Write This Way: Top Writing and Editing Links for October 6, 2009

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Photo courtesy SXC.

International Association for Journal Writing

A tip of the blog to Eric Maisel’s Sunday newsletter for bringing this link my way. The IAJW is a coalition of journaling experts (therapists, writing teachers and others) and those who have been helped by the practice. The association says on its home page that it aims to help members “juice up (their) journaling” and it provides plenty of tips for doing just that. The site offers help for budding journalers, articles related to specific journal writing issues, and merchandise to help get the most out of journal writing, including e-books, classes and journaling software.

The association charges $49/year for membership, but also offers quite a bit of “sample” information for free. If you teach journal writing, or take the practice seriously as a writing-related discipline or a healing/self-discovery tool, this site may be worth checking out.

Top 10 Blogs for Writers – The 2009/2010 Winners

Michael Stelzner of Writing White Papers has once again tallied the best writing blogs and announces the winners. This year, there were 27 finalists. Winners included blogs that I regularly link to and admire, including Editor Unleashed, Write to Done, Urban Muse and Quips & Tips for Successful Writers, plus a few blogs new to me, such as Michelle Rafter’s WordCount and Fuel Your Writing.

The lists of winners and finalists form a great blueprint for setting up an RSS aggregator that provides a quick, enjoyable education in writing’s craft and business sides. For writing bloggers such as myself, it also provides a wonderful cadre of aspirational peers to admire and emulate.

Three Hot Books You Can’t Download

FastCompany.com reports on why three new books by the late authors Vladimir Nabokov, Frida Kahlo, and Ted Kennedy won’t be coming out on Kindle or another e-book format. It’s not (necessarily) because all 3 authors have gone to that great writing garret in the sky; and it’s not (necessarily) because of the subject matter, or printing requirements of the books, although those do factor into the decision to hold off on e-publishing in at least two of the three books. (Kahlo’s book is image-rich, of course, and Kindle doesn’t currently reproduce color imagery; and Nabokov’s unfinished work “The Original of Laura” was originally written on index cards and never organized by the author during his lifetime, so the printed version allows the reader to punch out the pages and rearrange them and he or she wishes.)

No, there’s no common theme that unites this paper-bound trio of books, but it does illustrate that despite the sharp rise in the popularity and profitability of e-books, and Jeff Bezos’ aggressive vision “to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds on Kindle,” not every book is appropriate for digital distribution, and that it’s still important to consider the individual title and its requirements before determining whether to go the e-book route.

What Makes a Story Work

A brief, powerful post from social media expert Chris Brogan’s blog. He quickly demonstrates why “the very best content is that which leaves us feeling like the hero.”

He elaborates on the hero-making theme, saying,

“Think about the movies you love. Think about the songs you replay over and over. Think about the books you read. When we participate in stories, the ones that move us the most are those where we see a bit of ourselves in the storyline, right?”

His tips for achieving this goal are as relevant for corporate deliverables as independent projects. They include:

  • Let them feel smart and included by letting them be introduced as “part of the group” or “in the know.”
  • Give them a solid map. The only time readers shouldn’t know where they’re going, Brogan says, is if they’re reading a mystery, or a Chuck Palahniuk novel.
  • Reward readers of longer pieces with checklists, summaries, etc., anything that validates that they’ve reached a certain level and are ready for your next step.
  • Respect their time by being as brief as possible.
  • Write about them, not you. Or, if you have to write about you (memoirs or biographies come to mind), give them something they can do to make meaning of what you’ve shared.

Overall, this is a great post, which can be consumed and digested in the time it takes to read it on your coffee break.

Bonus Links!!

She Writes

She Writes is a social networking community for female writers of all levels and genres. It also welcomes men to its community.

The Only 12 1/2 Writing Rules You’ll Ever Need

A great poster about writing from AllPosters.com.

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