Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cross Marketing, Part One

Two Views of the same thing different times, different days.

Swubird of Swubird's Nest asked me in his comments recently if I used my father's life stories in my writing. And Jim of The Truth About Lies had a recent post about inspiration and getting ideas. John Scalia in his book You're not fooling anyone when you take your laptop to a coffee shop mentions how most writers must do more than fiction writing to make a living. Helen Ginger of Straight From Hel had as a guest blogger Joan Upton Hall in a post about trademarks. My friend Kathy McIntosh of Well Placed Words often posts about her editing and has done so in her most recent post Word Use Watch.

Finally, my article The Sideline Syndrome is published in the January edition of Treasure Valley Family Magazine and in February my article Fit-For-Teens Gyms is coming out in Treasure Valley

So what do two photos, several different blogs and two articles from a fiction writer have to do with cross marketing? Plenty. As the photos above illustrate, the same thing can change a great deal from moment to moment, yet still be the same. This can be said of writing that is cross-marketing.

The answer to Swu's question is a yelled "Yes!" Dad is a character and a subject of non-fiction articles. He's an inspiration for myriad things, not just writing, and a deep well of where I get ideas. I'm an exercise instructor as my "other" job and now often sell articles on fitness, as well as using my knowledge in my fiction. Selling the articles promotes my exercise biz and also helps establish a trademark or "known" name as a writer. I try, whenever possible, to do as Kathy does so well, and provide "cross-content" in my blog and fiction and articles.

Around it goes, use and re-use and re-cycle, one aspect feeding into another, all of them creating success.

What do you do to cross market? Or have you even considered it? Or have you been doing it unconsciously (as was the case with me in many ways until my fellow bloggers started me thinking)?

Next post, a review and what a writer can learn from reviewing other work.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Martin Luther King's birthday was this Thursday. Martin Luther King's Day is this Monday. This seemed a perfect mid-way point.

Martin Luther King's Day is the perfect time to celebrate one of our most precious freedoms, the freedom of speech. Without our freedom of speech (and thereby all creative endeavors) where would we writer, painters, musicians, etc. be? I've lived in a "benevolent dictatorship" and the constrictions on expression are destructive to the creative spirit.

So celebrate freedom of speech by creating!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Processes are messy and difficult

Beginning of the process of taking down the Christmas tree.

The process mid-way.


What does
three photos of the process of taking down the Christmas tree illustrate? As the title of this entry indicates, all process are messy and difficult. Tis their nature. Things must be in what looks like and can seem like disarray during any process. Think about different processes and how messy they are, cooking, working, taking down a Christmas tree. The level of difficulty varies of course, with the task, but there is an inherent toughness to any process. (Remember back to the first time you did anything, even taking down a tree. It gets easy, but never easy.)

How does this apply to creative endeavors? Whether you're writing a novel or painting a picture or making jewelry, no matter what the creative project, it is a process. But, and here's the rub, for some obscure reason, many of us creative folks believe that creating should be easy and somehow well-organized. It should have "flow" and not be like the rest of human experience. Chaotic. Hard to do. Challenging and sometimes confusing.

With that belief, a writer can get caught endlessly "planning" a novel, a photographer forever trying to figure out how to control conditions or have the right settings or camera or..., and the musician always practicing and never performing. We can beat up on ourselves for not going through the process in a clean, straightforward, no mistakes manner to the point where all creativity dies.

So forgive yourself! Realize and accept that mistakes, wrong turns, dead ends are only part of the process. Doing so is freeing for the mind, spirit and that all important creative juice.

How do you deal with the mess and difficulties of a creative process? Do you fight against it? Or even embrace it as a delightful part of creativity?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Begin as you expect to continue, a wise friend told me.

I expect to continue:
1. Writing as much as possible. Working on writing better. Submitting my writing.
2. Working on a healthy, well-engaged life.
3. Always remembering that the people in my life are by far the most important. Love matters most.

What are you top 3 continuances?