Medium roundup for April 6

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I got behind on posting updates here, but I’ve been getting a lot of writing done on Medium. (Follow me there.) As my own writing evolves, I continue to focus on effective communication, but I’m also branching out into other areas of interest. This blog is, therefore, more and more focusing on my work as a writer in general. Accordingly, I will start including here links to things other than just communication-related posts, but I will use subheads to help you find the things you are most interested in.

Continue reading “Medium roundup for April 6”

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Roundup of Medium articles continued

Last week I posted all the Medium articles I have posted touching on communication from January and February. If you missed my reasons for doing so, you might like to know.

Today I’m getting everything caught up—all the articles so far in March. I will then start sharing a roundup post each Friday, so the email list remains the best way to keep up with such posts.

I write on life management topics as well, so if you would like to see everything I write, follow me on Medium or look on Patreon for access to everything, including material that otherwise would only be available to Medium members (although you could just join Medium).

That catches up through Friday, March 16, 2018. I have others in the queue right now, though, so be sure to watch your email and this blog for updates, or follow on Medium or Patreon.

As always, I hope to help you increase your impact and influence!

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Roundup of Medium articles

Here is the index post of Medium articles I’ve posted through February—or at least the ones connected to effective communication. I’ll catch up on March a little later. If you would like to see all of my Medium articles, you can find them here.

That catches up all of January and February. I’ll catch up March before Friday.

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Speaking Impact: Changing because life changed

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Long-time readers (and there are several of you out there—thank you!) know that I have gone through periods of not posting much. You might think that I’ve just gone through one of those and that it’s related to the loss of my son, which is the last thing I wrote about here.

You would be partly right.

On the other hand, you would be very wrong, and I need to update you, therefore. Continue reading “Speaking Impact: Changing because life changed”

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Updates

update

I managed to get through a challenging semester. I knew I wouldn’t be able to post for a couple of weeks as we wrapped up, but it has been nearly a month! However, I have the next couple of posts already lined up and I wanted to alert faithful readers to a slight change in scheduling.

Sometimes I keep up with the “twice a week” schedule pretty well, and, as you can tell, sometimes I don’t. I’m going to try a different pattern (and you can let me know how you like it or don’t like it). I am aiming for a regular post every week on Tuesday, something more in depth. I may post shorter pieces at other times, but I’ll try to make sure Tuesday brings something of interest to all.

I am also working on a new podcast that will go live by the first week of June. In this podcast I will talk with people I’m calling Switchers right now. (This term could change as it develops.) These are people who have taken a path beyond the usual, or who have later in life switched from a standard career into something that satisfies their souls.

For instance, the first one will feature a young woman who discovered both a passion for photography and for independent business unusual among recent college graduates–a path she had never considered before finding it. When a new podcast episode goes up, I will post that here as well.

Conventional wisdom is that you need to be regular in scheduling, and I certainly aim for that. If you have been with me for awhile, though, you know that I have responsibility for a severely disabled daughter, and my wife is also disabled. They have veto power over my plans. (If you can tell, I’m smiling as I say that.) My choice is to not write this blog at all, or do the best I can with it. I will be posting about this later, in fact, but the short version is: I think you should do the best you can with what you want to do, even if you can’t do it perfectly.

So thank you for sticking with me, and helping me produce something you would be glad to share with friends and colleagues.

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Time to get serious

Serious dog

It is time to get serious.

I have preached before about the need to create regularly, to write regularly, and to do so whether you feel like it or not. On the other hand, I am quite sympathetic when people struggle with this, because of my own circumstances.

I seldom mention it here, because I don’t want to whine. But these are facts: I have a severely disabled daughter who requires around-the-clock nursing, and my wife is partially disabled (in a wheelchair mostly, because of arthritis. I’m also the sole breadwinner in the household. Though we have tried to navigate the swampy morass of disability for both my daughter and my wife, we have been overwhelmed by the bureaucracy. No doubt we could crack through it, but it takes time–and time is my shortest resource.

Despite the importance of writing to me, I often find myself going days at a time without writing, mostly because all my time is taken up with taking care of The Princess (as we call my daughter), The Queen (my wife), or one of my two jobs. Plus, you know, every so often, sleeping. But writing is right up there with sleeping and eating in importance to who I am, so I am slowly starving to death.

Growing up in West Tennessee, in farming country, I learned that if you want a crop in the fall, you have to plant seeds in the spring. I am planting some seeds this month. To help get the time I need to help more people more often with effective writing and speaking, I am now offering a subscription through Patreon.

With enough subscribers, I could quit my second job, which would give more time for writing and speaking–a real win/win situation.

For most of my life, I made part or all of my living through writing–on a newspaper staff, freelancing for magazines or business publications, writing advertising copy, writing academic materials. In the last few years, as most of you know, the economy for writers has changed dramatically. The very Internet that has, to a great degree, killed traditional outlets for writers now makes it possible to connect directly with readers.

If you have never dealt with Patreon before, you may not know that it is not just a subscription model, like a year’s subscription to Time magazine for $40. There are tiers of support, and I can offer various incentives to those different levels of support. Which is what I have done.

I’m happy to share content here on the blog, and I will continue to do so, but I will also be producing content exclusively for Patreon subscribers as a way of saying thank you for the support. Would you consider checking things out and seeing if it would give you satisfaction (and a meaningful reward) to support our efforts?

You can check out the Patreon page here.

TL;DR: I’m setting up a Patreon subscription for those folks who would like to support what we’re doing here. Please consider?

 

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Do you care how you get info from me?

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I haven’t written anything here in forever. We’ve talked before about those times when the well runs dry, and you just have nothing to say. That’s not what’s been happening with me the last few months. The fact is, I have been overwhelmed with work. I have thought of dozens of things to talk with you about, and thought, “I’ll develop that later,” and then never got time.

On the other hand, I have recorded several Facebook Live videos for other projects I’m working with. These days, I’m finding it easier to do those than to write something. For people who relate to video, it seems that it is a more engaging medium. On the other hand, it is not as casual as reading (you can read a blog post almost anywhere).

So, to help me know where to focus my efforts, would you give me some feedback? Just respond to the quick survey below to help me help you. I don’t want to spend time and effort on something that won’t be useful to you–and I really want to produce something useful to you.

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One-question survey

Survey

Hi! We haven’t talked in a few days. My daughter (The Princess) has been having some health issues, and coupled with nursing schedule irregularities, I’ve had to put my attention elsewhere.

But I haven’t forgotten about you! I’ve been working on updating the web site also, incorporating what you told me in response to an earlier question. To help that along, would you respond to a one-question survey about what you would most like to know about using effective speaking to advance your job, career, or business? It would really help me help you. Thanks! Just click this link–and I really appreciate it!

Image courtesy of NY Photographic under a CC Share-Alike license

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Changing models

I have been thinking about this for awhile. I’m going to change the publishing schedule a bit, and also the way I’m approaching things.

People of my generation and earlier will recognize the reference to “the Reader’s Digest version.” While the magazine has a U.S. circulation of 4.5 million these days, in the 1970s it reached its peak at 17 million. It was known for, among others things, taking longer magazine articles and longer books and condensing them down into much shorter form.

Academics know about article abstracts, those entries that are only two or three paragraphs at the beginning of a journal article or academic paper that mostly summarizes the entire article. Graduate students quickly learn to focus on the abstract along with the methodology and conclusion section as a survival tool, because no one has the time to read entire articles when you are in grad school.

The internet has spawned its own response and version. Some commenters on long posts began around 2003 using TL;DR to label such as a means of signifying “too long; didn’t read.” Newspaper reporters have long written in inverted pyramid style to address readers’ short attention spans, although magazines (a print form more aimed at leisurely reading) have mostly followed a more traditional introduction/body/conclusion approach. It somehow seems natural with so many people reading online to combine these approaches.

I’ve been noticing lately that you seem to be engaging in longer content, but that doesn’t mean that all of you want to read longer articles. So I’m going to accommodate both approaches. I will finish out this week the way I’ve been going, but starting next week, I’m going to post a longer article on Monday–but it will start with a special segment labeled “TL;DR” for those who want to read shorter.

I’m also going to move away from the once-a-week digest posting to the email list–though again, we will finish out the week the way we’ve been doing it. Starting next week, when an article goes up on the blog, it will also go out on the email list. The subject line will start with [King’s Corner] to make it easy to find later if you want.

So we’ll see how that goes. Please let me know your thoughts about it, though! I want to put out material that is useful to you, and I won’t know unless you tell me. (Remember one of our basic principle: people (including me) are not mind readers.)

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Help me help you, OK?

Lonely bear

I sent out an email to subscribers. I sent it because they used to open my emails a whole lot more. But then my daughter had some issues and I quit writing for awhile.

I have a severely disabled daughter, who went through a long period of rough times. I got so overwhelmed that I stopped writing for a long time, and people got used to not hearing from me.

I started writing again a little over a month ago (April 3), but I’ve noticed that people aren’t opening the emails nearly as much as they used to. I’m trying to figure out why. Continue reading “Help me help you, OK?”

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