WORDS

By slappy squirrel | writing and blogs and stuff

Here are Creative Writing Exercises for Craft

No matter what stage you're at with your writing, it's always beneficial to work on craft and technique. These creative writing exercises target …

Are You Still the “You” that You Thought You Were? How Old Identity Patterns Hold Creative People Back

The life we live has everything to do with our identity. Sometimes this is obvious—the person living with a wealthy, educated identity has a very …

What to Say to Yourself When You’re a Writer Struggling with Crippling Fear

<b>When I started writing my first novel I was scared to death. I didn’t even know it was a novel at that time, but I was terrified nonetheless. I was</b> …

Lessons for Personal Development Bloggers

Earlier this year I had an idea: why not ask personal development bloggers for advice on personal development blogging, compile them into an ebook …

Self-improvement

Letter #23: How to read, write and think better

Reading, writing and thinking — three facilities of our mind that we take for granted. Yet, three facilities that we couldn’t live without.<p>Medium …

How to Make People Spend More Time on Your Blog with Stories

Have you ever been to Alexa.com to check your bounce rate?<p>Perhaps you are afraid to look.<p>Your bounce rate tells you how quickly people are leaving, …

How Walking Fosters Creativity

<i>Image via Diego Sevilla Ruiz</i><p>A certain Zen proverb goes something like this: “A five year old can understand it, but an 80 year old cannot do it.” The …

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Wigtown: A Photo Tour of Scotland's National Book Town

If you've ever dreamed of running your own bookshop in a picturesque town full of bibliophiles, now's your chance. For anyone curious about the life …

Hard-Boiled Urban Fantasy Sandman Slim May Be Coming to the Big Screen

Richard Kadrey’s <i>Sandman Slim</i> books have always seemed perfectly suited for a film adaptation. After all, they star a tough-talking magician who’s …

Who Gets to Write What?

When I was in graduate school, I remember a fellow writer bringing to a workshop a lynching scene. The writer was not black. He was, in fact, a Chinese-American man named Bill Cheng, who would go on to write a novel of the blues called “Southern Cross the Dog<i>.”</i><p>In class that day, we hemmed and hawed …

Spike Jonze Presents a Stop Motion Film for Book Lovers

It all started when filmmaker Spike Jonze (<i>Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are</i>) met handbag designer Olympia Le-Tan and asked her to …

A Child of Books: An Illustrated Love Letter to the Wondrous World of Words and Stories

A jubilant paean to books as participatory engines of self-discovery, self-creation, and self-transformation.<p>Half a millennium before Carl Sagan pointed to books as “proof that humans are capable of working magic,” Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. For Kafka, books were “the …

In The Next 15 Minutes I Will Show You How To Make Your Blog More Professional

<i>Note: This post is a little long, but if you give me 15 minutes of your attention, I guarantee I can make your online appearance more professional.</i>My …

Grammar

Why Bloggers Fail: 10 Reasons Why Your Blog Sucks

Most people fail at blogging. If you want your blog to be a success, make sure you avoid the following mistakes.

Read Bret Easton Ellis' excoriating monologue on social justice warriors

If you've been listening to Bret Easton Ellis' excellent podcast over the past couple of years, you'll know that an anger, a disbelief, an exhaustion …

Read Books, Live Longer?

Reading books is tied to a longer life, according to a new report.<p>Researchers used data on 3,635 people over 50 participating in a larger health study who had answered questions about reading.<p>The scientists divided the sample into three groups: those who read no books, those who read books up to …

How To Add A Directory To Any WordPress Website

What comes to mind when you think of ways to monetize your WordPress website?<p>It’s easy to come up with common techniques like advertising, e-book or …

'The Fire This Time': A New Generation Of Writers On Race In America

Jesmyn Ward was in her 20s when she first read James Baldwin's 1963 essay collection <i>The Fire Next Time.</i> Ward felt that Baldwin's essays — compiled in a year that included Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and the Birmingham church bombings — are especially resonant today and tease …

Racism

The Workings Of Nature: Naturalist Writing And Making Sense Of The World

<i>"In every generation and among every nation, there are a few individuals with the desire to study the workings of nature; if they did not exist, those nations would perish."</i><p>— Al-Jahiz, <i>The Book of Animals</i><p>In 185 AD, Chinese astronomers recorded a supernova. Among more detached details of its …

Books

Here's How to Fix That Lonely Wasteland You Call Your Website

Crickets.<p>That's what you hear every time you post a new article on your website. I experience it, and so do most other entrepreneurs trying to build an online audience. To make things worse, you're probably getting sick of hearing stories of other people turning their entire business around just by …

Why You Don't Have To Win The Writing Game

The first time I interviewed the author Richard Bach, he described an evening he spent with Kurt Vonnegut, Truman Capote, and Leon Uris. "It was so disappointing," he said. "Here I was sitting with these three great minds, and <i>all</i> they wanted to talk about was agents and advances and sales."<p>In the …

Authors

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and author, dead at 87

NEW YORK (AP) — Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, the Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic "Night" became a landmark testament to the Nazis' crimes and launched Wiesel's long career as one of the world's foremost witnesses and humanitarians, has died at age 87.<p>His death was announced Saturday …

An Animated History of the Book

For hundreds of years, books have served as the world’s primary method of recording information, sharing knowledge, and telling stories. At some …

What you read matters more than you might think

A study published in the International Journal of Business Administration in May 2016, found that what students read in college directly affects the level of writing they achieve. In fact, researchers found that reading content and frequency may exert more significant impacts on students’ writing …

The Brain

What is design fiction?

Like me, I'm sure many of you grew up on a diet of science fiction; imagining future worlds through the work of authors like Isaac Asimov, Philip K. …

Polly Stenham: ‘The more experience I have, the harder writing gets’

The 29-year-old playwright talks about the pressures of early success, hanging out with Lena Dunham – and co-writing a horror film set in the LA fashion world<p>Polly Stenham wrote her first play, <i>That Face</i>, when she was 19; it opened at the Royal Court, later transferred to the West End, and was …

Film (UK)

4 Blogging Alternatives for Small Local Businesses

Whether you’re a corporate CEO or a small business owner, you’ve probably heard how beneficial blogging is for your enterprise. It’s not only a great …

10 Essential Imaging Tools For Successful Bloggers

Blog posts with images get 94% more views, and visuals increase both the time spent on posts and social shares…<p>So why are so many bloggers resistant …