A few words to the wise & more tips from Chap 1

Well, it is late Tuesday night and I have not heard from the event planner. I take it this means I am not being given his writing assignment. Oh well.

On the up side, my “free” e-zine article was published today on Personal Branding & Improving your Google-ability. I’ll report of I see an uptick in the number of visitors here at the blog referred from the piece.

The piece is on personal branding. In The Book (see my about page if you don’t know what I’m talking about) Parker recommends thinking about potential topics that you know enough to write about and about the kind of writing you would like to do, ultimately.

Personal branding is a topic I happen to know a fairly significant amount about. I think it is one of the things I would like to begin writing about on a regular basis. I have a great idea for a piece on networking – the idea that people have forgotten how to socially network because of online social media. It would provide tips for starting conversations and the like, or finding appropriate places to meet people in a business setting.Perhaps if I don’t find a place to have it published, I’ll write it and post it to ezine. If I do, I’ll link to it here.

In addition to thinking about this, I’ve been considering another tip that Parker imparts in chapter one. Read, read, read. After reading a piece that is particularly well written, I try to deconstruct it and figure out what it is about the piece that makes it read well. Is it the sentence structure? The pace? Does it have the perfect arch (my nemesis when I attempt short story writing is creating a successful arch).

Parker suggests reading samples of work within the field you would like to write in (or ad samples, if your dream is to write ad copy) and then to analysis them for tips that can carry over to your own writing. However, P. Trunk, on her blog, recommends quite the opposite – she says it becomes impossible to create something original if you are too well read within your topic; and it tends to make you feel inadequate. I’m still on the fence on whether to side with P. or Parker.

This piece is a bit of a hodge-podge but I have two more quick notes / lessons I’ve learned that I’d like to share this week. First, in an effect to continue reading outside of my typical reading choices, I joined a book group a few months back. So far, I’ve only made it to the first meeting, (the second being while I was away for the holidays) but I enjoyed that meeting quite a bit. I think that meeting to discuss writing with other people who enjoy it as much as you do can be incredibly mentally stimulating. I’m finishing up a book tomorrow during the day for book club tomorrow evening.

And second, I want to offer a caution on networking. I recently responded to a craig’s list ad for a graphic designer. She was looking for a writer to do some sales letters for her. I offered to trade services; I had tried my hand a few times at creating a business card for myself, but to this day haven’t created something I’m happy with (see below for 2 examples of what I’ve come up with). I turned around two sales letters that she seemed very happy with. In return, she set out to work on my business card.

I had second thoughts about the trade when I saw her portfolio, while working on her sales letters, but by then I had already agreed to the trade. While her designs are not bad, per-say, they are also not quite what I was looking for. So a word to the wise – when networking, be sure to check someone’s work before offering to let them work with a client (I’m glad she was doing the cards for me, and not someone I was working for) and be sure of the quality of their work. Otherwise, it may reflect poorly on you.

My Business Cards (designed by me)

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