From NYCityMama a/k/a Carol Cain. A must read for all writers on the weight of their words, their value and why you never, ever write for free.
Bloggers are looked at in many different ways. “Warily” seems to come to mind on many occasions. We are the “new media”. Whatever. Potato, po-tah-to. I have written on several different occasions regarding blogging and the necessity of journalistic integrity. Well, buckle your seatbelts, the circle is coming around again.
I had a friend post a picture on Twitter last week. The package he received had a tear sheet full of info and a cellophane bag (which broke in shipment) of dried food items. Of course, when he opened the package, it spilled out onto his desk.
Yeah, I might have giggled just a little. Sorry, D.
However, all laughs aside, this is about using marketing standards written about in textbooks that are more than a decade old. Maybe it’s still standard. I don’t know. What I do know, is that someone didn’t do their research. It doesn’t matter who you are sending your PR Kit/Press Release to, it’s essential that it is sent to the proper person. Just because a journalist is on Twitter, and a very engaging personality, doesn’t mean that what you offer is within their scope. If it’s not, the package you just sent becomes a Twitpic and the very people you want to get in touch are going to look at you like you’re a leper.
Could it be that I have read the Writer’s Market guidelines for publishing houses and agents enough that I know all they need is a strongly worded query? Or am I mistaken? Send me a strong email that gets my attention and sell me. Because frankly, I don’t have the space to store your gimmicks.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot like that. Gimmicks don’t cut it. It’s not worthy of you; and we suffer from the very public, very negative light that has been shed on the rest of us.
I am working away from home right now and have been all week. Why? My current productivity stinks. I know why as well. I always seem to be finding other things to do. Like organizing my husbands shirts by color and then in graduated shades of that color. My laundry room? Same way. The hangers are all organized by color, and grouped by the article of clothing they are used for (pants, shirts, etc.)
It is definitely not an obsession, but it’s the raging Type-A perfectionist in me screaming to come out. She messes everything up.
I enjoy working in coffee shops because I don’t have the home distractions that you have as a human with a family and piles of laundry that multiply if you blink. It’s not just the clickity-clackity of my fingers on the keyboard and my annoying neighbor cranking up his tuner car with the aftermarket exhaust. Where are my ruby slippers so I can clickity-clack with purpose and make everything better. I still believe in Dorothy and that there is no place like home.
Maybe I should put on my Metallica concert t-shirt circa 1989, tease my hair, throw on some black eyeliner and pump some metal. It might help. Heaven knows I was like a squirrel back in those days. Who am I kidding, I’m more like a Hammy from Over the Hedge more often than not.
Now I listen to NPR, jazz, and even some great productivity playlists and those help quite a bit. I will share my latest post over at http://lisaframe.wordpress.com on writing and productivity boosting since I felt like I needed to mention my lack of productivity here.
January 23, 2010
by Lisa FrameJan232010
Happiness was the last thing on my mind in October 2009. In fact, it was a foreign concept to me back then. And yet, I never thought that taking a break from my family could lead to me back to my happy place. But a one-bedroom cottage on the coast of North Carolina helped me reset myself and find my way back to a happier, less cynical me.
To say that 2009 was filled with ups and downs was an understatement. My family had experienced multiple deaths recently with the loss of my grandfather hitting us the hardest — on top of losing one of my dearest friends to brain cancer. And my husband’s family had overwhelming medical issues, too, with his dad suffering a stroke, multiple heart attacks, and then recovering from a triple bypass. We were on long road trips more often than not, and life had become just one more day to get through.
Planning a beach trip for Halloween weekend seemed like the perfect idea. My son wouldn’t miss school, and we would be renting our favorite cottage on the North Carolina coast. It was going to be a welcome break that would just give us time to be together as a family in a setting we all love and enjoy immensely.
I was pleasantly surprised when the owners of our cottage mentioned that they should have asked me to come property sit for them all week, as they were going off on their own little getaway from their own routine. They know I am a writer, but more importantly we have mutual friends and they knew how difficult our year had been.
While I couldn’t stay the entire week, I had the opportunity to come home and then come back a few days later. By myself. It was quite literally the first time I had been alone in over 10 years. What would I do? How would I feel? Unanswered questions, sure. But I was at least willing to give myself the chance to find out how I would respond.
It turned out that it was quite easy. I shopped for healthy groceries. I walked on the beach, journaled, sent my first book to an agent, but perhaps more importantly, I found myself. My girlfriend from high school lives in Wilmington. She’s the same one that I traipsed all over Europe with. We drank ridiculously expensive coffee, dined on Korean food, and I lived vicariously through the ups and downs of her single life.
I was Lisa. For a few days, I was able to reconnect at a deeper level with myself. That feeling made me want to get back to my family and rejoice in the freedom that I do have in those roles. Being a wife and mother has defined who I am as a person. It makes me happy, just as releasing my anxiety over the past year on that trip made me happy. I could forget about responsibilities, knowing that they were being handled by my husband’s competent hands. More importantly, it gave me new, fresh perspective and energy to continue handling the ups and downs of daily life.
Would I recommend it for anyone? No, I wouldn’t. You have to find what makes you happy. But for me, it was a change in scenery. And it is one that I will be doing as part of my own self-prescribed happiness formula.
My first national article!
That’s where I am tonight. Feeling peaceful. I am done with everything on my Christmas list except for one gift.
Tomorrow is coffee with my friend Molly at Amelie’s Bakery in Charlotte, Wednesday lunch with Becca. My season is filled with friends and loved ones. Blood relatives and urban family that I have adopted to be my own.
That’s what Christmas is about. Being with the ones we love, blood or not. It’s not about gifts. The spirit of Christmas is the love and joy that is in you, in me, in us all.
So, this Christmas, while you are running around trying to find that perfect something for that perfect someone, remember it’s not what you are buying, it’s the thought that counts.
Long after that gift is gone, they will remember the gift that is you.