Monthly Archives: January 2015

Five top reasons people become teachers – and why they quit

by Sarah Marsh
The statistic that two-fifths of teachers quit within the first five years is often bandied about, even though no one seems quite sure where it comes from. But new research suggests there’s some truth in it – many of those training to be teachers have considered leaving and don’t expect to see out their careers in the profession.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) union surveyed its trainee and newly qualified teacher members and found that of those who have considered resigning, 76% cited heavy workloads as the reason. More than 54% said that they did not think they’d be teaching in 10 years’ time and almost a quarter imagined they’d move on in half that time.

This may seem disheartening, but some positive statistics also came out of the report. One of the most popular reasons (75%) for joining teaching was a desire to make a difference, and 80% said they taught because they enjoyed working with children. Contrary to popular belief, just below 20% went into teaching because of long holidays. We look at these statistics in a bit more detail.

Five reasons new teachers want to leave
1) Heavy workloads
This was the most cited reasons for considering leaving teaching; of those who had had second thoughts, 76% claimed it’s the amount of work that’s the problem. It was also a popular choice for why people didn’t like teaching: 87% said workload was the worst part of the job. A further 53% said that they felt they had insufficient time to reflect on their practice and 31% complained about report writing.

When asked about work-life balance, 79% of young recruits felt they didn’t have this quite right – with 46% working an average of six to 10 hours over the weekend. A worrying 81% of teachers said that they do not have enough time to participate in hobbies and 80% do not get enough time to relax. An improvement in work-life balance would involve “less unnecessary paperwork”, the survey found.

The work-life balance basics: 10 stress-busting tips for teachers
Read more
2) Teacher bashing in the press
This was the second most popular reason given for thinking about quitting. This follows an OECD report released last year which found that two-thirds of teachers felt undervalued. Although teachers in the UK were above average in feeling valued, at 35% (unlike France where the figure was only 5%), they still fared quite poorly.

A trainee in his third year at a primary school in Bedfordshire said: “Teachers feel undermined and unappreciated.”

3) Constant changes
A quarter of respondents said “attacks on teachers’ terms and conditions” was another reason they had thought about leaving. The last five to 10 years has seen a great number of changes in quick succession. There’s been dramatic change to the curriculum, changes to pay structures and GCSE and A-level rerform. When asked what they wanted from the government, new teachers called for meaningful consultation and for reform to be taken more slowly.

4) Challenging student behaviour

About 25% said difficult behaviour made them consider leaving teaching. When asked what would have a positive impact on their teaching, 83% said that they wanted more time to plan and prepare and 42% required mentoring or coaching from experienced colleagues.

This comes alongside criticism for low-level disruption with an Ofsted report published last year saying that teachers are not doing enough to tackle unruly behaviour. The inspectorate found that students are losing up to an hour of learning each day in English schools because of bad behaviour.

5) Ofsted
This didn’t come up in the top reasons for quitting but it wasn’t an option in the survey. However, it’s a point that appears in the report in other sections. When asked what teachers dislike about their job, a staggering 63% said Ofsted. Mary Bousted, general secretary of ATL, said that their survey showed the government need to review the current inspection system.

Secret Teacher: hit-and-run Ofsted inspections fail teachers and pupils
Read more
Five reasons people start teaching
1) Work with young people and to make a difference
Of the 858 who responded to this question, just over 80% said they wanted to teach because they enjoyed working with young people. This was followed by 75% of teachers who said they wanted to make a difference. More commonly-held assumptions about why people teach, such as the draw of long holidays, were actually less popular choices. Only 20% of people said that they taught for that reason and just 10% chose teaching for its useful childcare patterns.

2) The variety of the job
This was another top reason for why people started teaching, with 57% of respondents picking this. No two days are the same after all. Teachers also said that they enjoyed the “light bulb moment” their students get and also learning from those in their class.

3) Teaching is fun
About 32% said they had chose to teach for this reason. Creativity in the classroom was also the fifth most ranked thing that inspires young teachers. When asked what would improve their teaching, 47% said they wanted more freedom, and 70% called for time to reflect on their practice with colleagues.

4) Inspiring teachers
If you need anymore proof of the value of teaching then the study also found that 37% of trainees were inspired by former teachers themselves. Interestingly, they also called for more collaboration between other teachers in their school. And when asked what would have a positive impact on their teaching, 42% called for mentoring from experienced colleagues.

5) Love of their subject
A highly-ranked reason to join the profession. The Sutton Trust examined 200 pieces of research in 2014 looking at what makes great teaching. It found that the two most important elements of great teaching were the quality of instruction and how well a teacher knew their subject.
http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/jan/27/five-top-reasons-teachers-join-and-quit?CMP=fb_gu Continue reading Five top reasons people become teachers – and why they quit

Thinking of Delhi Elections

29 Jan. It is sad that in less than 13 months after exercising franchise for Legislative Assembly (and seven months after Parliamentary elections) Delhi’s people are forced to visit elections booths! It is not their fault – fault squarely lies with our politicians.
When AAP (Aam Aadmi or Common Man Party) nearly won a majority (well, it fell short by seven seats) in 2013 December, they were forced to accept support of the Congress. Kejriwal became Chief Minister. But he could not understand the difference between administration and activism! He resigned in 49 days flat!

Now one more election. This time, Kiran Bedi, the former police officer and AAP member, is a part of their right wing rivals BJP! The very party she ridiculed 10-12 months ago, is her final (? Can never be sure of these politicians!)resort! She is the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate.

It looks, Bedi is counting her chicken before they are hatched! Her sudden entry and immediate nomination as CM candidate has divided the BJP itself! So, the self-imposed custodians of Hinduism, the RSS are now campaigning for the BJP! Will they pull the carpet under AAP’s Kejriwal?
Going by public sentiment, people have forgotten the 49-day activism of Arvind Kejriwal; they feel he is much more mature now, and are behind him once again. So much so, and surprisingly, Narendra Modi has kept himself away from campaign! It looks the BJP has no hopes of a winning. Neither do I! With Congress tacitly supporting AAP and people responding to Kejriwal’s brand, Delhi is geared up to have Kejriwal for a second and more mature term of administration.
And if that happens, Delhi should be second-time-lucky! Continue reading Thinking of Delhi Elections

Troubled Mahavishnu : The Hindu and its sole editor-in-chief

A few days ago, The Hindu, one of my favourite newspapers has made a big change: Mr N. Ravi, its editor superannuated, and Malini Parthasarathy from the same family has become the sole Editor of the paper. What does this mean to one of the most respected English newspapers in the country?: Admin.
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Even as it appoints Malini Parthsarathy the sole editor, The Hindu faces the challenge of managing financial as well as editorial uncertainties Sevanti Ninan
The Hindu board meets every month. Last month, it postponed a decision on the editorial leadership when editor-in-chief N. Ravi steps down this month at the age of 66. Last week, it took that decision, making the current editor Malini Parthasarathy the sole editor of The Hindu. With this, the paper reverts to what used to be the norm before the advent of N. Ram as editor-in-chief in 2003—a single editor. From its inception. The apparent camaraderie at the end of the day-long board meeting when all family members on the board endorsed the decision on Parthasarathy, could be shortlived. Stability at this media company—run by a fractious family of four branches—always threatens to be tenuous. Privately, its members must be telling each other, “Wait till the next coup”. These have now taken place in 2003, 2012 and 2013. The two strong personalities in this low-key South Indian family are Ram and Parthasarathy. Each previous boardroom upset has tilted the fortunes of one or the other. Right now, Kasturi and Sons Ltd is beset by larger problems, which affect the company and the newspaper it publishes. It is difficult to tell whether the Mahavishnu of Mount Road (as it is nicknamed) is more afflicted by its financial uncertainties or its editorial ones. In the year ended 31 March 2014, the company posted losses for the first time. It put the figure at Rs.65 crore in an office announcement and attributed the loss to having to pay the wage board mandated salaries for the staff. (People familiar with the matter say the current financial year may see similar losses as well.) The announcement was made to explain why it was not paying bonuses. And after Parthasarathy and Ravi took over the editorial reins from Siddharth Varadarajan and Ram in October 2013, the paper has lost both big names like P. Sainath, and Praveen Swami as well as some good reporters. Given the allegedly whimsical nature of editorial decision-making over the past year, and the temperamental handling of staff, will editorial talent worth hiring stay away? Among the big family-owned newspapers in India, The Hindu has always been in a class of its own. It was paternalistic, it looked after its employees, paid mandated salaries, met healthcare costs and even the less competent were not sacked or moved around. In return, non-family employees were expected to know their place in a set-up where the owners also worked in the publications. All of that was easier when it was king of its market with no competition to worry about. The entry of competition into its territory changed that. First the Deccan Chronicle came, then The Times of India. The latter now offers its product at Rs.1 to The Hindu’s Rs.4, takes away advertising and has affected circulation. TOI puts employees on contract whereas The Hindu has unions, which still exercise considerable influence over some members of the proprietor family. While the wage bill has ballooned after a Supreme Court order making wage board scales mandatory for non-contractual employees, the company’s bottom line has also taken a hit because of starting a Tamil paper in 2013, also called The Hindu. Board members feel it needs to be marketed better to make the investment worthwhile. A Business Line edition begun in Mumbai 10 years ago is not doing well either. The Hindu’s own circulation figures, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, dropped by some 77,000 copies between July-December 2013 and January-June 2014. It has picked up circulation again thereafter, overall, but insiders say that is a gain from the school edition in Tamil Nadu, which brings little advertising. The most visible action at the paper these days is cost cutting, across the board. Smaller offices may be closed. Employees got no bonus last year, no annual increments, no saris and dhotis at Pongal. The Rs.2 thali at the Chennai office canteen is now Rs.20. Incentives are being offered to staff to shift to a contract system of compensation, something other newspapers, not just The Times of India, did much earlier. Less visible is the strategizing that goes on as the management attempts to fight back. One CEO was hired in 2011-12 and then fired, before that the management used to be run by family members. Last June, another CEO took over, who is also on the company board. Around the same time, two independent directors, Vinita Bali, formerly of Britannia, and S. Mahalingam, formerly of Tata Consultancy Services, joined the board. They attend board meetings every month to advise on market strategies and management systems. As the culture of a feudal family set-up yields to better management practices, a remuneration committee has been set up, which will determine pay scales for new family members coming into the company to work there. Two members of the fifth generation currently work in the paper. But some practices remain problematic. The Hindu is today a Rs.1,000 crore company with a growing family eyeing opportunities within it. Its shareholders have expanded from the two sons of the founder to their 40 descendants and spouses. There are 11 whole-time family members on the board, drawing salaries. Exactly two out of those 11 (including Parthasarathy) will have an assigned role. Yet in the statement of profit and loss for 2013-14, all 11 were shown being eligible for a total compensation package each of Rs.49 lakh a year. Whether these salary and perk packages will survive the overall cost cutting remain to be seen. Sadly, the paper’s cost cutting is affecting readers. Those in Delhi now get a thinner paper with less pages, at twice the cover price of the edition sold in Chennai where the pages are more in number. Supplements like the Sunday magazine, Literary Review and Metro Plus are down to four pages, and on thinner newsprint than before. Good stories are fewer, given the editorial departures, the travel budget cuts, and the constant shuffling of beats under the current editor. A reader who picks up The Hindu today may find herself spending less time on it than she did before. As she assumes sole charge, Parthasarathy’s challenge will be to ensure that a paper whose voice has always counted matters as much as before. Sevanti Ninan is a media critic, author and editor of the media watch website thehoot.org. She examines the larger issues related to the media in a fortnightly column.

http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/Z9bnyfFVQeiYtmJwnHK4MK/Troubled-Mahavishnu.html?utm_source=copy Continue reading Troubled Mahavishnu : The Hindu and its sole editor-in-chief

POTUS is coming – 10 facts about the Beast of the POTUS

WASHINGTON: Air Force One is the world’s most sophisticated aircraft; the Beast – the armoured limousine for the world’s most powerful leader – is no slouch. President Barack Obama arrives in Delhi on Sunday morning. The Beast – and a stand-in – have arrived in a special aircraft and are parked at Delhi’s international airport.

Here are 10 facts about the Beast:
It looks like a Cadillac, but that is it. It is not really a derivative of the Cadillac DTS as it seems, since it only borrows styling from that model. Underneath the limo exterior is a Chevrolet Kodiak – which is a medium sized truck (sort of the same size as our Tata 407, but more sophisticated)!
Anyone can buy an armoured limo. Yes BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz even sell those in India. The Beast goes well beyond regular armouring with an 8-inch thick body plating and 5-inch thick bulletproof windows. The car itself weighs 8 tonnes.

The doors swing on special heavy-duty hinges as they weigh as much as doors on a Boeing 757 aircraft.
The massive weight needs every horsepower the 6.5 litre Duramax diesel engine can offer. The Beast uses this diesel truck engine since it can take to varying purity levels of the more commonly available fuel type globally.

It’s a 7-seater – yup just like all “family MPVs”! So this one can accommodate POTUS, his driver, chief Secret Service agent and four others too. So FLOTUS, the girls and grandma maybe?!
Goodyear makes special Kevlar-coated run-flat tyres for the Beast – to withstand puncture and even run when shot out.

The fuel tank is covered with a special foam that prevents any impact-related explosion. It’s boot has special oxygen tanks and firefighting equipment.

In the event of a chemical attack, the car cuts off outside air completely, and keeps the cabin supplied with breathable air until it is safe to open the doors again.

Night vision cameras, teargas cannons and a shotgun are standard on the Beast. It also houses a special compartment to hold pouches of POTUS’ blood type.

It runs with Washington DC plates – everywhere it goes
http://www.ndtv.com/article/cheat-sheet/the-beast-has-arrived-in-delhi-10-facts-about-obama-s-mean-machine-652877 Continue reading POTUS is coming – 10 facts about the Beast of the POTUS

Kiran Bedi says RSS kept India united, Delhi stood still under Kejriwal rule

Oh, look at it! What she says now! All because of her chief ministerial aspirations! The former Delhi cop has forgotten all her ideals when she joined anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal!

Kiran Bedi says RSS kept India united, Delhi stood still under Kejriwal rule – The Hindu.

50 Amazing Resources That Will Make You a Better Writer

by Jeff Haden of Inc.,

Content. Every business wants content. Every business needs content (especially those that embrace content marketing to find and engage potential customers).

But that means you have to create content, and that means writing it.

And that’s where the whole issue of content suddenly gets tough.

And that’s why this list of outstanding writing resources put together by Kevan Lee of Buffer is so great. (Buffer lets you schedule, automate, and analyze social media updates—and has also taken the idea of transparency to extraordinary lengths.)

Here’s Kevan:
There wasn’t a content marketing course back in the day, so everything I’ve learned has been self-taught. And I’d love to share some of my favorite lessons, so I’ve emptied my swipe file. What you see here is everything I’ve saved over the past five years.

If you want to learn more about writing for the web, content marketing, and the most persuasive way to communicate online, these are great places to start.

Nuts and Bolts of Web Writing

1. Stock and Flow: The Ideal Writing Mix for Your Online Content

by Robin Sloane, Snark Market

Stock is your evergreen, tent pole content that draws traffic from the moment of publish to the end of time. Flow is the filler, the stuff that keeps your blog churning or your social media streams full.

Check out the article for details.

2. David Ogilvy’s 10 Most Valuable Lessons on Advertising

by Gregory Ciotti

Ogilvy is widely considered the father of modern advertising, and his 10 most valuable lessons contain advice that worked when he wrote it in the 1960s and that works for online writers today.

Here’s lesson No. 2: The temptation to entertain instead of sell is contagious.

3. Web Copy That Sells: 9 Can’t-Fail Formulas
by Karri Stover, Business 2 Community

Pretty much the cream of the crop for copywriting formulas: Appetizer, main course to follow.

4. If Don Draper Tweeted: The 27 Copywriting Formulas That Will Drive Clicks and Engagement
by Kevan Lee, Buffer

Shameless plug alert! I wrote this article, but I didn’t really write it. All the formulas listed here are the incredible work of super smart writers and advertisers. It’s all them, zero me.

5. Master This Copywriting Formula to Dominate Any Social Media Platform
by Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger

(Last copywriting formula link, I swear!) This one’s great if you want to get deep into one single, can’t-miss formula for writing on social media or blogs.

6. My All-Time Favorite Blog Post And Why It’s So Great
by Jason Miller

Jason’s post on LinkedIn offers a great review of the factors that go into an all-time great post. Just a sampling of factors:

Unique voice
Easy to read
Has personality
Has fantastic visuals
Useful and inspiring

7. Minimum Viable Personality
by FakeGrimlock

Here’s the post that Jason Miller references as his “favorite blog post” of all time. It’s written from the point of view of a dinosaur.

8. The Minimalist’s Guide to Becoming a Better Writer
by Demian Farnworth, Copybot

Simple tips in three basic categories—reading, writing, and critiquing—to help you be a better writer.

9. Write Like Your Reader Is About to Pee Their Pants
by Joel Klettke, Business Casual Copywriting

This post is a kickoff to Joel’s month of posts of fewer than 250 words. The premise: Your reader has to pee really bad, so you best get to your point. The 250-word post challenge is a fun one to keep in mind, too.

Content Marketing Advice

10. Why Content Marketing Fails
by Rand Fishkin

It’s an article wrapped in a SlideShare with amazing takeaways for articles. If you work backward from the title (Why Content Marketing Fails), you’ll have a pretty awesome case for How Content Marketing Succeeds.

11. 12 Things You Should Be Using Your Blog For (Besides Blogging)
by Corey Eridon, Hubspot

My favorite tip: Go into your old blog posts and make them great.

12. Use this Hollywood Secret to Write Addicting Opt-In Copy
by Felicia Spahr, KISSmetrics

Spoiler alert: The secret is Open Loops, and they work like this (click through to the story for some cool examples, including one from Buffer):

Open Loops in TV shows are the equivalent of that cliffhanger that keeps you up at night, consuming your mind with thinking about what’s going to happen the next week, or that story line that was never quite explained. Those aren’t just “blips” in a script. They are put there so that it’s harder for people to get up off the couch than it is to stay and watch “just one more episode.”

13. 25 Lessons from 25 Months of Content Marketing
by Gregory Ciotti

One of my favorite lessons: Don’t forget about “solved” problems. In the case of Men’s Health, they’ve found that the market for fitness information is so great that their “solved” headlines can work over and over again.

14. 5 Breakthrough Techniques for Running a High-Traffic Blog
by Garrett Moon, CoSchedule

Cool, beautiful stuff from the CoSchedule blog.

15. How Stand-up Comedians Come Up With Content (and What it Means for You)
by Brian Clark, Copyblogger

Brian calls the big idea here Agile Marketing, with a key learning to optimize constantly based on feedback. Good stuff.

16. What I’ve Learned in 8 Years of Blogging
by Jessica Hagy, Medium

A short, two-minute read, this fun piece on Medium hits on some of the unspoken truths of content marketing.

17. The 6 Elements of a Powerful Blog Post
by Neil Patel, Quick Sprout

This beautiful infographic from Neil covers things like images, layout, voice, and social media.

18. How to Boost Your Blog Post Production Speed by 600%
by John O’Nolan, Ghost

If you’re looking for a new blogging method, give John’s a try. I was fortunate to stumble onto many of the techniques he mentions here (ideas, outlines, etc.) and I would have been better off for finding his post first.

19. 7 Marketing Diagrams That Explain Content Marketing
by Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media

Here’s one to blow your mind: “Think of content as hubs. You can write on a single topic at different depths to come up with a huge number of individual articles: High-level list posts, overview of a topic in a list item, and in-depth post about an element of the topic.”

There are six more insights from Andy in the article, each are just as good.

20. Publish Your Blog Post Without SEO, and 1000s of Visits Will Be Forever Lost
by Rand Fishkin

The best case you can make for focusing on SEO (even a little bit) with the content you produce.

21. 11 Common Blogging Mistakes That Are Wasting Your Audience’s Time
by Henneke, Copyblogger

I use this post to check in every so often to make sure I haven’t fallen into any of these bad habits. The need to publish daily is a constant one for me.

22. Guest Blogging Strategies that Helped Grow 36,733 Email Subscribers
by Gregory Ciotti

The article closing strategy alone is worth the price of admission.

23. From Ideas to Traffic Results: How We Run a Blog with 700,000 Readers Per Month
by Belle Beth Cooper, Buffer

This one first got me hooked into running and writing a blog of my own. Belle shares an incredibly deep and transparent look at how Buffer runs things.

24. How to Find More Content Ideas than You’ll Ever Be Able to Create
by Peter Shallard, Copyblogger

Never be short on blogging ideas again.

25. 28 Ways to Write Moneymaking Headlines
by Noble Direct Marketing

There are tons of actionable insights here from ad legend John Caples—everything from the specific words to use (“Introducing” and “Finally!”) to the styles to try.

26. 5 Simple Ways to Open Your Blog Post with a Bang
by Brian Clark, Copyblogger

Simple but important.

27. The 3 Keys to Effective Guest Posting
by James Agate, Think Traffic

I started thinking about the possibilities of guest posting thanks to Think Traffic founder Corbett Barr’s blog posts and articles on the topic. This article (a guest post about guest posting—meta!) has some super advice.

28. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Present It
by A.J. Kohn, Blind Five-Year-Old

Here’s one that I failed to consider for a long time: The readability of what you write. Now I often picture what a post will look like as someone reads/scans, along with what I’ll actually be writing.

Writing Inspiration

29. How to Be More Creative in 5 Simple Steps
by Jeremy Duvall, Crew

Creativity is 85% a learned skill. Wow. Really? If that’s the case, it’s so great to have resources like this one from Jeremy that cover the topic so deeply. The creativity training routine he outlines is top-notch.

30. Your Life in Weeks
by Tim Urban, Wait But Why

Fair enough, this one has little to do with writing other than a huge motivation to make each day count.

31. How to Be Great
by Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

I wish I could copy/paste the whole thing right here so you could read right away. Every time I breeze through this one I want to go out and create something.

32. Failure Is an Option
by Chase Reeves, Fizzle

One hurdle I often face with writing something is a fear that it might fail. Turns out, failure is perfectly alright.

33. The Creators Code
by Hiut Denim Co, Medium

A short one from Medium, this 60-word manifesto is a superb reminder of why and how we do what we do.

34. At iDoneThis, We Believe in Taking It Slow
by Walter Chen, iDoneThis

The slow web movement is something really close to my heart and, I believe, close for a lot of writers, too. Online writing runs the risk of being shouted down by the noise of a busy internet. What the team at iDoneThis has shared is that there’s another way—a quieter, simpler way that might just improve the writing work we all do.

35. The 5000th Post*
by Seth Godin

In typical Godin fashion, this one’s brief. But it does outline several of the lessons he’s learned in reaching the 5,000-post milestone. To paraphrase one of my favorite parts:

Don’t write because it’s your job, write because you can.

36. What Should You Do to Help Your Child Pursue Her Dreams of Becoming a Writer?
by M. Molly Backes, Medium

“First of all, let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book. Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It’s even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.”

It gets better from there (and before there, too). Molly is a teacher and author who certainly knows her stuff. I want to print this article out and hand it to every middle school child.

37. How to Hack Writing a Personal Essay
by Harris Sockel, Medium

Some really great, actionable tips on how to create a personal essay from scratch.

38. How to Encourage More Creative Thinking
by Gregory Ciotti, Sparring Mind

Did you know: Dr. Seuss produced Green Eggs and Ham after he bet his editor he could produce an entire book in under 50 different words.

Really cool insights and examples from Gregory.

39. The 25 Greatest Quotes About Writing
via This Isn’t Happiness

Just a really great collection of inspiration. One of my favorites (from Kafka, kind of an ironic inspiration):

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

Writing Productivity

40. Bring Sanity to Your To-Do List With the 1-3-5 Rule
by Sam Spurlin, 99U

Write down one big thing, three medium things, and five little things to do each day. Then do them!

41. How to Stop Procrastinating by Using The “2-Minute Rule”
by James Clear, Quora

James is one of my favorite voices on productivity and getting more from yourself and your day. The 2-Minute Rule breaks down like this (lots more examples and background in James’s post).

Part 1—If it takes less than two minutes then do it now.
Part 2—When you start a new habit it should take less than two minutes to do.

42. How I Write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies
by Neil Patel, Quick Sprout

The headline here says it all. Neil is a busy guy, so it’s amazing to peek inside his writing process. I’ve adopted his “intro/conclusion” technique for the blog posts I write, and it’s been a big time saver.

43. 5 Ways to Instantly Become More Productive
by Steve Kamb, Nerd Fitness

Steve tells a great story (maybe it’s familiar to you): He used to publish blog posts according to a schedule and would always be up incredibly late the night before cramming for the post that needed to be written, edited, and published. He since found several hacks—really useful things like technology tips, tools, and strategies.

44. The Origin of the 8-Hour Work Day and Why We Should Rethink It
by Leo Widrich, Buffer

This was the first Buffer blogpost I ever read—and boy was it a good one! It set me down a path for thinking of productivity in a whole new way, not so structured as before but rather an intuitive approach where I listened more to how and when my body would respond. I’ve squeezed out a whole ton of extra writing because of it.

General Interestingness

45. Pretty Much Everything I Know About the News Business
by Sean Blanda, Medium

Sean’s article touches on a lot of journalism topics that can also fit for online writers, too. Things like understanding an audience and even the aforementioned stock and flow concept get mentioned here.

46. The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living
by Sonia Simone, Copyblogger

A list of intangibles—more like love and confidence and less “a keyboard” and “a thesaurus”—this piece from Sonia is hugely relatable for those of us who write regularly.

47. Here’s How Maria Popova of Brain Pickings Writes
by Kelton Reid, Copyblogger

I could have picked any number of “Here’s How X Writes” posts from the Copyblogger series, so narrowing it down was hard. Read several, or them all. Maria Popova’s interview was especially fascinating because she creates so much writing content all by herself, and she’s so well-versed in the writing of others.

48. Making Your Writing Work Harder for You
by Patrick McKenzie, Kalzumeus

You’re way into my treasures box now. This link is an archived newsletter of Patrick’s that contains so much good stuff on writing, blogging, and marketing strategies. For instance, should you place the date on your blog posts? What types of content should you be posting? Patrick’s answers will get you thinking.

49. The 20 Best Lessons from Social Psychology
by Zach Hamed, Medium

Quick, bite-sized snippets of psychology lessons that can help you understand the behavior of the people you’re writing for.

50. Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points, and Especially Hooptedoodle
by Elmore Leonard, New York Times

This piece originally appeared in the NYT in 2001, and it has tons of good takeaways for authors and writers in general. Stuff like “Never open with the weather” and “Never use an adverb to modify the verb ‘said.’”

https://www.themuse.com/advice/50-amazing-resources-that-will-make-you-a-better-writer Continue reading 50 Amazing Resources That Will Make You a Better Writer

Emily Steel: Movie studio by Amazon for screens big and small

Movie studio by Amazon for screens big and small

Amazon’s ‘original movies’ is another step in the company’s ambitious plan to increase its entertainment offering to consumers, and an escalation in its rivalry with Netflix
by Emily Steel
Emily Steel: Movie studio by Amazon for screens big and small | Business Standard Column.