Writing – worry if you are completely satisfied @execupundit

Top writing tips from Michael Wade, here.

… inspired by even topper tips from Sippican Cottage, here.

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Pensieri da Nicholas Bate

The inspiring and productive Nicholas Bate is on a roll.

Here, he offers a free PDF download of his mini-book, In Three.

In Three

In the meantime, I‘ve been enjoying his latest mini-book, Pensieri, which arrived just in time for a period of pondering and planning. Consequently, I think I have a plan that is grounded, ambitious, inspired and achievable.

Ask me about it in five years.

[Edit: link added for the free download of Pensieri]

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Four simple questions for writers – @thisissethsblog

An essential starting point for any writer, on any project:

  1. What is it for?
  2. Who are you?
  3. Who is it for?
  4. Will it spread?

Read the full detail on Seth Godin’s blog, here.

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Social media, politics and narrative – @roughtype

Here’s a great essay from Nicholas Carr on social media’s effect on the US presidential campaign, and much more.  It explores how social media is different from previous media – not necessarily better or worse, but different – and how that requires a different approach:

“The message, as always, has to fit the medium.”

Reflecting on a previous shift in the prevailing medium, in the now-famous 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debate:

“Nixon’s mistake was to assume that he was still in the radio age. He believed that the audience would concentrate on what he said and wouldn’t care much about how he looked. Oblivious to the camera’s gaze, he had no idea that the sweat on his upper lip would drown out his words.”  (my emphasis for a beautifully turned phrase)

And what works in a social media age that is not so much democratising as diminishing:

“What’s important now is not so much image as personality. But, as the Trump phenomenon suggests, it’s a particular kind of personality that works best — one that’s big enough to grab the attention of the perpetually distracted but small enough to fit neatly into a thousand tiny media containers. It might best be described as a Snapchat personality. It bursts into focus at regular intervals without ever demanding steady concentration.”

Worth a longish read and a ponder.

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Non-stop mellow – @GDRadio

The soundtrack for my current work and writing is the very wonderful Grateful Dead Radio (GDRadio.net).  Non-stop streaming of concerts by the Grateful Dead and off-shoots; what more do you need?


On my first, and so far only, trip to San Francisco, I drove in from San Diego with Grateful Dead Radio on the hire car’s satellite radio.  I thought I was in heaven, until somewhere on the industrial outskirts we hit an endless drum solo.

Compensation came in the form of an hour in Amoeba Music, on Ashbury Street.

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Echoes through time: the power of metaphor #writing

“Now strange words simply puzzle us; ordinary words convey only what we know already; it is from metaphor that we can best get hold of something fresh.”

Aristotle (384 – 322 BC), Rhetoric

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Show up, sit down and write

This, Seth Godin’s 6,000th blog post reminds me of Steven Pressfield’s exhortation to…

Put your ass where your heart wants to be.


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