To do good writing, read good writing. Here’s the good writing I’ve been reading this week:
Neil Gaiman’s commencement address at the University of the Arts has been making the rounds this graduation season. If you listen, you’ll get his point: if you work for yourself as a freelance writer or other creative professional, you can be good, meet deadlines or easy to get along with. But if you really want to hit the big time, be all three.
Other items of interest:
By the Numbers: Average Writer and Reporter Wages by State (Ebyline blog) – Freelance business reporter Susan Johnston got a great write up on Poynter.org today for her data visualization piece on the geographic vagaries of reporter pay. Johnston parsed Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find out where people make more than the average salary for job titles such as “writer/author” and “reporter/correspondent.” Higher costs of living on the East and West coasts correspond to higher wages for people who work as writers or authors in both areas, according to her analysis. However, for people who describe themselves as reporters or correspondents, pay is higher than average in the Northeast, and only slightly higher on the West Coast. “Given the higher cost of living,” she concludes, “a journalist might be better off moving to Georgia (12% higher than average) or Colorado (11% higher) from California (only 15% above the national average for reporters). Also attractive for journalists: Alaska (14% higher) and Arizona (17% higher).” It’s a great example of how a reporter can use publicly available data and visuals to tell a compelling story.
Email marketing tips (ChrisBrogan.com) – When this social media maven talks, people listen. So it’s worth paying attention when he shares advice on what to do if you use an email newsletter to promote your work, something that Brogan enthusiastically promotes. Don’t make it fancy or fussy, your message is more important than your design. Keep newsletters to 500 words or under (I’ll have to work on that). Include one call to action – anything more and it’s too distraction. Read the entire post for more of his words of wisdom.
- 9 year old who changed school lunches silenced by politicians(Wired.com) – All power to the bloggers, even when they’re are just kids.
- The pulse of news in social media: Predicting popularity (HP Labs)
- A New York Times whodunit (New York) – Power struggles inside one of the nation’s biggest papers. Inside baseball, definitely worth reading.
- 700,000 books later, she finally has a ‘bestseller’ (Washington Post)
- Your punctuation personality type (HuffPost)
- How long does it take to get blog readers? (Jane Friedman.com)
- Twitter’s expanded tweets are a double-edged sword(GigaOm)