5 Smart Content Strategies from a Stellar Marketer of Ideas (Sonia Simone on Copyblogger): If you haven’t heard of Neil deGrasse Tyson, he will be your new favorite nerd. “He talks about the value in having a passion for all kinds of things, not just your specific area of study. (Tyson has pursued serious interests in wrestling, rowing, wine collecting, and ballroom dancing, so he practices what he preaches.)” In a world where we’re all honed in on acquiring ultimate knowledge in our fields, it’s such a relief to be encouraged to intellectually roam .
Cartographer of Meaning in a Digital Age (Maria Popova/On Being with Krista Tippett): I listened to this podcast on Tuesday, and it absolutely changed the trajectory of my whole week. I’ve always been an obsessive fan of Popova, but it’s particularly inspiring to hear her talk about the things few people talk about–meaning, fulfillment, intellectual curiosity–in a fresh, accessible way. Dream dinner party: Me, Maria Popova, Krista Tippett, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and an XL pot of soup.
Osama Bin Laden’s Bookshelf Reflects His Fixation with the West (Michiko Kakutani for The New York Times): “His bookshelf is a weird hodgepodge. It’s hard to know how complete a list it is, and whether he requested certain books from aides, or if aides sent him works they thought he might like or that might influence his thinking.” A fascinating look at how the books we read shape our world view.
The 5 Simple Strategies That Grew Our Social Traffic by 350% (Madhav Bhandari on BufferSocial): Spoiler alert! The 5 strategies are: schedule the reposting of evergreen content, figure out your optimal timing, have great content to begin with, write headlines that draw people in, and include others in the conversation. But this is still worth a read, because each of those strategies needs to be unpacked before it can be implemented.
The Best Typography, Colors, and Templates Used in the Highest-Converting Social Media Images (James Johnson on BufferSocial): “Turns out, there’s tons of actionable, research-backed advice on how to create social media images that get shared—the ideal colors, fonts, text, and more, all leveraging what we know about design, psychology and the Internet to get more shares and engagement.”
10 Steps to Overcome Writer’s Block (Carly Watters): Step #2 is to “Forgive yourself a perfect draft: No one writes a clean first draft. It’s called a ‘Shitty First Draft‘ for a reason. Read some Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird is a must!) and learn that perfect doesn’t exist. Especially in art.” Writers, agents, and editors are always saying this because it’s one of the truest truths out there. But it’s so, so easy to forget. My favorite visual reminder: this free Anne Lamott art print to hang in your office and look at every time you’re battling perfectionism.
Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: Get Paid to Write (The Write Life): One of the things that most holds writers back is the financials of the writing life, especially being able to afford the time to get writing practice. That’s why I think getting paid to write is one the 7 Habits of Highly Successful Authors. As Gillian Flynn said about being able to write her breakout hit, Gone Girl: “I could not have written a novel if I hadn’t been a journalist first, because it taught me that there’s no muse that’s going to come down and bestow upon you the mood to write. You just have to do it. I’m definitely not precious.”
An Agent Answers: “What Should I Expect for a Cookbook Advance?” (Sally Ekus on Dianne Jacob): This is the question I get second most frequently, after “When is my platform big enough for a book?” The answer, of course, is “it depends.” But this article is a must-read for anyone thinking about writing a cookbook!
Eat & Drink:
IT’S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! I am screaming this from the rooftops today because I am so darn excited about it. Jarrett and I are driving out to his family farm in Michigan, and I’m already daydreaming about seeing the rolling expanses of green fields with not a skyscraper in sight. I don’t know where this Jersey girl got such an itch for the country, but I just know that it feels good to be surrounded by green.
I will be eating thousands of Zingerman’s Muffaleo sandwiches until they have to roll me back to the East Coast, but for the rest of you who don’t have a maniacal fixation on one single sandwich, here are some menu ideas for your long weekend:
And why not have a topping bar for grilled corn on the cob with these 15 mouthwatering ways to serve corn?
Have a fabulous long weekend everyone!