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The Week in Words (May 8)

Aaron Pogue with a scribblebook (Courtesy Julie at

Some things I've said, and things I've read.

Here’s what’s been going on!

At the Editor’s Desk

Obviously I’ve spent this week chasing the launch of my e-Book, but that actually hasn’t kept me as busy as you might expect. I got most of the moving parts in place last week, so the launch as pretty much been rolling right along on its own.

I do want to remind you, in case you’ve been considering buying, that the coupon code SYLLABLES will get you 25% off the cost of the book as long as you buy it before the end of the day tomorrow. After that, it’ll go to full price and stay there.

The Girl Who Stayed the Same (Working Title)

We had some excellent challenge words this week, and both of my posts flourished under them. I’ve pressed most of the way through chapter two this week, so even if I don’t quite start chapter three next week, I’ll definitely finish up two.

Here are my new scenes:

  • Chapter 2: Chasing the Light — Part 3, 4

New Websites

I did mention on Monday that I’d registered some new domains. I spent some significant time this week passing Courtney some pointers on setting up her own blog (and you can count on me to make absolutely sure you know about it once she goes live).

I also, as I mentioned, took the first steps toward setting up some new sites of my own. I registered and as a place to start collecting my ideas and formatting them in something resembling a comprehensible Plan. (To that end, I’ve scheduled a business meeting with a friend next week to try to figure out the Business side of this whole thing.)

I picked up, too, for a project I’ve been toying with for months. The plan is to discuss the “sci-fi” technology in Gods Tomorrow and the rest of the Ghost Targets series.

I’d enjoy the opportunity to get into more detail with the tech (because my protagonist just refuses to be gadget geek), and it would also give me a chance to build a little hype for the books. It should be a lot of fun, but I have no idea where I’m going to find the time.

Oh, and on that note, none of those URLs actually go anywhere yet. I’ve purchased them, but I haven’t even had time to put up a “Coming Soon” page. That’s why I didn’t bother linking them up. I’ll let you know when they go live, too.

On Unstressed Syllables

Here at Unstressed Syllables, we had some pretty lively discussion this week — all of it following some really long blog posts. (I’ve generally kept my average word count between 1200 and 1500, but for the last couple weeks it’s been bouncing up around 2,000).

I’ve heard from a couple of you that you really like the stuff I have to say, but you just don’t have time to make it all the way through my long posts. I thought about that a lot this week, and I’m going to try to address it.

Starting next Thursday, I’m going to change my blog post schedule a bit. I’ll take the Thur/Fri creative writing stuff and spread it over Thur/Fri/Sat. Mon/Tue will stay the same next week, for a direct comparison (and because I’ve already got those written).

And, of course, I really need your feedback. Let me know (today, right now) how you feel about the way I’ve been doing things. Let me know next week what you think of the new order.

I’ll probably roll with it for at least a week or two of trial, but if it doesn’t work out I can easily transition back.

Anyway, this week I stuck to the old schedule.

Monday’s Technical Writing exercise prompted you to get started on your new blog by writing an About page.

In Tuesday’s Technical Writing article, I finally got around to explaining what’s inside How to Build an e-Book. That also resulted in a truly astonishing number of those 3D virtual book photos cluttering up my front page. That’s probably over now.

On Wednesday, Courtney talked about talking, and she did it with style. WILAWriTWe was all about how to proofread your writing, and the answer was the spoken word (phlegmy or not).

Thursday’s Creative Writing article opened with some high school hijinks, and transitioned into a consideration of all the different (and sometimes quite complicated) processes in the simple act of writing.

Friday’s Creative Writing exercise invited you to share some hijinks of your own. One of our first real writing prompts in a while, I asked you to write a page or two about some trouble you’d been in. There’s always some good drama there.

Across the Web

I ran into several things of interest this week, and I still owe you for last week, so here you go.

And that’s the Week in Words.

Photo credit Julie V. Photography.

8 Responses to “The Week in Words (May 8)”

  1. Julie Velez says:

    Sooo sad about the Courier!!!

    I clicked through and read the link about sharing information via social networks because that’s something that the photography community talks a ton about.

    The general consensus, with photography at least, is that social networks can be a complete boon for your business. You are selling yourself vs. selling a product and those with a distinct “self” or “brand” will foster more loyal clients and be able to charge more because the focus is on the photographer not the images that the photographer produces.

    I took down my Facebook business page for just this reason. Now if people want to access me for business purposes they’ll see my smiling face on my personal profile and also see what books I read, what music I listen to, and possibly find out what I had for dinner.

    While this put me off a little at first, I realize that it serves an important purpose:

    It automatically lets the client know whether we are going to be compatible or not. If the client is completely horrified by my sense of humor on my FB page, then they probably don’t want to listen to me crack jokes while I’m taking their portraits. This automatically qualifies my customers and saves me the time of meeting with someone who isn’t going to want my services.

    That’s a negative way of looking at it, but the opposite is also true. I’m not quite a large enough business yet to say that I’ve experienced any of this personally, but I remember something Mary Marantz said when I attended the Spread the Love Workshop,(parahrasing here) “When you are selling who you are- the original, undiluted version of yourself- and that’s clear for the world to see, you’ll find get customers that say things like, “Hey, I saw that you like pumpkins on your website! That’s crazy because I like pumpkins! Those are the kind of clients you want. That’s brand loyalty.”

    And I believe her.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      I spend a lot of time thinking about copyright, and intellectual property, and arbitrary, artificial monopolies (which is three different ways of saying “copyright”). I think, in the digital era, it’s unsustainable as a revenue stream. We’ve seen that with digital music — no matter how much money the recording industry throws at governments or lawyers or ad campaigns, they can’t enforce their monopoly.

      And record sales numbers show that the monopoly isn’t selling their product anyway. The same people pirating are the ones buying. It’s a fascinating thing to watch, as a creative person.

      And I think the answer to all of that is right there in your comment, Julie. “You are selling yourself vs. selling a product.” That’s a lot of what I was trying to talk about in “Why You Need a Professional Blog (Part 1)” (just before I diverted to Marxist philosophy).

      If you can create and communicate a version of you that people are willing to pay for, then you get paid to be you. How awesome is that? More importantly, you can do it without lawsuits and lobbyists and deliberately crippling creative expression.

      That strikes me as a good thing.

  2. Bryce says:

    Since I finished residency and have a little more time on my hands, my fingers have been bored and have found their way back to the keyboard. But on the keyboard they are stiff, and thick, and not connected to my brain in the same way that they were before they were trained to wield a scalpel.

    I read your website everyday. I learn something everyday; something about how to write better either from your direct instruction or by observing the way that you communicate it. I have always enjoyed writing. I want to better at it, and I think you are helping me (or at least you are distracting me from my poor prose and dumpy dialogue with your posts). Thank you.

    I have enjoyed the “weekend update”, with its highlights from the week and its links to “across the web”. Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks again for your hard work. Look forward to your novel writing e-book in September.

    I have also been working on a blog, per your recommendations, that is a combination of insights from life as a surgeon/husband/father/human being. Once I have it set up with a decent backlog of posts, I will submit the link here.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      You’re awesome, Bryce. Thanks for all your feedback.

      I look forward to seeing your blog, too. Knowing as much as I do about your life, I know you’ll have some amazing things to share. I look forward to reading more about your life.

      And I know you haven’t heard back from me since you sent it, but your NaNo novel is the next item on my To Do list. I’ve finally got the e-Book launch behind me, so I should be able to get to it pretty quick.

      (And Becca, if you’re reading this, yours too. And Courtney…I’ll read yours when I’m done with those two.)

      Whatever you do, Bryce, keep writing. Every word of poor prose and dumpy dialogue gets you a step closer making art.

  3. Courtney Cantrell says:

    I just realized something. I’m not a writer….

    ….I’m a content creator! Not only that, but I like what I do, which makes me a content content creator! Woot!

  4. Dave Doolin says:

    Catching up. I realize this is a lame comment, but I’m tagging anyway, just so you know I’m (speed) reading through.

    Looking forward to reading more about your sci-fi whatever-it-is-you have planned.