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From Biographile: “Teresa Carpenter Dispels Writer’s Block”

by | Posted January 23rd, 2013

Photo of Teresa Carpenter, author

Teresa Carpenter, via Biographile

In a recent post on Biographile, a site devoted to “Real People. Real Stories. Great Reading.,” they discussed whether writer’s block actually exists. New York Times bestselling author Teresa Carpenter strongly believes it does not.

“If you can’t sit still in your chair, you’re bored, not blocked,” she says. “If you are running a temperature of 103, you’re sick, not blocked.”

The idea here, then, is that “writer’s block” is nothing more than a term we use when we are having difficulty focusing on our work for a variety of reasons. What do you think? Does writer’s block actually exist?

From Huffington Post: What Are America’s Best Bookstores?

by | Posted January 22nd, 2013

Image of bookstore front on a sunny day.

Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Colorado (via Huffington Post)

In a turn of good news for independent bookstores, Huffington Post reports that there is increasing interest in purchasing  books locally. Now, it has become about more than just buying the novel; it’s  about going to a place where you can tread across the same brick floors that William Faulkner walked on, or see quotes by Kurt Vonnegut and Flannery O’Conner in the sidewalk outside the shop doors. People are investing in the experience of buying, much in the same way that they do reading. In this comeback of local booksellers, these five bookstores in particular set themselves apart as some of the best in America.

Write what you don’t know?

by | Posted January 21st, 2013

Everyone (who writes) has heard the phrase, “Write what you know.” Sure, I can do that. I’ve always written what I’ve known. Even at MSU, when I took classes like Music & Culture, I understood it and knew how to write about it. Even when I had to write what I was maybe a little unfamiliar with, I had the time to figure it out, and I was never learning something completely new. Still, it’s always harder when you aren’t sure about the topic of which you’re writing.

So what do you do when you’re writing what you don’t know?

My first job out of college is a great one. I love my co-workers, I’m never bored and always busy, and I have the best schedule. But here’s the thing—I work in a megachurch. Not dissing churches or megachurches, just pointing out the fact that I didn’t grow up in a Christian household. I don’t know much about the Bible. I don’t know it at all, to be honest. And now I’m regularly in creative meetings, helping write scripts, brainstorming for new sermon series, editing the synopses for these sermons, and I don’t know a thing about the Bible and I’m only starting to learn about Christianity, which is a fairly expansive thing to learn about. (more…)

Part Two: How the Marketing Industry is Changing (From a Strategic Point of View)

by | Posted January 19th, 2013

Earlier this week, I wrote about how fastcocreate.com ran an article asking several high-level “creative types for their educated predictions on how their jobs and the marketing landscape would change in 2013.” In Part Two, they interviewed several high-level strategists: “These are the people who are said to represent the consumer in the marketing process–they’re the masters of research, the experts in media and culture that are responsible for generating brand insights and opportunities.”

The questions asked for this particular group of individuals ranged from big-picture scenarios to what will happen in the advertising field. Questions such as, what kind of consumer trends will happen in 2013? What kind of media trends will happen? And, how will all of this have an effect on our culture as a whole and how we view advertising? Lee Maicon, SVP, insights and strategy, 360i said that we are ruled by “the algorithm.” This means, we make decisions based on recommendations we receive from top companies such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix, despite thinking we’re making them of our own free will.

In terms of marketing to a culture, one such expert said brands “[will] be a culture’s ultimate problem solver.” Lindsey Allison, VP/group director, planning, CP+B, says brands need to ask what is the real problem they can solve? Whether this is “climate, obesity, education – to the little ones – finding the perfect pair jeans,” brands will be working towards helping consumers more.

As someone who doesn’t have a lot of background knowledge in marketing and advertising and consumerism, I don’t know where the 2013 marketing industry will go. As a PWer, I wonder how this will affect our social media and what we see more and more on television or in magazines. In this regard, I think we can only wait and see what happens and what the eventual shift and change will be.

From Galleycat: Buying E-books From Your Favorite Bookstore

by | Posted January 19th, 2013

If you’re one of those people who are worried about the impending switch to digital books and how they might ruin your independent bookstore, worry no more. Galleycat released a step-by-step instruction list on how to buy books from your favorite independent bookstore without succumbing to buying from the popular, mainstream bookstore sellers. It all has to do with Kobo, an e-reading device that allows users to buy books from their independent bookstores. Although the switch to e-books and e-readers is becoming more and more popular, you can still support your favorite independent bookstore through this simple program.

From Media Jobs Daily: Weird, yet True, Interview Questions Asked in 2012

by | Posted January 18th, 2013

Have you ever been sitting in an interview and asked if you knew how many cows were in Canada? No? Well, a prospective employer interviewing with Google did. Media Jobs Daily released an article about the Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions, posted by GlassDoor, a company that gives employees an inside look at different jobs and companies. Although some companies (Google, included) are known for asking odd interview questions meant to give more of an insight on how the candidate thinks, most aren’t always useful in determining who is the best candidate.

“This trend of “gimmick” interview questions really needs to stop, in our opinion. Some of them tell you something useful about the candidate, like how s/he thinks, but most are just designed to catch the candidate off guard and don’t give any useful information about how he or she would perform on the job.”

PW Students Organize Fifth Local Music Festival

by | Posted January 17th, 2013

Next weekend, months of hard work by a group of Professional Writing (PW) alumni and students will finally be seen in action. The Middle of the Mitten (MOTM) festival has arrived once again, hosting its fifth annual celebration of local music from January 24th-26th in East Lansing and Lansing.

Logo for Middle of the Mitten 5Created by PW alumnus Joel Heckaman when he was a sophomore, Middle of the Mitten’s first festival took place in January 2009. What was originally a simple rock show to celebrate the first anniversary of The Record Lounge, an East Lansing record shop, has expanded each year, now including three nights at three different venues. The organization is currently working on its 501(c)3 and Registered Student Organization statuses while still hosting a music festival every January, and a Rock for Relief local music marathon in April for charities and disaster relief. (more…)

From Publishing Trendsetter: A Neat Infographic on the Life Cycle of a Book

by | Posted January 17th, 2013

Publishing Trendsetter created an infographic that explains exactly how a book becomes finalized. It takes you through the steps from when the writer comes up with an idea to finding an agent all the way through editing, production, marketing, publicity, and finally when it’s in the buyer’s hands. Complete with colors and arrows, it’s a must-look for anyone aspiring to break into the publishing business and wants to know more of how it works.

Source: publishingtrendsetter.com