Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wipe-Out: The "M" Word


"Why make anyone feel alienated?"
Princeton University has taken the controversial step of requiring staff members to stop using "gendered words" in order to make the "workplace more inclusive."

The directive came down in a four-page memo from the HR department which specifies guidelines for "all written communication and job adverts;" the generic term man is banned from all job titles.

The reason given for these changes is "to be more courteous to those who don't identify using 'binary gender' categories. (Read the article from the dailymail)
The use of gender neutral language is encouraged by many universities, writes Jeremy Beaman in an August 18, 2016 article; namely, UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Tennessee and Marquette University. (Read the article from thecollegefix)
Free speech advocates are concerned.
Strap on your Seatbelts
The tip of the iceberg:
Gendered Term                                               Inclusive Term
firemen                                                              fire people
man hours                                                          person hours
him and her                                                       they
he and she                                                         generic terms, i.e. "the student"
career woman                                                    specific terms: artist, director, professor, etc.
actress                                                               actor
coed                                                                  student
forefathers                                                         ancestors
man                                                                   people, person, individual
You've Got to Be Kidding
That's what Matt Vespa wrote in his Aug. 20th article, "Insanity: The Word 'Man' is Banned at Princeton University." (Read article from townhall)
"Human oh human!" Michael Brown, (www.askdrbrown.org), the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program and prolific author, said when considering what the Princeton initiative means to him. "A mafia leader will now hire a 'hit individual;' the honest male individual will be called a 'human of his word.' Rather than banning the 'man' word, Princeton has simply disguised it . . . why not say huwoman instead of human?"
Want more Michael Brownisms? He writes that Princeton was founded in 1746 under the motto, "Under God's Power She Flourishes." The first female wasn't admitted until 1969! To all this he says, "Individual alive!" Read the article from stream)
Title IX All-Inclusive, Too
Change is in the wind, considering how these university guidelines dovetail with the Obama administration's interpretation of Title IX. In an August 22nd post by CNN Wire, "schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student's sex, including a student's transgender status."  Last week, the Obama administration clarified the issue: "transgender students [are entitled to] enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment;" thus, transgender students are to be allowed to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
The CNN Wire article covers the controversy swirling around this issue. Texas and several other states are challenging the Obama administration's interpretation of Title IX,  "which prohibits sex discrimination in schools, colleges and universities;" as the administration has extended Title IX coverage to include non-discrimination based on gender identity. 
How do these Guidelines Affect Writers?
As a children's writer, for me the challenge is huge. As I prepare the ms of my first book for publication, I do a run-through for the words man, boy, girl, him, her, he and she, which constitute the bulk of the terms in question here.
Oh, my. What a non-inclusive trove did I find. Several "oh, man's," which were easy to replace or simply delete.
Tougher is coming up with alternatives to the terms boy and girl. Here are a few brain crushers I eked out:
Gendered Term                                                           Inclusive Term
A boy slipped next to the woman . . .                         A little kid in rumpled clothes . . . 
A girl in short-shorts and bare feet . . .                       I slipped her name in early, so called her                                                                                     by name with each reference to her
Next to the little pot a boy . . .                                    Next to the little pot a person . . .
Hopefully, my replacements won't buzz like a neon sign, flashing: AWKWARD.
Help! What about the terms he, she, him and her? They're still in.
This experience has taught me a lot about sensitivity. I believe I was sensitive before Princeton University's memo. I'm more sensitive now.
Please comment on your thoughts and what you do to be an all-inclusive writer. 
Photo credit: www.pinterest.com; "17 of the Most Fabulous Gender Neutral Bathroom Signs"


Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children, and six short stories for children. Recently, she completed Joyce Sweeney's online fiction courses, picture book course and mystery and suspense course. She has currently finished her first book, a mystery/ghost story for 8-12 year-olds, and is in the process of publishing it. Follow Linda on Facebook.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Time Management Quotes

If you need help with managing your time, you are not alone.

Writers have personal lives, too, with all sorts of responsibilities vying for attention. 

For me, September marks a fresh beginning to regroup, reorganize, and redo. 

Here are a few encouraging quotes to help with time management:
If you don't write when you don't have time for it, you won't write when you do have time for it. -Katerina Stokova Klemer
Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. - H. Jackson Brown Jr.
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot. - Michael Atshuler
Boundary setting is really a big part of time management. -Jim Loehr 
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. - C. S. Lewis
The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day. - Henry Ward Beecher
A major part of successful living lies in the ability to put first things first. Indeed, the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first. - Robert J. Mckain

Do you have a favorite go-to quote about time management? Please share in the comments below.

~~~

Photo credit: dkalo via Foter.com / CC BY-SA



Kathy is a K - 12 subsitute teacher and enjoys writing for magazines. Recently, her story, "One of a Kind", was published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com








Monday, August 22, 2016

Every Writer Must Be Passionate About Their Writing


By W. Terry Whalin

As writers, we hear the words “no, thank you.”  How rapidly you hear “no, thank you” (or some version of rejection), will depend on how often you are pitching your work to magazines, literary agents or book editors.
  
Some writers insulate themselves from rejection.They love to write for their blog but never get around to sending off their material to print publications or agents or book editors. Why? Because they don't want the rejection letters.

One of the most published works in the English language (outside of the Bible) is Chicken Soup for the Soul. What many people have forgotten about these books is Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen were rejected over 140 times. Finally they found a small publisher in Florida to get their book into the bookstores. That is a ton of rejection. How did they handle these rejections? 


Jack and Mark learned to look at each other and say,”Next.” That single word (Next) is futuristic and looks ahead. You can use “next” when you get rejected to propel you ahead to the next submission. Mark Victor Hansen wrote the foreword of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (follow the link to read the sample).

Writers have to be passionate about their work to find the right place to be published. It is not an easy process and if publishing were easy, then everyone would do it. As an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher, I tell every author that it is going to be 80% up to them to sell books. Why 80%? Because as a publisher, we can sell the books into the brick and mortar bookstore but if the author does not promote their book, then these books are returned to the publisher.

Even if you get a large advance from your publisher for your book (rare but still happening), that publisher will run out of steam about your book. It doesn't matter if you've written a novel or a nonfiction book or a children's book. Every author has to use the passion about their subject to continue to market and tell others about their book.

One of my passions as a writer is to help authors produce excellent book proposals. As a frustrated acquisitions editor, I've read many proposals which were missing key elements. I wrote Book Proposals That Sell to guide authors and the book has over 130 Five Star Amazon reviews. I discounted the book and have the remaining copies so buy it here.  Yet my passion for proposals is more than this book. I have a free teleseminar about book proposals. Anyone can get my free book proposal checklist (no optin). Every other month, I write a column called Book Proposal Boot Camp for The Southern Writer magazine. I also have a step-by-step membership course on how to write a book proposal

Also I created Secrets About Proposals. In addition, I often guest blog about proposal creation different places and write print magazine articles about proposal creation. I hope these examples show you my passion and how it has continued way past one book. You should be doing likewise for your own topic or subject area. It's more than writing. Use the passion that drove you to complete your book to continue to market it.  Why do I continue to display my passion and keep working at it? Because I want others to use this book proposal material for their own success—and I want each of us to be producing better submissions.

There is not one path to success in the book publishing business. Yet every author must channel their passion into the ongoing promotion of their book. It takes many forms such as magazine articles, guest blog posts, tweets and much more.

Tweetable:

Every Writer Must Be Passionate About Their Writing. Learn details here. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing.  He has written for more than 50 magazines and several of his 60 books have sold over 100,000 copies. Terry lives in Colorado and has over 183,000 followers on Twitter.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Writing Soulfully

Writing Soulfully or writing So Fully is what makes the process of sitting down at the desk or out on the banks of a lake rewarding. How is that done? By connecting to the world around you and really paying attention to each small piece. 

I read a story about a group of Aborigines who were traveling and how every so often they stopped. When asked why, they replied that they were awaiting their souls. How amazing that thought is to me. Awaiting our soul, as if our souls take the breaks to see and discover what the world has to offer us, when we ourselves are too often caught up in the day to day challenges. 

And it is just that need to take breaks to let the soul catch up that harnesses our creativity and turns our words into works of art, manuscripts that make a difference in the lives of our readers. Words mean things, I've often said to my children, colleagues, friends and clients. If a word choice makes a difference in conversations, how much more critical is it to our writing world? I often sit, just sit and let the world go by while attempting to find that one right word, that right turn of phrase, that right emotion that will trigger something in the reader, something indelible, concrete.

For many of us writing is like breath - we cannot live without it, but what else gives us that same feeling of connectedness? And how can we incorporate those feelings of connectedness with our writing, because that's where joy lives.

For me joy and writing live together when I'm doing the following:

1. Being outside. For me, an outdoor landscape is necessary for an inner experience. I find my creativity is sparked by the color green, or the blues of a lake, ocean, or sky. Flowers and mushrooms both touch me in different ways and somehow evoke story ideas, character mannerisms and plot twists.

2. Washing dishes & making beds. Strangely, doing those chores allows me to let my mind go and I can then focus on the places where I'm stuck. Mindless activities that can be filled with enriching thoughts.

3. Sitting amongst strangers. Making my way to a coffee shop or walking the local mall is also a way for my creativity to spark and for inspiration to come my way. 

My soul yearns for these experiences, and when I let it, it wanders in delight, and I now knowingly wait for it to return because it will fill me in on what it saw, heard, felt - and then I am just like the Aborigine who waits for their soul.

Today, take time to let your soul wander. Wait for it to catch up to you and then listen for what wisdom it will share. Take that knowingness and write - write a passage that connects your soul to your writing. 
______________________________

D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Solem was released February 2016.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception, and the co-author of The Exodus Series: The Water Planet: Book 1 and House of Glass: Book 2. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.                                                                                             

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com                                      

You can also follower her on Facebook.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

6 Tips to Grow Your Readership & Manage Your Content

We’ve talked about knowing your audience, delivering inspiring topics, creating value and gaining the readers’ attention consistently.  Our writing should always be focused, personable and authentic.  As we manage our content well, our readership will grow.  Let’s consider a few more tips.  

1. Invite post feedback through comments and linkup with other bloggers in your field.  It’s a good habit to respond to each comment.

2. Deliver present & timely content as well as evergreen content to your viewers.  Make it practical and useful.  Paying attention to your blog’s theme and your readers’ feedback is key for future posts.

3. Create tags for each post.  Using three relevant tags is a good practice and will facilitate your audience returning to search your archive.

4. Create a motto that is meaningful to you and memorable.  Use it consistently.

5. Invite a colleague to write a guest post for your site.  Or post an interview you have conducted with a colleague.  Be sure to include links to their website and ask them to link to your site as well.

6. Images and graphics are key attention grabbers making your message stronger. Use at least one image with each post.  Some bloggers elect to use the same graphic per recurring theme.  Would that work for you? 

We always appreciate your feedback.  Do you have questions or tip requests for me?  Thank you very much for reading!  deborah

Deborah Lyn Stanley is a writer, editor and artist.  She is a retired project manager who now devotes her time to writing, arting and caregiving mentally impaired seniors. 

She has independently published a collection of 24 artists’ interviews entitled the Artists Interview Series.  The series was also published as articles for an online news network and on her website: Deborah Lyn Stanley - Writers Blog.  Deborah is published in magazines.  She is a blogger who has managed several group sites including ones she founded.
 
“Write your best, in your voice, your way!”

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Write What You Know



As writers, we’re often told to write what we know.

And while many writers (myself included) enjoy research, so we’re able to write about most anything, it’s possible to build a career simply writing about what we already know – no research required.

Erma Bombeck, Dave Barry, and David Sedaris all became famous writing from personal experience.

Who knows? You could become famous writing about what you know, too.

Just follow these tips:

1. Take a class or workshop, so you learn about all the different types of materials that can be created from personal experiences. Personal essays and opinion pieces probably come to mind immediately, but many other types of materials can be created from personal experience.

2. Learn ways to generate and capture an endless supply of material to write about. That way, once you’ve written about your most memorable personal experiences, you won’t run out of new material to write about.

3. Know the various markets for materials written from personal experience. You need to know more than the most popular markets for personal experience pieces, so you’ll have markets to submit to all the time.

4. Learn how to turn your personal experiences into marketable pieces (pieces that will be more likely to sell). There are some definite tricks of the trade for this, so be sure to learn them.

5. Learn how to effectively add humor to your writing (when appropriate) to make your work more appealing. Again, there are definite tricks of the trade for humor writing. Learn these tricks so your attempts at humor won’t fall flat.

6. Learn to write with style. Your work will be more marketable, and if you develop a strong personal style, it may become your brand as a writer.

Follow these tips and, even if you don’t become the next Erma Bombeck, you’ll still be well on your way to creating an enjoyable career writing what you know!

As the Working Writer's Coach, Suzanne Lieurance helps people turn their passion for writing into a lucrative career.

Let her teach you everything you need to know to build your career writing what you know.

Learn more at www.fearlessfreelancewriting.com.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Power of Video Marketing - A string quartet

Okay, maybe I'm acquiring a bad habit. I watched another video that made me want to share.

I happened across this video on Facebook. I really try to avoid watching videos because they're kind of time consuming. But, this is another great one with a story and marketing elements.

In a few minutes, a really short clip, a story emerged of one-upping, competition, and determination. And, it's all done in a funny and extremely talented and creative way.

I don't know the name of the video, but it was posted originally by Brandon Williams. You'll see what I mean about it's power when you watch it. It's definitely worth the few minutes.



So, how is this great video marketing?

Well, I can think of at least two reasons:

1. If this were a music school. Would you join up if you wanted to learn a stringed instrument?
2. If they had a performance coming up, wouldn't you be motivated to get a ticket?

And, all from the power of a short video clip.

If you watched it, please let us know what you thought of it!

If you're not creating video yet, start today. Create something simple, right from your iPhone or iPad. Get it up on YouTube, optimize it, and publish it.

You can even create a PowerPoint presentation, turn it into an MP4 and put it on YouTube.

MORE ON WRITING AND MARKETING

Selling Your Book - 2 Steps Toward Success
Blogging – 5 Popular Blog Post and Article Formats
Tips on Polishing Your Novel