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How Reading Aloud Makes You A Better Writer

June 3, 2017

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How I Spend My Down Time: 3 Blogs I Follow

March 25, 2016

 

The time change is really throwing me off this spring. The one-hour I lost more than a week ago feels like DAYS with each morning l sleep through my alarms. Yes, alarms. I set three so I actually get up with the last one (6 a.m.). See, the early morning is when I set aside time to read my favorite blogs; you know before the day gets hectic and away from me.

 

Here’s how it usually works: cup of coffee in hand, I get comfortable in the wing chair that belonged to my grandparents, wrap myself in my comfy NY Yankees blanket, and read. This is my time to be educated, entertained and inspired. I like to think of it as super charging my battery. Since Daylight Savings began, my battery is slowly running out of juice.  

 

Current reality: Open eyes, see daylight broke without me; curse a blue streak and kick the covers off. I’m already almost two hours behind. There’s ALWAYS time for morning coffee but not much else.

 

So…I spent this past weekend catching up on some reading – regardless of when I woke up. I’m dedicating this week’s blog to my THREE favorite blogs. Without further ado:

 

Blue Ridge Firearms:

 

I found this blog doing research. It’s a great example of knowing your audience. From time-to-time, there are subtle tone changes indicating a shift in the target audience but the overall goal remains the same: education. Whether it’s gun ownership, family emergency planning or home security, it never fails to educate. And it’s direct, no flowery words to show off their expertise. It’s all in how the topics are handled; no white-washing or no “my way or the highway” mentality. It’s just sold information meant to educate an audience.

 

Danny Brown:

 

This is the one blog on the list that is purely for me as a writer. Yeah, Danny writes about blogging, social media and a ton of other stuff. And yeah, I’ve learned a lot from him. Blah, blah, blah. But it’s the way he writes that keeps me coming back to this blog, over and over. This is the place I go to recharge my word-geek inner self. I fell in love with this blog when I came across a November 2015 post, “Why I’m Loving the Pure Blogging Project.”

 

 

Custom Alley Slipcovers:

 

In full disclosure, I oversee this blog personally. Honestly, I’d make time for it regardless. It reminds me of my Nana; that long ago era when custom made almost always meant handmade. My Nana was self-taught at just about everything after leaving school to work so she could help support her family, and she was one of the smartest women I’ve ever known. Reading this blog reminds me of sitting on her porch listening to her stories. I can smell the coffee brewing.

 

Making the cut:

 

These blogs have PERSONALITY. And for me, that’s a must. I’ve read A LOT of blogs over the years, some for professional reasons and some for personal. If it doesn’t appeal to my humor, intellect or interest I’m not going to read it. There will be no 4:30 a.m. Eye of the Tiger alarm followed by Crazy Train at 5:15 to get my ass out of bed.

 

Some free advice (you’ll thank me later): forget about the “blogs you’re not following but probably should” or the “best blogs” posts…it’s all subjective. Take a cursory look but in the end you need to build trust with customers and prospects. You can only accomplish that by providing information, being honest and not taking yourself too seriously.

 

Finally, the best person to take advice from is: YOURSELF. Don’t down play your experience as a consumer. If you’re playing it safe than do something that takes you outside your safety zone. It doesn’t need to be huge; just authentic.

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