Why Stan Lee’s …

Why Stan Lee’s Superheroes continue to enthrall audiences 50 years after they were created:

“I would guess it’s because we tried to make our characters as human and empathetic as possible. Instead of merely emphasizing their super feats, we attempted to make their personal life and personal problems as realistic and as interesting as possible. We wanted to make them seem like real people whom the reader would like to spend time with and want to know better.” –Stan Lee

Great advice from one of the best Graphic Novelists pretty much ever. Of course, he’s talking about humans that can create a flying iron suit or whose DNA has been fused with that of a radioactive spider. But the reason they keep making these movies and your kid’s shoes and pillowcases have their likeness on them is because these fantasy-based characters have their human flaws. 

Whether you respect the medium or not, you must respect the philosophy. Bear in mind these qualities when you create your characters and your stories will be the better for it. To hear more of Lee’s wit and wisdom, read the full huffingtonpost.com article.

Alone Time is Good for Your Work

There is no question that being alone is a part of being a writer. John Irving said that he knew he needed to be a writer because he wanted to be alone.

Now, I’m generally a friendly person. I like to be around people. Many have joked that my name is very appropriate. It is in many ways. But like Irving, I also like my quiet time. For me that time comes to me when I am swimming.

When I am swimming, a different element surrounds me in a cocoon of peace, calming in its familiarity. Cool water and muted calm broken only by the echo of my breath in my ears and the rhythmic chunk, chunk, chink of my strokes as I power myself along the surface, legs kicking behind me like the roll of a paddle churning behind a riverboat.

Alone to think,or to listen to my thoughts as they roll past my mind’s eye, mental clouds against a blue sky of brain matter. My unfocused eyes peering out from the goggles, watching the sunlight dance through the water, shimmering and bouncing on the angles of the tiles like little white flames burning in the water.

Here I can fly, just like the dreams I used to have so often when I was young but now less frequently. I am suspended in the air soaring over the pool floor, a superhero with the power to change my mood, my stroke, and my course.

I still love swimming but too often a pool is elusive. A schedule dominated by the needs of others does not lend itself to the scarce nature of pool availability. As I pass, it beckons with lanes of possibility. But with a sad glance and a commitment elsewhere I pass by, an opportunity missed.

Today was not one of those days and like old friends I found my reassuring rhythm again. I was away from the daily responsibilities and commitments and back to myself. If only a respite, it is a welcome one that can help the call of duty feel less painful and more joyful.

Life is simple here. Stoke left, stroke right, breathe. Repeat. Stroke left, stroke right, breathe. If only all of our lives were this simple.

I find inspiration in the calm I get from my swim time. My advice to you is to find your “pool” and immerse yourself in it today.

Why You Need to Hire a Writer

Woman working online

Everyone thinks they can write. Chances are if you went to school or read a book every couple of weeks you probably can.

But the time it takes you to write is another story. That time you spend trying to remember the rules of grammar that are as dusty as the AP Style Guide you bought in college that’s still lurking on your shelf is time you could be using running your business or doing what it is the that you do best.

I am a writer. That’s what I do best. Whether it’s fiction, a blog post about something technical or a marketing piece about how great a widget you have when compared to the competition, telling stories is an area where I excel. Yeah, I know, bragging is tacky…but modesty isn’t really what gets you noticed when you freelance.

For the past four years, I have written about everything from infertility treatment to marketing for funeral homes to how to organize a garage. I’ve written brochures about Pilates, Printing Services, and Online Banking services, to name a few. One thing that all of these projects have in common is that my clients, who were perfectly capable and qualified to write these things themselves hired me to do it for them so they could go on about their business.

Your time is valuable. Each day that you spend doing activities for your business or your employer’s business earns you an hourly wage, whether you are paid by the hour or not. When you spend 2 hours writing a web page or a blog post, you spend that money whether you bill yourself or not. That’s two whole hours that you could have been calling that lead, researching that new supplier, or developing the next latest and greatest widget that the world has ever known.

So the reason you need a writer is simple: Your time is too valuable to spend writing your marketing, fiction or blog post. Outsource it.

There are a number of ways to outsource. You can contact me, of course (and I hope you do). But there is also Elance.com, where you have your pick of writers all over the world who are just waiting by their keyboards, ready to go. Also, you can just Type in Google, “Hire a Freelance Writer” and you will get pages and pages of writers available to free up your time so you can get back to work on your business.

Chances are that you can write your own project. Chances are it will probably be pretty good. But at what cost? Don’t waste your valuable time when there are a number of professional and affordable outsourcing options that are just a call or click away.

What will you do with the time you free up by outsourcing?

 

cropped-2013_0109_006-1.jpgTerri Lively is a career marketing professional that has unique experience in the areas of messaging and client relations. She helps professionals that want to grow their influence and enhance their content for publication. For the past 15 years, she has been helping her clients create marketing materials that effectively communicate their message and get results, across all types of media. More about Terri can be discovered at http://www.terrilively.com.

 

 

What’s Your Best Story?

What's Your Best Story?

I saw this quote today and couldn’t agree more. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love a good vs bad story. But who doesn’t agree that the secret to a great story is to have a fabulous villain?

The Secrets of Creating Reactive Content

The Secrets of Creating Reactive Content

This article has great tips on how to be a blogger that gets traffic from posts that are news relevant. I do this for one of my clients and I think it’s a great way to get more views and make your blog (or your client’s) a destination for those readers that follow the industry. Bloggers: do yourself a favor and read this one today.