A few links for the end of the week

Crowdfunding and the writer

Photo of a crowd of people A few years ago, I had a lengthy and interesting email debate with a writer of my acquaintance. It all started when I pointed him to the Kickstarter campaign to start an online publication (whose name I don’t recall). He wasn’t too impressed, likening the campaign to begging. I countered, stating that this was no different from raising funds from more traditional investors.

The debate went back and forth for a while, with us never reaching a clear consensus. It did, however, get me thinking about crowdfunding and how writers could use it.

A number of writers have tried to use crowdfunding to finance their works. Some with more success than others. Here are a few of my thoughts about crowdfunding and the writer.


7 open source tools and free resources for writing

Laptop and paper notebook Note: This post was written by Jen Wike Huger. Jen’s the Content Manager for Opensource.com and is a storyteller for tech, open source, and Linux communities. You can find Jen on Twitter and at Jen.io.

There are times in many of our workdays when we must write or document something. Whether for building out the plan of a project, for the documentation of a project, or for the creation of the project itself, like an article or blog post, writing is a part of many of our daily lives regardless of industry or field.

Open source tools can be used to get writing done, and freely available resources can be used to supplement and enhance that work. As a content manager here at Opensource.com, there are seven open source tools and resources that I use everyday.


A few links for the end of the week

Lessons learned from co-blogging

blog There’s an image that haunts bloggers: we tap away at our keyboards all alone, with no interaction with anyone else.

That’s not quite true. Many bloggers do work alone. Others co-blog. They run and contribute to a blog with one or more other people. But you don’t just wake up one day and say I want to co-blog. Often, it just happens.

Over the years, I’ve done quite a bit of co-blogging. My former business partner and I ran a popular blog on technical communication. More recently, I’ve been co-blogging with my wife.

In both cases, I learned a lot. Not just about co-blogging but about writing and collaborating in general.


Answering questions to break through a block

Someone writing a question mark I don’t believe in writer’s block. But I do know there are times when you just can’t write. The words are in your head. But they don’t travel from your brain to your fingertips to keyboard to screen. You’re frozen.

When that happens, you get frustrated. That makes writing even more difficult. It’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of avoiding the keyboard so you don’t have to face that freeze and that frustration.

One way around that problem is to ask yourself some question. Not just ask, but answer them. Doing that can burn away the mental fog and get you back to writing.

Here are a few tips.


A few links for the end of the week

How to effectively take notes at an event

Someone writing in a notebook That event could be one you’re attending out of personal or professional interest. Or you could be covering the event for your blog or a publication.

No matter your reason for attending, you’ll have a lot of information thrown at you. Often, more than you can effectively process.

That’s where effective note taking skills come in very handy. Over the years, I’ve attended a large number of events. And I’ve developed a strategy for effectively taking notes.

Let me share that strategy with you.