How to Use Twitter for Writing

As a writer, Twitter is going to be your best friend and your worst enemy. Because it’s the best, most fun waste of time you’re ever going to have. I’ve wiled away many an hour on Twitter, responding to tweets, retweeting clever remarks, or coming up with something funny and thinking, “I’ve got to send this out right now!” all while my deadlines dripped slowly away. But rather than treating Twitter as a den of inequity to be shunned and … Read More »

Are You Networking with Other Writers?

posted in: Writing Life | 2

Writing may be a solitary activity, but we need people in our lives who are just like us to keep us going. People who understand us, and will put up with our quirks and weird behavior. That’s where networking and meeting people come in handy. It’s one thing to bump into friends at a conference, but it’s completely different when you’re at a small local event, or bonding with someone over coffee or lunch. I’ve written in the past about … Read More »

Understanding Copyright Issues of Photos and Visual Images

posted in: Social Media | 9

When I was a travel writer for the State of Indiana, one of the marketing principles we preached was “photos get more traffic than text, videos get more traffic than photos.” In other words, visual elements will always attract more readers than a text-only article. I’ve found this to be true myself: if I can include a photo in my article, that photo will appear when I link to the article on Facebook. And if a photo appears, more people … Read More »

Can I Use Snapchat and Instagram as a Writer?

posted in: Social Media | 2

I’ve often grumped that I don’t do photos, because I’m a words guy. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but not the words I want. (For one thing, as a humor columnist, I like to toss in the occasional booger joke, but I don’t think people want to see me with my finger jammed up my nose. There are some things better left to the imagination.) But Instagram and Snapchat are so popular right now — Snapchat just … Read More »

Social Media for Authors is About Relationships, Not Marketing

posted in: Social Media | 6

When I was at the Florida Writers Conference this past October, I met more than a few authors with books in the conference bookstore. There was one author in particular that I’d enjoyed talking with over the course of the conference, and had gotten to know her fairly well. I’ve been on a rather strict “no new books” diet for a few years, but will break it occasionally if a favorite author has a new book. But I had such … Read More »

Humor Writers Are Filthy Liars

posted in: Writing Craft | 1

A good humor writer is a master of deception, a psychological deceiver, a sensory trickster. They’re filthy rotten liars. That’s because good humor is based on violated expectations. That is, the laugh comes from being surprised when you think one thing is going to happen, but another does instead. It’s based on what psychologists call the Incongruity Theory or Incongruity-Resolution Theory. That’s because the humor actually happens when you realize and recognize the incongruity.. Here’s how it works. “Take my … Read More »