Welcome to this Saturday Edition of What We’re Writing and Reading in which we share some of what we’re up to with our writing (when we’re not here) and what we’re into with our reading (around the web). We’ll also pull back the curtain a little to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what went into a piece.
We hope you enjoy this little diversion and encourage you to share your own posts and picks in the comments.
Happy writing! Happy reading!
Jamie Wallace: Hello! Could someone please tell me where September went? It’s my favorite month. It just started a minute ago, but now I find it’s October. I’m a little confused. (Not to mention disappointed – I haven’t even been to the orchard yet!)
ANYway – welcome to this week’s Saturday Edition. I hope everyone has had a good, creative week. Any new projects? Are you all still savoring that back-to-school vibe that we writers seem to enjoy so much? Has fall brought you any new inspirations? Ooh! Anyone gearing up for NaNoWriMo?
What I’m Writing:
This week was a busy one for me in terms of client work. I had to write six case studies and two byline articles. Despite cranking on those, I also managed to find time for a little non-client writing:
On the business side of things, I wrote a new post for Suddenly Marketing about how marketing needs to make me feel something. The “spark” for the post was the Maya Angelou quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I have always assumed that Angelou, being a poet and a writer, was talking about the writing craft and the power of words on a page to evoke real emotions. The truth of what she says, however, applies to everything from movies to relationships. It also applies to marketing. Whether you’re selling widgets or stories, the thing that makes people buy, is an emotional affinity with your brand – a feeling that makes them want to be part of what you’re doing. The Apple computer company is a great example of this. Even when their products are not perfect, their customers still come flocking because being part of the Apple community makes them feel something – smarter, hipper, edgier, more rebellious, more creative. Apple accomplishes this by sharing their values, sense of style, and sense of humor.
It’s something to think about as an author – not just how your stories make people feel, but how your marketing aligns with those feelings to create an experience that expands beyond your stories.
I also republished my latest installment for the column I write in my local paper. As I mentioned above, fall is my favorite season, and this column was an ode to the few, short months between summer’s exuberance and winter’s long quiet. I’ve been writing Something in the Air in my head for weeks, but it still came out as something slightly different than I thought it would be. I decided to begin with the birds after weeks watching their preparatory activities while I hung out with the school horses after my Saturday morning riding lesson. From dapper swallows with their aerial acrobatics to stately great blue herons sailing slowly across the sky, these feathered creatures seemed to be dancing the fall season into being, right before my eyes.
What I’m Reading:
With all the writing I had on my plate, I didn’t have much time for reading. But, one night – I think it was Tuesday – I took Neil Gaiman’s new children’s book to bed with me. Fortunately, the Milk (affiliate link) is a short, illustrated book that makes a perfect bedtime story for kids or adults. I had only meant to look at it for a few minutes, but wound up reading the entire thing. In the dark. With a booklight. Fortunately the Milk is a ridiculous and madcap romp involving aliens, pirates, and time-traveling dinosaurs. In it, a bottle of milk saves the Universe from utter destruction, and two kids get to have breakfast.
Though this book is very different than Gaiman’s other works, I enjoyed it thoroughly. When she was younger, my daughter always used to ask me to make up stories on the spot. I was never very good at it (being more a planner than a pantster), but this funny, little story reminds me of the kind of story I wish I’d been able to make up for her.
And let’s not forget the blogs. Here are a few of my favorite writerly posts from this week:
- How To Live While You’re Here by @megworden – This isn’t about writing. In fact, it’s written by a health coach. But … it addresses some important inner battles we fight with ourselves about “good enough.” I find it particularly applicable to writers who have to contend with the added joy & burden of fitting writing into their lives.
- Styling a Bookshelf: 10 Homes that Get it Right + 5 Tips for Your Own via @desginsponge – Because bookshelves. *love*
- Still Writing by @lemead about @danijshapiro’s new book about the writing life – This one’s on my “to read” list.
- Introducing Your Kids to Great Literature by @DadTellMeAStory – Because it’s so important to inspire the next generation of readers.
- Combating Platform Fatigue & Thinking Long Term For Your Writing Career [podcast] with @wegrowmedia and @thecreativepenn – A bit on the business side of writing.
- Here’s A Shocking Truth If You Think You’ve Wasted Your Life by Anna Chui via @lifehackorg – Tell me you haven’t thought this before.
- How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing For Your Books? Be Awesome. by @wegrowmedia – Yes, yes, and YES.
- Twitter Tips for Writers That Will Help You Get the Most Out of the Network via @thewritelife – Solid advice. Sanely presented.
Finally, a quote for the week:
That seemed an appropriate quote to follow up to Angelou’s.
Now – go write. Go read. Enjoy your weekend & we’ll see you on the other side! 🙂
Jamie Lee Wallace is a writer who also happens to be a marketer. She helps her Suddenly Marketing clients discover their voice, connect with their audience, and find their marketing groove. She is also a mom, a prolific blogger, and a student of the equestrian arts, voice, and trapeze (not at the same time). Introduce yourself on facebook or twitter. She doesn’t bite … usually.