Tag Archives: social media

Why I only review living Authors

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As I look on the many review websites, the one thing which strikes me as odd, is the sheer number of people putting up fresh reviews of long ago published classic works of fiction, written by long dead authors.

Now, I can see the temptation to add to the already enormous mountain of reviews with a little piece of your own personal experience, but wouldn’t it be better placed within the posts of a book group?

Reviews are the lifeblood of authors, good, bad or indifferent, each counts and each in turn has an effect on the author concerned. Reviews are vital to the author, reader, relationship. How does an author know what the reader thinks, if the reader simply walks quietly away after reading the book.

To my mind, writing a review of a book which is regarded as a well-known classic serves little or no purpose, because not only are there a plethora of similar reviews already in existence, but also nonfiction books detailing the pros and cons of these well-known works, as well as biographies and in many cases autobiographical works as well.

I write reviews for living authors because I want to leave a review which will have impact and which will bestow meaning, rather than simply add a little kudos to my own self-image.

This is not saying that I wouldn’t rate a classic book, because I certainly would and do, but only with a star rating and nothing more. Over the years since these classics have been published, I think enough people have reviewed, debated and cast quite enough opinions, and that mine would hold little weight or meaning, in the scheme of things.

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If you’re a writer, write.

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I have been away from my blog for a while and can only offer the excuse that I’ve been working. As a writer I have been working hard on two different projects and other things has been allowed to slide away into the distance.

It strikes me as funny that so many people who consider themselves writers, spend the majority of their time and energy talking about writing.

I used to belong to a number of writing forums and enjoyed writing and responding to various posts. The times we would talk about what we were going to write and when, but in fact we were just writing forum posts.

Writers block. The amount of times I have used this excuse is embarrassing and it is really an excuse. If I can’t think of what to write next, I need to do one of a number of things.

I need to take a break. Do more research to pinpoint deficiencies in my work? Plan ahead. Begin something else and get stuck into that, until the muse returns.

I know deadlines take no prisoners, but often it isn’t deadlines we face as writers, it’s our own vulnerability. It is too often more about our own fragile emotional state and fears of rejection than about writing as an art form.

Writing is an art and like all art, should be done because of need and drive and not to either make money or fill a niche. Purpose written work is all too often sterile, lacking the raw edges of true creation.

I have spend years using excuses and blaming everything under the sun for stopping me from writing, when the truth is I was stopping me. I am now busy all the time. I go from project to project and am constantly full of ideas.

It is true that my online social life has suffered, but my work output has gone through the roof. I have stopped talking about writing and am often too busy writing to talk and that has to be a good thing, right?

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Digital Hoarding; the Unseen Menace

Untidystorage PR Hilton

We see so much in the media concerning hoarding and hoarders these days, People filling up their homes with far too much stuff in order to compensate for less than perfect lives.

It’s very common to joke about having a messy desk and work area being fine, so long as you know where everything is.

The reality is somewhat different. You don’t have to be a member of the neat police to know that tidy spaces are more relaxing and easier to work in.

With the digital age it is so easy to have a spacious home with room to breathe and have a huge collection on digital storage.

The problem is that having is one thing, but needing and being able to use, is quite another.

When a hoarder has been helped to de-clutter, they will often be heard to say, how each layer removed is like another weight lifted from their shoulders.

The mind is far from simple and just being aware of a digital hoard, such as thousands of music, movies, text and images files, can also weigh heavy.

Out of sight is not out of mind at all. Just because the desk, room and home or office is tidy, does not mean all is as it should be.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. The modern digital age allows us to do what a few short years ago would have been impossible.

You are now able to own and store entire runs of magazines and comics, movie collections and full TV series.

The freedom is wonderful and the advantages great. However it is too easy to store something because it is available and might come in handy one day.

Having a larger collection or a digital archive is one thing, but having endless files tossed into folders and forgotten when the next cool thing is acquired, is pointless.

Keeping digital files should be about clarity and ease of use. It should be about having the ability to find a given file within a very short time.

A collection or archive becomes a digital hoard when it is uncared for. Too many people spent time collecting and no time organising.

The easy way out of this problem, is to spent time checking files and folders and moving files, making new folders and renaming others.

Deleting duplicate files can often save space and this makes it easier to see what is there. Get a filing system in-place. They’re used because they work.

And yes this is the voice of experience. I had a huge digital hoard at one time. I still enjoy having archives, but now I only keep things of interest and everything is to hand.

I learned the hard way. It took me a long time and I was amazed at how many duplicate files and images I had. My choice of folders made little sense.

Making simple changes, deleting files which would never be needed and placing others in areas which made sense, gave me the ability to be in control.

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Be original and let all you do reflect you at your best

Be yourself PR Hilton

There is much said these days concerning ‘thinking outside the box’. Often this is just hype, but not when it comes to being original. We are all unique and it is this uniqueness, that individuality, which can make all the difference when it comes to how other people perceive us.

How many hours do you spend finding those great quotations and images which seem to capture you as a person? If you’re like most people, the answer is too many hours and too long. This can be a nice way to show the world a glimpse of you. However it can only ever be a kind of mirror image, because you are using copies of other people’s work, in order to convey who you are. This is unoriginal, flattering for the originators, but still only a second generation copy at best.

Being original is about looking at yourself and deciding how you would like the world to see you. If you are like most people, you’ll feel inspired by the lives and work of others. If this is the case, use quotations which you find inspirational. But use them in original ways, not by copy and paste, but by creation. Write them on card and photograph/scan/copy. Upload them. Always making sure to attribute their origins, sources and copyright, of course. If you love going to a certain place, take pictures, draw, cartoon, do anything which serves to highlight your own idiosyncratic nature.

The secret in showing the world who you are, is that you really are your own expert. There is no other person alive on this earth who can put into words, thoughts, ideas and imagery, all that is you. You might write poetry, reviews. Or you might have a wicked sense of humour or be an inspiring cook. You might be the most romantic person there is. You could just be someone who dreams of living in another age and time. Each of us is like a jigsaw puzzle, on the surface we are simply one image, the picture we present to the outside world. Beneath the box lid we are so many different shaped pieces, each with a specific place to fit, in order to make a cohesive whole.

It is often the things we consider boring about our own lives, which can serve as inspiration to others. All too often we offer the world a very sanitised version of ourselves, complete with edited thought, word and deed. Or we fall down in the other direction and share things which are not appropriate for sharing with strangers. To be authentic, we first need to look at who we are and what things we want to reflect ,and then set about doing so. Don’t be a copy of someone who inspires you, be an inspiration.

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Writing and communicating in a New York minute

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 Image courtesy of Damian Brandon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

.There are those writers who give would be wordsmiths the advice

“Stay off the internet and write, don’t go online and talk about it.”

Doing this might work for someone who is very established and well known, but not for the rest of us. If we don’t interact with people, we lose in a very real sense.

If we are not ‘out there’ Tweeting, Face-Booking, Blogging and Linkin-in, we’re invisible. Like it or not the world has become expectant of cyber contact.

All this is a two-way street. If we want to write something worth reading, we need to be able to attract readers in the first place.

Being a recluse and spending years writing ‘that’ novel, will not help your longevity in the modern global economy.

That now much hackneyed phrase ‘The New York Minute’ has become something of a reality. People are now expected to interact, respond and reply with speed and greater accuracy than ever before.

The question is, can we keep up? The answer to that, is we had better try our best, because right behind us is another writer, coming up fast.

The situation reminds me of the old Hollywood Western movies. The fastest gun would always be looking over his shoulder, not just for the smart kid, but for the old hand who was just that little bit faster.

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