people. I know that ours at Two Drops of Ink, rings true and describes what we do, who we are, and how we do it. So, “getting it out there”, again, here’s ours: Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing

    • Marilyn, I appre­ci­ate you reading and comment­ing. I have been think­ing much about both this subject and headlines a lot recently. These are both ways to excite the reader and ensure they come back time and again.

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