- Presentation Zen
- istockphoto.com – when I bought Presentation Zen, there’s a code in the back for an initial discount on your first istockphoto credit purchase.
- Leslie Adams – her blog and cool pictures!
- Flickr.com – photo sharing and more (I think…remember, I still need to learn more about it!)
- Creativecommons.org – helping creative people protect and share their work.
- Veer.com – a fun creative and photo / image site. Its design approach really drove the early design work on “Creative Instigation.” (And as I write this, it strikes me there’s no reason the style I used there couldn’t surface here to provide some more creative variety!)
I’m a heavy-handed editor – ask anyone who works with me. At least I go through many rounds of editing my own stuff also (Exhibit A is at the right). Writing so much for the blog, however, has forced a more structured approach with specific editing rounds. Here are steps I’ve learned that may help you be a faster writer:
- Keep something around to capture ideas – don’t let even remotely good possibilities evaporate.
- Mine, combine, dissect, twist, and edit ideas into a first draft. Get a complete version down irrespective of whether the sentences are complete.
- People want shorter material so start with a word limit. Five hundred words used to be my maximum. Based on reader preferences, I cut it to 300, with many under 200.
- Edit to tighten the prose on the next pass. Also consider rearranging elements to make it work better. Surprising how often an article’s conclusion becomes its new intro following this editing round.
- Run a spelling / grammar check to check the word count and help catch typos. Print it, read it aloud, read it backwards – anything to see it with fresher eyes since you’ve been through it several times.
- Shorten it even more – reduce the word count by 10 to 20% on the final edit. It may seem challenging, but the result is invariably stronger.
Now you’re set to start your own blog and crank out 60,000 words by next year!
Today’s the first anniversary of my initial blogging foray. Thanks for being a loyal audience and offering suggestions throughout for improving it!
The blog started after a presentation on corporate blogging by Jessica Myers of Garmin Industries. She said that anybody could start a free blog in 10 minutes. Several weekends later, I started with the expectation of writing twice weekly. It was intended to create something instructional beyond presentations, provide more permanent life to strategy and innovation ideas, and maybe form the basis for a book.
Looking at the initial objectives, the blog has:
- Solidified material that’s later found its way into my strategic thinking presentation
- Caused me to be a more succinct writer
- Provided material for putting together a creativity book
The only challenge has really been creating dialogue with all of you. You tend to be a “quiet” group. In the coming year, I’d love to get more interaction going and continue building this community.
This week we’ll cover lessons from the blog that can benefit you – even if you’re not blogging. And there will be a favor or two asked of you along the way! Check back tomorrow for more on writing lessons learned.
With the blog’s first anniversary in the offing, I’d really appreciate your quick input on the types of posts that you find most intriguing.
Let Me Know What You Think
Check out the poll on the upper left of the blog and provide your point of view on where the subject matter heads in the near future. There are five categories to select from (and you can choose multiple ones).
Click below to see examples in each category:
- Quick Tips (Creative Quickies, Brainzooming)
- Lessons Learned (Situations I’m encountering on strategic thinking & innovation)
- Reports (News & links to events I’m attending)
- Guest Bloggers (Topics from colleagues)
- Observations (Commentary on general subjects or marketplace situations)
As always leave a comment or send me an email to let me know – what would you like to read more about in the blog?