Left Handed Writers?

When it comes to typing on the keyboard does being left or right handed matter? Will being left-handed be forgotten now that we don’t write in long hand very often? I’ve even seen people who think writing long hand will one day become a forgotten/ lost skill.

My Mother is a leftie. Her Mother (my Grandmother) was born a leftie but had her hand smacked with a ruler at school until she wrote with her right hand. I was once married to a leftie too.

I write with my right hand but tend to eat with my left. Does that make me ambidextrous? I don’t think so, just a little backwards. But, I do think there is more to being left or right handed than which hand you hold your pen.

Varieties of left-handed writing

Left-Handers Day August 13th

The Sinister Shop: Left-Handed Items for Left-Handed People – Canadian shop selling for left handers and studying lefties since 1975.

Keep an Image in your Sidebar

Even if you don’t use an image with each post you should have some kind of image on your site that represents you (and your site).

I’ve been working on Scoop.It (and lately on Snip.It too) as a content curator for a few topics. One thing I have noticed is how often I can’t get an image to go along with the post I’m making. When there is an image with the post I’m linking to I can usually add it to the post I create. Sometimes the only images which come up are nothing relevant, or just a link to the site’s page on Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Not something which illustrates the post they have made. As a last resort I will use the site’s own graphic for link backs rather than have no graphic/ image at all.

It should be simple enough to stick up an image which lets people link back to your site. Whether the image is used to link back to your site in a list of links or to link back to a specific post being referenced, it helps to draw the eye of readers when you get a link from another site.

Just add the image to your sidebar. You can add the code to link back to your site, or have it linked to your About page. There are other good options but those are the two I thought of first.

If you’re curious… these are the topics I’m curating at the moment. Subject to change as I weed out my ideas, focus on the topics I really want to spend time on and see which of them generate interest in others/ readers. Nothing is so simple as just collecting content to please yourself. I think we all need to keep our ideas growing and we all look for that tiny smattering of applause in some form.

Scoop.it:

Rural Exploration
Urban Exploration
Creative Writing Inspiration
ASCII Art

Snip.it
I’m working on personal interest ideas on Snip.it. They aren’t as developed as I’d like yet but Snip.it is growing on me and, as a site to work with, they are great. Very interested in performance, ideas and the people who join up. It’s a small network that could become important if they can keep it from the sploggers and others like them.

For Game Writers

I remember when Todd (now my ex-husband) was involved in video games, as a writer. At one point he was drawing too but more to illustrate his stories than for the end product. I don’t know that anything ever came of all his work. He put a lot of time, thought, and hope into those games. He took on the project based on someone’s idea. Becoming some kind of partner or co-worker at the least. He was not paid, unless promises count. It must have been very disappointing when he decided to stop trying or hoping to see a finished product with his name on it. I’m not sure if he ever did see anything he had worked on as a full working game.

Many writers have to go through the morass of writing for free, possible payment later, or never. Do you choose not to get involved in projects in this way or do you take the risk? It is a risk, a pretty big one. I think you have to be quite an optimist to attempt being a game writer. Most of the jobs I found were for volunteers or those willing to work on speculation of someday having enough fame and the fortune to go with it.

But… doesn’t it sound like such a great career… Game Writer.

Resources for Game Writers

International Game Developers Association
Gamasutra
Game Developer
Game Critics
Indie Games
Game Developers Conference
Game Theory

Facebook: Game Writers
The Video Game Writers

GameDev.net: Help Wanted Forum
Indie Gamer: Help Wanted Forum

Writing World: Writing for the Gaming Industry
Errant Dreams: Writing for Roleplaying Games
Game Career Guide: Becoming a Game Writer
Game Career Guide: How I Became a Game Writer – An Interview with Sande Chen and Anne Toole
Gamasutra: A Practical Guide to Game Writing
Gamasutra: Game Writing Inside Out
Tor: Breaking into Video Game Writing
What Games Are: Video Game Writing and the Sense of Story
Angel Leigh McCoy: What’s Game Writing Like?
eHow: How to be a Video Game Writer
Animation Arena: Video Game Writer
BioWare Blog: How Do I Become a Writer for Video Games?
GameDev.net: The Definitive Guide to Game Writing Inspiration
IAH Games: The Art of Game Writing
Speaking Up: Why Female Game Writers Shouldn’t be Ignored

Netbook Needs a Better Name

Netbook Gamer
Facebook: Netbook Owners (Small group)
Netbook Users
Which Netbook

Netbook News
Netbook Files
Netbook Nomad

Netbook Network: 5 Tips for Netbook Owners
Gizmodo (2008): Why I Love Netbooks

This is the Netbook I bought. HP Mini 110 – 3744ca

The Unofficial HP Mini Blog
My HP Mini – User forum.
HP Mini Guide – User forum.
HP Mini Note PC 

BlackBerry Resources

I chose a  BlackBerry for my first mobile phone. But, after a week I changed my mind. Not about the BlackBerry, just the whole mobile phone thing itself. I’ve just never been the phone type. I also didn’t want to spend an extra $50 a month for something I hadn’t even used once in the week I had it.

In the meantime I looked up the BlackBerry. I wanted to find out how to use it and what could be done with it. Also, any groups for BlackBerry users. I found quite a bit, most of it useful and interesting. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Flickr:

National Book Week

As posted by Todd on Facebook:

It’s National Book Week. The rules: Grab the closest book to you. Go to page 56. Copy the 5th sentence as your status. Don’t mention the book. Post these rules as part of your status.

It is foolish to get into scuffles with an enemy and not attack with a killing resolve.

From the nearest book to me at the time: “Sometimes the repeated items are not exactly the same objects, but objects so closely related that their connection is very clear.”

Gifted by Nature and by Practice

Posted by Jade Walker on Facebook:

‎”You have to love writing. You have to love words. You have to be talented, gifted by nature and by practice. You have to get lucky. So many things outside of your influence have to break in your favor, and that’s even if you have everything else going for you.” –Chris Jones

On top of all that you have to not get in your own way with lack of discipline, self doubt and you need to find some kind of support outside yourself cause it’s very hard to be the only one in your own cheering section.

For International Zine Month

I made a zine, once. I didn’t distribute it. So I’m the only one who knows about it. But, the process was fun. Before I had a computer I hand wrote the contents, doodled and cut and pasted the rest. Then put my pages together with a cover. It was about the paranormal and the unexplained. I don’t have it now. Sometime during many moves from one town to another city, it disappeared. I’d do it again. It was a great way to be free with my creativity.

July is International Zine Month  (Facebook) – Set up a zine reading, a zine swap, a cut and paste party, a zine fest, or even a simple zine workshop at your local library or community center. Write a letter to every zine you read, leave your zine at random places around town like buses, bathrooms or universities. Order zines directly from the creator, make a shirt with iron on letters that says “ask me about zines”, make buttons with phrases like “zines saved my life” or “do you read zines”. Send out zine fliers with your mail or leave them around your town. Approach shops in your town about carrying zines, donate to zine libraries…..

Resources:

24 Hour Zine Thing

WikiBooks: Zine Making

Zine Wiki

Love Letters to Irony

Nobody Cares About your Stupid Zine Podcast

We Make Zines

Overglued

Broken Pencil

CanZine

Zine World

Google Groups: alt.zines

Sticky Institute

Flickr: Art Zines

Flickr: Zinesters

Flickr: Illustrated Zines

Yahoo Groups: Zine Geeks

Independent Publishing Resource Center

Live Journal: Zinesters

Live Journal: Zine Scene

Zine Mobile

The Book of Zines

The Paper Trail Interview Series (On hiatus?)

Asking for Trouble

Zine Library

Toronto Zine Library

Zines for Lunch

Robert Street: Anchor Archive Zine Library

Arrow Archive

These Things That People Make

Zine Dream

Facebook: Fanzines

DIY Bookbinding

E-Zinez: The Handbook of Ezine Publishing

30 Days to a Better Blog from SITS Girls

I’m posting all the steps here cause the Challenge is done but I’m not. This way I can keep working through all the steps even if I only get one each week. See The SITS Girls site for more and future events.

  • Day 01 – Write an Elevator Speech
  • Day 02 – Write a List Post -You could use this as a brainstorming session for ideas to write about related to your niche.
  • Day 03 – Promote a Blog Post -Use Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon… or ask another blogger to link to one of your individual posts.
  • Day 04 – Analyze a Top Blog in your Niche -Don’t copy another blogger. Be unique, but let them inspire you.
  • Day 05 – Email a Blog Reader –Have you ever interacted with blog commenters outside of blog comments?
  • Day 06 – 27 Must Read Tips and Tutorials for Bloggers -Pick your own tutorials rather than those on the list. You know which areas you want to know more about.
  • Day 07 – Write a Link Post -Think of it as creating a mini web directory of links for your niche.
  • Day 08 – Interlink your Old Posts -If you’ve written about a topic before (or one similar) bring your old post back as a reference.
  • Day 09 – Join a Forum and Start Participating -Keep involved with others in your niche. See what resources they use and what they write about.
  • Day 10 – Set Up Alerts to Monitor What is Happening in your Niche -It may be a good plan but I’ve never found time to use alerts, or found them very reliable.
  • Day 11 – Come Up with Ten Post Ideas -Be creative but consider gaps you may be leaving in building a resource for your niche. Look at it from the angle of someone just starting to research the topic.
  • Day 12 – Develop an Editorial Calendar for your Blog -A good idea to try. I haven’t used anything like this but will try running one of the WordPress plugins and see how it goes.
  • Day 13 – Take a Trip to the Mall -Don’t get stuck in the online world. Study how businesses/ associations do things off the Internet and how they merge online and offline.
  • Day 14 – Update a Key Page on your Blog -Your About page is the obvious one to keep updated. Consider others you have and give them a dusting off too.
  • Day 15 – Find a Blog Buddy -I have a few blog buddies. People I have known online for years both socially and as writers working on a site.
  • Day 16 – Solve a Problem: 7 Ways to Identify a Reader’s Problems -Use statistics to see how people find your site. Also, look up other sites and read their categories and tags. Is your niche missing anything? Consider your niche as a resource for your readers. Fill it up.
  • Day 17 –  Watch a First Time Reader Use your Blog -Take an objective look at your blog. Test it, check navigation, loading time, readability. Ask for reviews of your site and listen to the feedback, don’t spoil honest feedback by getting defensive.
  • Day 18 – Create a Sneeze Page -A chance to show off your archived posts and highlight some of our best information.
  • Day 19 – Write an Opinion Post for your Blog – By giving an opinion you invite people to agree or debate with you in comments.
  • Day 20 – Leave Comments on Other Blogs – Spend some time writing relevant comments in other blogs. Give the kind of comments you would like to see yourself.
  • Day 21 – Breathe Life into an Old Post – Rewrite it as a new post and link back to the original. Don’t lose old comments and give yourself a chance to see what you’ve learned, how you have improved.
  • Day 22 – Pay Special Attention to a Reader – You want special attention from your readers so start by giving some first.
  • Day 23 – Call your Readers to Action – Interact with readers and ask for what you want. Read about calls to action and how that works.
  • Day 24 – How to Use a Magazine to Improve your Blog – Take ideas from magazine layouts, how they present their pages, their content and market themselves. Do the same with any other publication such as books, ebooks and newsletters too.
  • Day 25 – Ask a Question – Asking a question gears readers into giving an answer.
  • Day 26 – Improve Another Blog – You don’t have to be a web guru to do a good deed for another blogger. Give them an honest opinion in a constructive way.
  • Day 27 – Hunt for Dead Links – When a link can’t be fixed/ updated remove the HTML and leave a note to let readers know the site is gone or missing.
  • Day 28 – Write a Review Post – A review doesn’t have to sell anything. You can review something you love or do as a hobby. Keep the review balanced with objectivity.
  • Day 29 –  Develop a Plan to Boost your Blog’s Profile and Readership Online – Basically decide who you want to be reading your blog and then go out and find them.
  • Day 30 – 17 Statistics to Monitor your Blog – Don’t become a stats whore. Rank, statistics, popularity should be something you check to mark progress. Don’t cater your writing/ blogging to raising your numbers in this way. For one thing, none of them are that reliable.
  • Day 31 – Plan the Next Steps for your Blog – Be aware of other blogs and anything you like about them. Make plans for your own site, where do you want it to be as it grows. What do you want to improve. What could be changed. Do you want to take part in ad exchanges… more social media… split your blog into subsections or sub-blogs…

RIP at the Social Cemetery

I read Dead Accounts – The Social Cemetery on Derek Haines’ blog. This got me thinking about all the dead social accounts I have. I can think of a couple but I know there are others I joined and have not thought of in years.

We all have dead (inactive) social media sites, somewhere. You may have started one on Twitter, Facebook or any of the endless less well known social media sites. If you haven’t been back to that account in 3 months, a year or even longer, it’s just adding to the number of users the site claims to have. It lets them seem more popular than they really are.

For each of us it may not matter. Just another account you started and forgot about. It does leave your email address and other information hanging around. You might consider closing those old accounts for that reason. How do you know what they do with that information. Having a spam policy doesn’t really mean anything. Did you read the spam policy when you joined?

You might delete your account just to get rid of the reminder emails they send, or the newsletters which will clutter up your email inbox as long as you remain in their database.  It’s also a way to hear first hand about social networks that don’t make it and close up shop.

Hanging on to the account, should something change and you do start using it, is a remote possibility. Social sites seem to make it or not in the first year. Check through your email and go to each site as you find it. See how they have done. Keep those that seem useful. But remove yourself from the rest. Take the time to clear out some clutter and free yourself from dead accounts.