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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3 Replies to “Web Explored: Get Out There & Other Stories”

  1. Marilyn L. Davis says: Reply

    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

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      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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