Skip to content

Category: Writer’s Life

Writer’s Life : What I Can’t Leave Home Without

As June sneaks in – I mean seriously, where the hell did the first 5 months of the year go? – I find myself thinking ahead to vacation like I do every year. This year is a bit different however, as I am in the middle of sorting out my family’s home, where 35 years of ‘stuff’ has accumulated. This year won’t be spent in the usual beachfront getaway of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey but rather pushed back a bit as I prospect properties in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and plan a move.

3 Free Microsoft Word Alternatives

If you’re like me, Microsoft Word was and may still be a mainstay on your PC. I know when I was younger I thought I was all that when I had a full install of Microsoft Office. As time grew on, my path in life did as well. My needs and priorities changed. I spent my money on software titles like Photoshop and Dreamweaver to further my web and graphic design business. Microsoft Word wasn’t a necessity. I found an open source alternative that was free and used that. I could save DOC and DOCX files – I was set.

Microsoft Office still corners the market but there are several reliable free options out there to be found. All very useful, with many of the features of Word and all compatible with existing documents.

Does Empathy Kill Creativity?

As a storyteller, I have always been able to throw myself into any given situation. When I was younger, I didn’t know exactly why that was or even if it was a thing. As I grew older I came to understand I am what is officially known as an empath. And because of this, I have always been very in-tune with emotions and situations. It truly has its benefits and unfortunately, its drawbacks as well.

Social Media Hashtags For Writers

If you have spent any time on social media, any time at all, you have seen hashtags used within a post or comment. Back in the day, a hashtag was simply known as a pound symbol. Today, it is a way to start, follow, and participate in online conversations.

As a writer, promoting your brand is vital. Hashtags are a great way to stay on top of the conversation in your genre. The writing community frequently uses hashtags as a way to self-promote, announce projects, and follow trending topics of interest.

Don’t feel as if you are alone on an island when it comes to social media hashtags. Just how they work, what they are and how they can help writers on social media platforms is sometimes confusing.

The Pros of Self Publishing

Until recently being self-published was looked down upon. It came with a stigma of not being good enough to be published using more traditional methods. To some, self-published authors weren’t authors at all; they were hobbyists.

Over the past several years, self-publishing has become a welcomed norm. The internet and social media are big factors in the growth and acceptance of self-published writers. In fact, indie presses are responsible for nearly 50% of all digital book sales and over 1 million titles annually. The number is truly astronomical.

5 Free Online Photo Editors

Artists and writers have been able to make use of the ever-growing trend of creating visually appealing posts for their work. Obviously, Photoshop has been the graphics designer giant since the earliest release in the 1990s. Unfortunately, Photoshop also came with steep price tag in the $400 range. Since then, Adobe has gone to a Cloud-based version of most of their top titles. Photoshop runs about $240 annually ($360 if you choose the entire Adobe suite).

For those who are on a budget, GIMP is a free, open-source alternative to Photoshop. It is very much in-line with many of the features Adobe implements but there is a slight learning curve and a few tasks that aren’t as smooth as its Photoshop counterpart. But with that said, GIMP works wonders and did I mention it’s FREE?

This post is not about software titles. With technology stepping up, web-based applications are fast becoming a go-to option. Listed below, in no particular order, are 5 of the top graphics and photo editors available online. Each of them has the features needed to create stunning graphics or carry out the simplest of tasks. It really comes down to which one holds the most ease of use and personal preference.

The One Thing That Changed My Writing Career

I have been writing since I can remember. In fact, when I was a young child I would emulate my mother’s writing. I’d take a black felt pen along with a yellow legal pad and simply pretend I was making words. Line after line I’d scribble in blocks of ‘cursive’ writing. To this day, I have a love affair with pens and pads. I even get care packages from friends and fans sending me different types of notebooks, journals, and an assortment of pens for writing. To me those little packages are priceless. So you can say writing has been a lifelong journey.

5 Questions With New York Author Jay Long

I recently asked the followers of my Writer Jay Long Facebook page to submit questions they’d like answered by me. These are the top 5.

  1. What are three (3) of your best qualities, and one (1) thing you’d like to work on?

So many see questions like this and their answers are usually physical in nature. But to me my best assets are who I am. What makes me me. I think my imagination, my light-hearted nature and ability to communicate and listen are my top qualities. I personally think they are some of the most important traits to possess. As far as what I’d like to work on, I have to say my undeniable procrastination. I’m not sure why but I always seem to hold things off to near the ultimate ‘deadline.’ I’m my own worst enemy, so I think it stems from always wanting things to be as ‘perfect’ as possible. We all know perfection is objective. What’s perfect for me may be trash to another and vice versa. I definitely am working on that. I recently started using bullet journal in hopes to stay on track with my daily grind.

I Didn’t Choose the Writer’s Life

It’s amazing just how different the life we live is from the life we thought we would have. Growing up I wanted nothing more than to be a lawyer. I love debate. I love proving my opinion right. I love finding fault or holes in arguments which directly contradict mine. I am a naturally born litigator. Fast forward 35 years with a few food service jobs, 10 years of bartending, and 15 years of self-employment as a web designer and here I am, naturally, a writer. Some could argue, and I probably would be the first in line to concur…