Tag Archives: writing blogs

Feed Me! A five-course RSS meal for the hungry writer


Photo courtesy of SXC.

In today’s hurried, media-rich world, it’s nice to know that a news and information can still be accessed in bite-sized pieces. I have written  here and elsewhere about the usefulness of RSS feeds and how to use them to build a dashboard of incoming news on topics that are important to you.

Here are five feeds, most (but not all) of which link to blogs, that you might consider following to further your writing and editing career. They can serve as the foundation of a “balanced diet” of information relevant to non-fiction story-crafting, ready to be consumed when you have time to snack on them and (like food in your pantry or fridge) all accessible in one handy place.

Editor Unleashed
Maria Schneider, former editor of Writer’s Digest magazine, has assembled a terrific blog dedicated to sharing what she knows about writing and editing. Now a freelancer, she posts on a variety of topics and in a variety of formats, including author interviews, marketing advice, tips on social networking, blogging, and grammar, writing technique tune-ups, and thought-provoking writing prompts. She’s not afraid to speak about what she’s learned from her own experiences, as she did earlier this year when she posted about getting in over her head by taking on a difficult writing assignment at a trade magazine.

Quips and Tips for Freelance Writers
Canadian freelancer Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen’s blog has as its sub-head “Where writing quotations meet practical writing advice. And live happily ever after.” And she means it! Laurie and her band of guest bloggers cover a wide range of writing-related issues, mostly through helpful tip-based posts. Last month, Laurie had several very practical “housekeeping” posts on invoicing clients and keeping track of query/article submissions, as well as 6 tips for coping with the stress of freelance writing.

Columbia Journalism Review
CJR has several blogs on its site and updates its content elsewhere on the site frequently, just like you would expect a nice RSS-enabled online magazine about journalism to do. But this publication is more than just a “web 2.0 correct” magazine—it carries ongoing coverage of the life and times of American journalism. If you want perspective on the death-spiral that print newspapers are currently in, and informed debate about what comes next, CJR is a good place to seek it. I prefer the “master” RSS feed, which covers all new content on the site and gives a nice overview of what’s available.

Teaching Journalism Online
For more than three years, Mindy McAdams has been blogging about her experiences as a multimedia journalism educator. She uses her site to showcase or link to good work done by online journalists or promising students, discuss current trends in cyber-journalism, and talk shop about the programs reporters and producers use to assemble their Web stories.
One of her most recent posts, “Your (Journalistic) Past Can Haunt You Online,” generated a great discussion of whether student newspapers should permanently archive work by fledgling reporters. She also wrote an interesting post on lessons learned from teaching multimedia reporting, which could have implications for print-era writers trying to get up to speed in online journalism.

Write to Done
Any blog started by Zen Habits author Leo Babauta can’t be all bad, and in this case, his mix of positive thinking, practical tips and philosophical musings have continued on his writing blog, although he has turned the day-to-day reins over to managing editor Mary Jaksch. I would say these nice things about the blog even if they hadn’t published a guest post of mine on how to come up with fresh story ideas, but I do believe their mix of outside bloggers is key to tip posts covering fiction, non-fiction and other forms of writing continuing to draw interest and comments.
Recent offerings on Write to Done have included posts on improving your blog’s About page, whether or not to release copyright on some of your writing, and how much personal information to reveal in your work.

Second Helpings

Which RSS feeds do you follow to enhance your writing? Answer in the comment field below.

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Write This Way: Writing and Editing Links for September 10, 2008

Photo courtesy of SXC.

After a brief delay, we’re back with our monthly literary link-fest! This episode includes words of blogging wisdom from an online journalist, a bit about using software to increase your writing productivity, a terrific blog on book publishing, and a contest deadline to nominate your favorite writing blog!

In a Web 2.0 world, one year seems like a century. Wasn’t it only yesterday that we thought faxes were a great way to exchange edits on a manuscript?

The good folks at the UK’s Online Journalism Blog are celebrating the site’s 1000th post with an entry on 1000 Things I’ve Learned About Blogging. It’s a pithy romp through all the ways in which our writing has been influenced by trends in the blogosphere.

Just to give you a sample of the sorts of observations the OJB authors are making, here are the first five items on the list:

1.    Blogging is not ‘writing a blog’. Blogging is linking and commenting. Any writing is a bonus.
2.    Regular posting is important…
3.    But quality posting is even more important. Spending a week or more on a single post can be one of the most important things you ever do.
4.    First knowledge, then analysis, then ideas.
5.    A picture is worth a thousand words. More importantly, a picture is worth a thousand words in two hundred countries. The fact that readers don’t need to speak English to understand what you’re communicating can make a word-free post – or at least one with a good image – your most successful one.

It’s a great post, although I’m going to be a spoiler (or perhaps a messenger of relief!) and let you know there aren’t 1000 items on the list. What the OJB folks have collected in terms of wisdom over the years is definitely well-distilled and presented here.

There was also an interesting post last week at Web Worker Daily on 6 Tools for Changing Your Writerly Rhythms. I don’t normally think of software as being key to producing prose on time and without sweating bullets, but this post mentions a number of tools and hacks you might find interesting, such as 7 lesser-known tips for getting the most out of Microsoft Word.

If you’re aiming to get a book published soon, or if you just find the process authors go through to get their books out in the world sort of interesting, you’ll want to check out Alan Rinzler’s The Book Deal

Rinzler calls his blog “A Publishing Blog for Writers and Book People,” and it is full of interesting interviews with published authors, notes from Rinzler’s editing work, and more. Start your trip into Alan’s blog with this hilarious guest post by author Lisa Haneberg detailing her implosive experience at a Barnes & Noble while out on a book-signing tour.

Finally, if you want to give some props to your favorite source of writing inspiration, Michael Stelzner’s Writing White Papers blog is having its annual Top 10 Blogs for Writers contest. The deadline for nominations is this Friday, September 12, and the comment field on this post already has 250+ nominations!

If you reach this post after the deadline, or you just want to see what other blog writer-readers are finding inspirational, you can always peruse the blog’s list of last year’s winners.

And while it didn’t occur to me while I was gathering links for this post to suggest that readers nominate Write Livelihood, I certainly wouldn’t mind if you shared the love, and spread the word, about this little blog! (Thanks in advance if you are so inclined!)

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