What Exactly Is the Social Media Mind?

I have been reading this fascinating book on social media entitled The Social Media Mind: Ho social media is changing business, politics, and science and helps create a new world order.

It was written in 2012 when there was still hope  the Arab Spring would bring positive change. It looked five years into the future, which is almost today and how social media would be a part of our lives. Continue reading “What Exactly Is the Social Media Mind?”

ICRS First Impressions

Before I begin, I must note that these are my personal opinions, not those of my employer.

The last two days have been a flurry of activity in preparing for the International Christian Retail Show. I haven’t been to one as an exhibitor for a while and I almost forgot the work and energy that goes into making something like this a reality.

One noticeable difference from ten years ago are the flood of flat-screen TV’s and monitors that are in each booth. Screens are so lightweight now, you can add them practically anywhere in a booth. Of course, that means a book trailer isn’t as impactful at one of these shows as they used to be. Now hundreds of TV screens will be competing for attention!

One thing I also almost forgot is the amount of work that goes into these shows. As an author, I’ve heard the many complaints about publishers not putting enough marketing effort into their books. But when you’re on the other end, you realize it takes an enormous amount of time and money to be at one of these shows.

This reminds me as an author to consider how much work an editor or marketer has to do to make any book get noticed. It takes creativity, elbow grease and a lot of vacuuming to even be noticed at a book expo. (The dust in a convention hall is incredible! There is also no heat or air-conditioning until the exhibits are fully installed. Eek!)

So if you get a chance, you may want to thank your publisher when they go to one of these expos. It may ease their sore muscles from toting those flat-screen TV’s, building and tearing down their area, and smiling for twelve-hours on end. Seriously, I never knew you could pull a muscle from smiling. It can be done!

Why have a book without pictures?

What can I say? Pictures make a book more interesting. And I bet you agree with me too. It’s sad that society reasons you must have nothing but text on a page. Don’t get me wrong. Book design is an art unto itself and takes a lot of work to make it look perfect. But still, books without pictures have always looked boring and inaccessible.

If picture-less books are less effective, then why aren’t there more illustrated books?

Cartoon of a boy with a book and some popcorn. He says, A book without pictures is like popcorn without salt.

What can I say? Pictures make a book more interesting. And I bet you agree with me too. It’s sad that society reasons you must have nothing but text on a page. Don’t get me wrong. Book design is an art unto itself and takes a lot of work to make it look perfect. But still, books without pictures have always looked boring and inaccessible.

Continue reading “Why have a book without pictures?”

Social Reading

Joe Wikert has a great post on the future of social reading. He states how many cynics believe reading will always be a solitary event, while he asserts great startups like ReadSocial and BookShout are making social reading attractive.

In many ways, this is a nod to the past when storytelling was a social event that would be held around a campfire. The storyteller would weave history and tall tales while the audience would give their approval. It was part history and part drama.

Until recently, literacy was only for the well-educated. If you wanted to hear God’s word, you went to church and heard the pastor or priest read from scripture. Even if you could read, Bibles were too large to be toted around. It was only when books became portable that reading could be a solitary event.

Technology is allowing us to become social readers again. We can be part of a larger community that shares our reading interests. It’s an interesting world we live in!

Morning Pages Reboot

The last several mornings, I’ve taken up an old habit. It’s been good to get back into it, and a joy to have a habit come back that is a good one.

Several years ago, I read a book entitled, “The Artists Way” It is a book on creativity by Julia Cameron. One of the prescriptions in the book is to start every day with morning pages. It is three pages of longhand writing you do as soon as you wake up. I came back to it after several months and I’m really glad I did. There are several reasons why I find this habit helpful.

It Clears my Head

I can get a lot of nagging thoughts swirling around in my mind. Did I pay that bill? Do I need to get that flea medicine for the dog? Is four cups of coffee too much for this average Joe? I can clear some of those thoughts out of my cranium if I just write them down and let things settle.

It Helps me Focus

It seems every where I go, people are complaining they have Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m sure some people have a legitimate case of ADD, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s our society that can’t stay focused for more than a few minutes. Writing things down in the morning helps me focus on some of the important things of the day. It also helps me see some patterns when I go back and read what’s been on my mind the last few weeks.

It Gets the Creative Juices Flowing

Most of what I’ve done has been in the visual arts. Yet this writing habit has made me realize I can paint pictures in words too. It feels good for me to get things out in writing and see if there are any pictures that need illustrated among the text. I am constantly mulling over whether the pictures inspire the words or the words inspire the pictures. Getting some words down gives me a starting point. It’s a lot like doodling on paper to see what shows up. For me, morning pages are a form of doodling.

I encourage you to start the habit. I would also encourage you to find

“The Artist’s Way.” It’s a good book to read when you’re looking for a creative spark, no matter what type of creative work you are in to.