By Andy Crestodina
Since the beginning, this blog has helped more than a million visitors learn hundreds of important lessons. You, the readers and writers, have shared your experiences and techniques through more than 1000 posts and nearly 100,000 comments.
In this post, we’ll look back the 1000+ posts on Successful Blog and review. All of these, of course, were written by our beloved Liz. Some of these were instant classics. Others were their own mini-viral events. Each is an example of great writing on relevant topics.
So here they are, the top 15 posts in the history of this website…
“You don’t need to get a life, you’ve already got one.“
“It seems that we have the same secret reasons for not leaving our calling card. We want to leave our thoughts, but things get between us and that comment box.”
“Wonders, wishes, and waiting without commitment are a whole lot of nothing happening.“
“An interview or a client presentation is a test. It’s like an oral exam in which the subject is you.”
“Imagine you just landed on this planet. You’d have a passel of questions and a totally beginner’s view. The key is not to fix things, but to find new reactions to what you encounter.”
“Every person is struggling to find a meaning that makes sense. It’s not about money. It’s not about volume of work. It’s about meeting a self-defined goal of becoming a writer.”
“Focus on the speaker and the value of the speaker’s words. That guarantees your response will be graceful, respectful, and not about you.”
“How do you pack all of that promise into four or five simple words that will resonate with the folks you want to reach?”
“Corporations, small businesses, every one of us could learn a lot from how Conan said good-bye. His words were the careful words of a leader delivered from the heart in a difficult situation.”
“The funny thing about humility is the second you think you have it, you don’t.”
“Writing communicates through across the world, through time, to people I have never met. It captures ideas, inventions, and information. It’s worth it to be even a tiny part of that.”
“An online community isn’t built or befriended, it’s connected by offering and accepting. Community is affinity, identity, and kinship that make room for ideas, thoughts, and solutions.“
“What are the traits that creative folks have in common? Are we all creative? Is there anyone who’s not? Can I boost my creativity? Am I a creative freak?”
“This is not a rant, simply a set of observations which are quite similar to the challenges of any communication-based, people-centered endeavor.“
“Ever talked with a guy who’s passionate about his life? He doesn’t give one kind of energy during the hours of 8 to 5 and another when play time arrives. His moments are filled with enthusiasm and determination for being part of everything that he does.”
We hope you enjoyed this round-up. Hopefully, this was a discovery of some of the great posts you missed. Or perhaps it was a rediscovery of posts you read and loved. So many classics.
Feel free to reshare the greats. Better yet, leave a comment and tell us which of these you loved most …or perhaps which of your favorites we left out!
By Tiffany Matthews
To be or not to be: that is the question…
One of the most well-known lines in literature, this phrase opens a young man’s soliloquy in Hamlet, the tragic play by William Shakespeare. The young man in question, who happens to be titular character, ponders on the meaning of life–whether it is worth it or not to stay alive when your life is filled with one hardship after another.
“To be or not to be” remains a timeless question that will drive you into introspection if you are still unsure of your writing path–to be or not to be a writer? If you’ve decided to follow your heart and become a wordsmith, you then ponder on the next big question, “To publish or not to publish?”
The Publishing Dream
For many writers, the dream of publishing their own book is an elusive one. Becoming an author doesn’t happen overnight. Just like when you become a writer, you need to read a lot and write a lot before you can become a competent writer. To be an author, it’s gonna take courage, tenacity, hard work, self-confidence and optimism. If you’re determined to get published, the next question to consider is which type would you choose–traditional publishing or self-publishing?
The path to getting published is riddled with grammar, thousands of words, many rewrites, and brutal rejections, especially when you opt for the traditional route. It can take years before manuscripts are turned into books and some don’t even get to see the light of publishing day. You will have to send multiple pitches to not just one but to several publishing houses and even that isn’t a guarantee it will be picked up. If you can afford to wait a few years, use that time to work on your writing, hone your submissions and learn more about the publishing business.
Don’t be discouraged by rejections. Author Stephen King went through many rejection slips before he got published. But he didn’t let that stop him. He remained optimistic and continued writing. As time went by, the rejection letters became a little more encouraging, with one telling him he had talent and that he should submit again. A decade or so later, he finally published his first novel, Carrie, and the rest is history.
If your attempts at publishing traditionally take you to a dead end, you can consider your second option, self-publishing. While this choice can narrow the time it takes to get published, it means more work than when you publish traditionally. First of all, you need to have considerable knowledge of what publishing entails like designing the book, editing, illustrating and even the marketing, promotional and sales aspects. You’ll also need a good dose of self-confidence, hammered by years of experience in the writing industry. You should also set a reasonable time frame to accomplish everything, like one year.
One thing you should remember is that when you self-publish, you are considered to be the publisher of your book and thus, must embrace whatever legal responsibilities that come with it. If you are on a budget, you can get affordable prepaid legal services to help you whenever you encounter legal issues during publishing.
Books Don’t Appear By Magic…
Another thing you must keep in mind is that books aren’t made overnight. Your first manuscript will go through several edits, rewrites and fine-tuning before you can pitch it to traditional publishing houses. If you decide to self-publish, you will have to do the brunt of the work, including tirelessly promoting your book online and local bookstores in your area. But if your story is worth sharing, word-of-mouth recommendations and glowing book reviews might just land you a deal with traditional publishing house.
If you haven’t started writing that book you want to publish, today is a good day to start. Don’t let fear of failure stop you from accomplishing your publishing dream. You can make your dream come true if you try. Be empowered by what Stephen King said in his book, On Writing,
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
By Stacey Thompson
Writer’s block. It happens to the best of us. You may have had a good night’s sleep, a comfortable chair, the right resources, and a topic… and yet, your writing muscles refuse to flex, and you are left staring at the flickering prompt at the upper left side of a mostly-empty screen, or driving a hole into your pad with a pen.
Do a Google search and you’ll find that many writers have their own ways of dealing with this creative blockage. It’s not exactly a one-size-fits-all proposition, so it’s a good idea to get as many ideas as possible. Utilizing those bits of wisdom, concoct your own anti-writer’s-block remedies. Hopefully, one or more of them work.
Let me enumerate mine, and see if any of them work for you:
Find a new place to ply your craft. Stand up, pack your mobile writing implements (paper notepad, notebook computer, restaurant receipts, toilet paper, human flesh scroll, etc.) and wander. In my case, I pack my tablet (equipped with a cover/keyboard, because I can’t type fast on a touch screen), some loose change for coffee, and a Taser pistol (you can never be too careful).
The new sights and sounds definitely help me get out of the funk, and for as long as I find a comfortable spot to whip out my tablet and type away, I’ll be able to get some paragraphs out.
Drop It Like It’s Hot
When the first remedy doesn’t yield any positive result, I just stop trying for the meanwhile and distract my mind with something else entirely. This should be easy for most of us, as the modern world is rife with distractions. You could live your entire life distracted, in fact. Those closest I have come to that is a three hour Fruit Ninja binge on the tablet. Made my fingers hurt, too.
Time out from writing gives the mind some time to recharge and recuperate. Unfortunately, we who write for a living don’t have the luxury of too much off-time, so this solution may not be the best course of action to take when writing projects are restricted by a deadline.
Corollary to the tip above, go engage in an activity that requires the least synaptic activity. This ranges from sports and fitness-related stuff, to exposing your mind to slapstick, lowbrow, and even outright pornographic stimulation. Nothing is taboo (except if it’s against the laws of the land, of course)!
Too much of anything can be detrimental, so be sure to set limits to your physical fun-time distractions.
Well, not absolutely nothing. Meditation, yoga, drinking tea, isolating yourself in a dark room, or even a light nap are ways you can calm your tempestuous mind and rejuvenate your creative juices. Find a place you can be undisturbed for hours at a time, and proceed with the refilling.
Yeah, it means you have to put away your tablet and other mobile devices.
I hope one of these tips will be the proverbial plunger that will help unclog your creative pipeline!keep looking »