Web/Twitter Gems August 14-18

  1. Creative Success – A 7-Lesson Guide to Creating by Jessica James
    http://brainzooming.com/creative-success-a-7-lesson-guide-to-creating-by-jessica-james/16608/   #5…not my favorite step, which means I should definitely buck up and follow through.
  1. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days…” J.K. Rowling
    http://www.advicetowriters.com/home/2016/7/7/be-ruthless-about-protecting-writing-days.html #amwriting #writerslife
  1. Miserable Day Job Turns Into $100,000 Side Income  https://sidehustleschool.com/episode/43
    This person used her blog to side-hustle her way out of her job. These eight-minute podcasts might just nudge you to venture forward yourself.
  1. Jon Winokur  @AdviceToWriters
    “Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters’ theses.” –STEPHEN KING
    Just one opinion, but geez, this guy just might know something about the writing business.
  1. So, if, unlike Stephen King, you’re at least straddling the fence on outlining, Steven Pressfield’s foolscap method might just provide that happy medium. http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2011/04/the-foolscap-method/
    Key words: “Shut up and begin.” There are plenty of other resources that explore the foolscap method of diving into a writing project.

Web Gems: A quick look at openculture.com


I’m sharing three highlights from openculture.com, a leading provider of open educational resources. More to come in the future.

1. http://www.openculture.com/ Scroll to Writing Tips in the inner right column. Guidance from the list of fair-to-middlin’ writers [;->] below is available.

  • Ernest Hemingway
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Stephen King
  • Ray Bradbury
  • William Zinsser
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Toni Morrison
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Margaret Atwood
  • David Ogilvy
  • John Steinbeck
  • Billy Wilder

2. http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
There is a section on journalism and writing, including this
iTunes-based creative writing master class. I figure even if you drop in at your leisure, mug of coffee in hand…

  • No turning heads and ensuing glares from students or teacher. [Even your inevitable coffee spills will go unnoticed.]
  • Tons to learn in convenient time chunks.

3. http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks
Ebooks from Neil Gaiman, Phillip Dick, David Foster Wallace, and John Muir, as well as some struggling amateurs ;-> like Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Shakespeare. Also, consider scrolling down to the bottom to the ‘Assorted Texts’ section.

Email Gems: July 17-21

From my Austin Kleon weekly newsletter:
Here [with 2 Years of Exhausting Photographic Detail] Is How to Write a Book by Ryan Holiday

From the newsletter of Jill Badonsky [the author of The Muse Is In]:
“Strengthen Your Tolerance Muscle–To be good at anything in the creative realm you must be able to accept that you’re not instantly perfect or even kinda good. If you don’t have a tolerance muscle, your mission if you want to answer your creative call, is to build it before the skill you are trying to cultivate.”




Twitter Gems July 3-7

Some of the greatest writers of the past century on how to handle criticism   https://t.co/DvCwfSOue4

twitter-rubix cube

A self-publishing primer from @JaneFriedman is among this week’s Finds for Writers: wp.me/p4x0h8-bKZ.

You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. J.K. ROWLING #amwriting #writing #writinglife

“When an idea comes, spend silent time with it…” https://t.co/WjESlYRIkz

You re-learn how to write a book every time you write a book. bit.ly/2sFlNUQ

5 Twitter Gems


  1. Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

Developing a powerful #writing habit buff.ly/2ra5I7g w/ @Honoree

  1. Jon Winokur  @AdviceToWriters

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days…”

twitter-rubix cube


  1. MakeUseOf  @MakeUseOf

7 Free Windows Apps for Exploring Your Creative Side muo.co/2taPMAL

  1. Jon Winokur  @AdviceToWriters

Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.

  1. Mike Brown @Brainzooming

Has your stream of creative ideas dried up? Here’s the Answer! hubs.ly/H07C6xZ0

15-Minute Intervals of Work

Today I’m using the 15-minute work intervals approach.

I’m in the middle of my 15-minute blog posting interval. Kind of obvious, I guess…

  • Posted author comments to jrmays.com .
  • And now this post…I have a minute left. [Confession–I ran overtime on this. Still, it does get me focused to generate and finish.]


Other 15-minute work intervals completed today:

  1. Job search cover letter revisions
  2. Review of editor’s comments on a piece of fiction. She and I connected through Reedsy. She’s right on the mark. Money well-spent. I have a lot of work to do on this project.
  3. Check in with authormarketingclub.com [Video on exploding your word count with dictation software]
  4. Generated list of activities for an ebook I’m writing
  5. First 200 words at-a-sitting [turned out to be 280, handwritten]
  6. Read James Altucher’s What to Do When You’re Rejected . Good food for thought.
  7. 200 words at-a-sitting [session 2] on my Chromebook. Turned out to be 550 words. Writing via keyboard never ‘feels’ as good to me as writing in a notebook, but it’s darned sure more productive.


My 15-minute email-check interval: Good to impose a limit here.

Listening to Steep Canyon Rangers [a group often often accompanied by banjoist/funny guy Steve Martin]

Bought The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. Currently $1.99.

A blogger ‘liked’ my post yesterday so I followed a link to that person’s work.

http://bit.ly/2raHB6y  [Gardening4Gains]

Here was my comment to the post:

One resonating line: Do you let life control you or do you take the reins?  Your point about exercise as privilege vs. chore really hit home. I stared at the 10 cubic yards of soil to shovel, wheelbarrow into backyard from front driveway and thought, “yick.” Then I remembered two friends who have had/will have surgery for back and neck stuff and thought, “Geez, T, what a weaselly wimp you are for groaning at the thought of good honest mindless grunt work.”


Still with the email session…

–Memorable line from Seth Godin’s daily email:

What if we take the responsibility instead of waiting for it to be offered?

–Unsubscribed from Hilton Honors Club. [Can’t say as I remember signing up for that one. I sure as heck don’t quality as a titanium club member or whatever their special designation is.

Am up to 65 unsubscribes. It feels like there might be 10 more around the corner…

Thanks for reading!