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Writers

Dan Bucatinsky: “If you want to write…at least write for 15 minutes a day”

The Gracie Awards were held last night in Los Angeles, celebrating “outstanding programming for, by and about women.”

GalleyCat Editor Jason Boog was there on the red carpet chatting with established authors about how emerging writers can succeed in their trade. Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight? author and Scandal actor Dan Bucatinsky gave GalleyCat this advice:

Know what your point of view is and find a way to express it. Even if nobody’s paying you to do it. That’s the most important thing. If you want to sing, sing and find a venue for it. If you want to write, wake up every day and at least write for 15 minutes a day. Whoever you are, if you have a point of view and you want to have that voice expressed, find a way.

 

Newspaper Reporter Voted Worst Job in 2013 on CareerCast.com

Newspaper reporter was voted as the worst job out of 200 jobs on CareerCast.com. High stress, low pay and a contracting industry earned the career choice the poor ranking. The job ranked lower than lumberjack, enlisted military personnel, oil rig worker, meter reader and roofer, all of which made the list of the top 10 worst jobs this year.

Here is more from CareerCast.com, which ranked 200 jobs for the survey:

Ever-shrinking newsrooms, dwindling budgets and competition from Internet businesses have created very difficult conditions for newspaper reporters, which has been ranked as this year’s worst job, according to the CareerCast.com Jobs Rated report.

In contrast, actuary was voted the best job of 2013. Software engineer, audiologist and computer systems analyst also made the the top ten list for the best jobs of 2013.

Elon Musk: ‘Pay attention to negative feedback, and solicit it, particularly from friends.’

When was the last time you asked for negative feedback on your creative project?

In a new TED video (embedded above), Tesla co-founder Elon Musk urged creators to solicit negative feedback when designing a creative project. Check it out:

Well, I do think there’s a good framework for thinking. It is physics. You know, the sort of first principles reasoning. Generally I think there are — what I mean by that is, boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there, as opposed to reasoning by analogy. Through most of our life, we get through life by reasoning by analogy, which essentially means copying what other people do with slight variations. And you have to do that. Otherwise, mentally, you wouldn’t be able to get through the day. But when you want to do something new, you have to apply the physics approach. Physics is really figuring out how to discover new things that are counterintuitive, like quantum mechanics. It’s really counterintuitive. So I think that’s an important thing to do, and then also to really pay attention to negative feedback, and solicit it, particularly from friends. This may sound like simple advice, but hardly anyone does that, and it’s incredibly helpful.

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Tips for Authors Gleaned From Eve Bridburg & Porter Anderson

In a panel at the O’Reilly Tools of Change Author Revolution conference in New York today, Grub Street founder Eve Bridburg and journalist Porter Anderson discussed how authors can get involved in the promotion of their work and the best way to approach the overwhelming number of social media channels around. “Tactics don’t make any sense in the absence of strategy,” said Bridburg. Here is some advise that we gleaned from the panel.

1. Create a mission bigger than the one book you are working on.“Success is bigger than sales,” said Bridburg. “Make success bigger than the narrow idea of book sales.” Look at measuring your success in things beyond book sales. Ask yourself these questions: Does it give you energy? Does it give you joy? Do you learn new skills? Does it bring other work? Read more

Discover Free Short Stories with Paragraph Shorts App

Short stories occupy such a small real estate, but they now have a new home in Paragraph Shorts, a free app dedicated to the dissemination of short stories.

Paragraph Shorts is the vision of Ziv Navoth, a short storyteller with a mission to “do to the short story what iTunes did to singles – provide people with a great way to enjoy quality, bite-sized experiences, discovering not only great stories, but great writers.” Navoth’s personal novel, Nanotales, is a collection of short stories without chapters or pages. When promoting the novel, Navoth was discouraged by booksellers who told him that  ” no one buys books of short stories.”

Like Navoth’s personal work, Paragraph Shorts challenges traditional paper forms of storytelling. The app pairs short stories with beautiful photos and artwork, videos, and musical accompaniments for an inclusive entertainment experience. Paragraph Shorts are published in a weekly magazine format with a selection of seven short stories along with its multimedia accompaniments. Read more

Hello From San Francisco!

Will Travel for Panda

Hello internet citizens! This is Phi Tran and I’m thrilled to be joining the Appnewser team.

I’m writing to you from San Francisco – the technological hub that never stops eating. I’m a wordy designer with a penchant for technology and gizmos. When I’m not online digesting mobile trends, I attend live concerts, read plenty of paper books, and cook up a tart or two. I also have a thing for pretty pictures so I’m constantly hauling around my cameras and lusting after beautiful photos on Pinterest.

Feel free to send me an email (chickiephi AT gmail.com) or ping me on Twitter if you want to talk about tech related gossip. I especially enjoy Photoshopped cats on buildings, so if you have any, please submit them to my Tumblr.

How To Outline a Book with Trello

Trello is an online tool that helps you organize a project and collaborate with other users–useful for everything from remodeling your kitchen to work projects to plotting your novel.

Follow this link to explore the app. One Trello user won the company’s “Most Creative Use of Trello” award for plotting a new book using the app. Check it out:

Trello is often used for managing processes and pipelines; the left-to-right Lists framework seems to suit this kind of use quite naturally. But Douglas has dreamt up a whole new way of using this tool: he harnesses cards and lists to plan out the parts of a novel. Douglas says: “I am using this board to collect and collate my notes and process for a book I am planning. I am able to keep everything in one place, and structure/re-plan in an ad-hoc fashion by moving cards around between lists.” The lists he’s using are Concept, Characters, Plot, Themes, Motifs, Recurring Motifs, Endings, Beginnings, and Research.

Make Your Computer Sound Like a Typewriter

Do you miss the magical and musical clack of typewriter keys? Now you can make your laptop or desktop computer clang like a typewriter with a free app.

Artist and designer Theo Watson has created the tool as part of a FAT Lab speed project. Unfortunately, the software is only available for Mac users right now.

Check it out: Noisy Typer is a free piece of software which plays typewriter sounds as you type. It runs in the background and works with all applications ( email, web, word etc ). Key sounds include: letter keys, spacebar, backspace, carriage return and scroll up and down. The software is open source and made with openFrameworks version 0071. You can download the source code here: NoisyTyperProject.zip.”

StoryCode To Host 36-Hour Multimedia Writing “Hackathon” Competition

In the spirit of collaborative storytelling, non-profit StoryCode and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are hosting their first ever “story hackathon,” a 36-hour multimedia writing competition called Story Hack: Beta.
During the event (which will take place this weekend at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center), writers, filmmakers, tech gurus, publishing experts, advertisers and designers will team up create narratives using three different media platforms. The final output has to be in one platform.
The press release has more details: “All hacks will be centered around a specific theme determined by StoryCode and using specific technologies provided by sponsors. The final story hacks will be presented on Sunday from 4:30 to 6:30pm to a jury of notable creatives, technologists and sponsors.”
Judges include: Katherine Oliver, the Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Warren Cohen of VH1, Brian Clark of GMD Studios, Mark Harris of Broadcastr and Steve Coulson of Campfire, among others.

5 eBook Authors To Watch

Author Carolyn McCray

For some publishers, eBooks are a scary brave new world. To help these folks navigate the waters of the digital publishing revolution and learn by example, we’ve put together a list of some of the leaders in the eBook world. It is worth exploring the work of these leading digital authors. We’ve listed 5 innovators whose work we are watching.

In the coming weeks, we will be doing a series of posts listing leaders in the various aspects of the eBook business — from digital publishers, to app makers and eBook formatting gurus. (Check out our list of 5 eBook publishing experts to watch). Feel free to recommend your eBook publishing experts in the comments section. Read more

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