RT Attends The BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012
This year running concurrently with BookExpo America was the BlogWorld & New Media Expo. This conference sported panels and workshops covering a large variety of topics. And while they were directed at bloggers, there we found some very interesting tips for authors as well.
Writing Coach and author Ali Luke
The programs at BlogWorld included “Disruptive Publishing & Book Marketing With Social Media,” a session that was lead by Good Life Project founder Jonathan Fields and focused on how authors can get noticed online. Girlfriendology owner Debba Haupert’s discussed “The 7 Don’ts for Online Community Managers” and had some great tips about building a digital community. (Haupert had some of the best advice we heard all day. She reminded writers to be careful when prioritizing projects — you can't do everything, so focus on what will really make a difference to your audience.) Along with these and the dozens of other workshops at BlogWorld, we were especially impressed by “Four Simple Steps for Editing Your Own Writing,” which was run by Aliventures Writing Coach and author Ali Luke. This panel had some great suggestions for writers on how to edit well — a particularly important skill when blogging since many times there aren't dedicated editors available to double check this type of writing.
Fiction writers are used to having a professional editor to comb through their work, so editing your own work can be a challenge. So how does Luke suggest you go about becoming the best editor you can be? Here are the four steps that Luke recommends:
1) Read through your piece and make notes
2) Edit the “big picture” (overall structure and content)
3) Edit the details (sentences and individual words)
4) Use formatting (bold, lists, subheads) to enhance your writing
During the panel Luke went in-depth, providing a detailed look at some things that you might not be doing — but should. For example, Luke believes that writers should complete a first draft all the way through before starting to edit. Why? Well, if you don’t wait until you are done, then your work won’t flow as a whole.
She also recommends that when it is time to get yourself out of the “writing phase” and move into the “editing phase” of working on a piece, there’s a simple solution that can make a big difference. She suggests you change the medium of the piece you are working on. In her experience, the author and writing coach says that printing a paper copy of a document created on the computer works best. But in case you don't have the time or means for this step, Luke says sometimes even changing the document's font can be enough of a difference to help you see old content in a new way.
Throughout her presentation, Luke was intent in getting writers to realize the importance of having clean, easy to understand pieces. She told the audience, “Editing makes an okay writer good and it makes a good writer excellent, so really there are no excuses not to do it.”