Friday, August 31, 2007

My Content Producer Page at Associated Content

I wanted to highlight my content producer page at the website Associated Content:

There you can find all of my published articles to date (six in all, with one more about to be submitted to the site.)

If you like, you can bookmark my page to read all my new articles for the site.

I currently write for the Arts and Entertainment and Travel sections of the site. I've done several movie reviews and some articles about travel in the Hudson Valley.

How do I brainstorm ideas for new articles? I find that some days things are flowing, other days...not so much. So I keep a plain notepad near me, to jot down ideas when things are flowing for me.

(When you wake up in the morning, half awake jotting down ideas, it's time for a day off....maybe. I get some good ideas in the mornings.)

I jot down the titles for articles I might want to write. I need "headlines" to go under the titles at AC (,) these headlines are one line "teasers" that sum up the article. I also write down the "abstract" if it occurs to me: that's a brief summary of my article that goes on my content producer page.

Then, if I'm feeling particularly inspired, I might just jot down a "lead," the first paragraph that hooks the reader into wanting to go ahead and finish the article.

If I've gotten that far, I might just keep writing down ideas. If paragraphs occur to me, I jot them down. Later, I go into MS Word and word process my title, and lead and whatever paragraphs I've got, leaving spaces to flesh out the article with further research or whatever is needed to complete it.

Today I just brainstormed about ten or eleven article ideas, when I develop one, I cross it off and add new ones to the bottom of the list. I'm writing about the arts, mainly TV/film, so when I see something that strikes a chord I start to think how I can develop the piece more thoroughly.

I recently wanted to abandon a piece I wrote about Kenneth Branagh's film As you Like It, for HBO. Maybe I was tired? It just wasn't flowing. I love Branagh, he's one of the reasons I wanted to become an actress, but I didn't like his concept for the HBO film, I felt let down by it.

I felt it was important to try and finish the review anyway. To stretch and grow by completing something that felt difficult for me. I always try to write one new thing that stretches me out of my comfort zone. I wrestled with it, got it done, and now it's one of the articles on AC that I'm most proud of, here's the link :

One thing I've learned about the writing process is: how to write when you think you can't get anything done! When you're tired, burnt out, discouraged, or having a so-so can still write! And have it all come out pretty good, too. I've had that happen to me a few times recently.

I didn't really feel like writing, but I sat down and gave things a chance and started to feel more in flow. I find it helps to reread the first part of an article that you are trying to finish, to get things moving in your head.

Or read through your old stuff, your best stuff, it can be a motivator.

If you don't feel like writing today, do it anyway! Open your word processor, take out your notes, and try to compose the lead for an article. Let it flow into more paragraphs. If that's too hard, brainstorm a list of ideas for new pieces. If all else fails, do a grocery list? You probably need something, right? Put pen to paper, type some words at your keyboard.

Just write.

And check out my content producer page at AC!

Monthly Writing Goals for September/Progress for July and August

I'm finally back to add some content to this blog. I've been away most of July and all of August due to a flurry of activity, writing content for the site Associated Content.

When I last left you, gentle reader, I had posted about my writing goals for July and progress for June. How did I do?

Well, I completely missed my goal, to have 60 pages completed toward my Jane Austen solo show (I still have 52 pages done.) No work was done on the project since I posted my goals last time.

On the upside, I am now a content producer at Associated Content (.com): not only did I establish a presence there, by publishing the same article on the site that I published on, I now have SIX articles published on Associated Content, and one more ready to submit.

How did that happen? I don't really know. My theory is work begets work. I got one thing published and the whole thing just took off, it SNOWBALLED! That is what has kept me away from my blog. I've been working so furiously over at Associated Content (AC) that all of my writing time has been spent there, I just focused everything on writing and publishing content for them.

My monthly writing goals for September? I'd like to have ten articles published on AC. I have six published now, one finished and awaiting publication, so I'd have to write and submit three more, next month.

The way things are going, it seems doable!

I am really pleased with the way things are going for me at AC. I intend to blog more about AC and what it's like to be a content producer for the site.

Hmm, when I first started this blog in June, I said I'd feel like a professional writer if I could get ten articles published in one year, by June of 2008. I've got seven of my articles published online and it's not even officially September yet! I think I'm beginning to feel like a writer...

Big goal to reach for: 100 articles published on AC, by next year this time!

Now that's a big one to reach for! Wherever you are, wherever you may be reading this blog, I believe if you have a dream of becoming a published writer, you can have your dream. I don't have a degree in Journalism or English, and I've never worked in publishing, not at all (I was a finance major!)

But, through hard work and trying to acquire some tools as to how to write professionally and get published, I'm slowly making progress towards my writing goals. A wish of mine: a hope support myself through writing alone. To do theatre at night, and my day job is writing.

Something to strive for: this time in my life is all about working hard, dreaming of possibilities, stretching and growing, moving towards my vision. If you're thinking about getting started in writing, look at and, it worked for me!

Happy fall,