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Today's Timewaster: Your Blog's Reading Level

These things just abound on the internet, and they're way too much fun (at least for the blogger) to avoid or ignore. Literary agent Janet Reid is responsible for finding this one.

blog readability test

I figure that's a pretty good reading level, though perhaps a little higher than I'd like it to be. (I want my blog to be accessible to as many people as possible...on the other hand, I guess I am writing to writers, who can be expected to have the equivalent of at least a high schooler's vocabulary.)

Now you know you're going to have to try it on your blog...let me know what you find out!

Blog Chain: Writing Gems

This Blog Chain's topic was chosen by Michelle:

Share a favorite poem, quote, joke, anecdote, or anything of the sort that deals with writing, writers, the publishing industry, or the other strange and unusual tidbits that belong to our little world.
I'm the last one in this chain, so be sure to look at my fellow blog chainers to see lots of great writing tidbits!

I'm a Quotable Magnets fan, and here are the writing-related ones I keep above my desk:
I also keep this over my desk.  It's a Cliffs' Notes version of Robert J. Sawyer's discussion of Heinlein's Rules for Writing.  I can't recommend it highly enough (or, as my friends will probably attest, often enough).
I also have a great out-of-print book by Jon Winokur called W.O.W. Writers on Writing that is packed with quotes and worth the couple of bucks it would cost you online.  (Amazon Marketplace is selling it for a penny + shipping.) 

Find Out Your Blog's Personality Type

Kate found this cool Typealizer thing that analyzes the Myers-Briggs type of the author who wrote a particular blog.  (More information on the Myers-Briggs and how you can use it in your writing here.) Interestingly, I came out like this:

The analysis indicates that the author of is of the type:

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.


This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

What's interesting about this is I'm actually an INFP (and sometimes an ENFP, but always with an extremely strong N).  But the analysis still makes sense, because I'm relying on the scientific and logical part of myself when I write to you all. 

Try it and let me know -- how accurate are your results?

From My Blog to Yours...With Love

Michelle and Mary came together to give me the way cool I Love Your Blog award!  My first blog award! 
And now that I have it, I've got a few people I want to give it to!
  1. Monkey Pi always cracks me up.  Whether he's talking about writing, astronomy, technology, sci-fi, the joys and tribulations of family-hood, or just some other wacky thing that caught his eye yesterday, I'm hooked.  Still one of my favorite posts is the one where he proves that Han Shot First.
  2. The Last Psychiatrist is my psychology idol.  I'm not so sure this guy is going to want a little heart on his blog, but he's getting one anyhow.  This guy doesn't just get it, he Gets It.  And he's going to tell you about it, whether you like it or not.  So much of psychology is about political correctness, but TLP tears all the proper walls down and tells it like it is.
  3. Diinzumo is the online go-to resource for all things Gatchaman, and her Gatchablog always has exciting tidbits on new projects and merchandise.
  4. Jessica Verday runs cool contests, blogs on the chain, and has a book called The Hollow coming out in the fall of 2009! 

NaNoWriMo -- Halfway Day

Well, November 15th has come and gone, and I have written a grand total of 31,050 words so far for NaNo.

I'd be feeling pretty good about that if I had any idea where the next 20,000 words are going to come from. 

I made a desperate posting to my writing friends asking how the heck I'm going to figure out the end, and thanks to them at least I figured out why I don't know how it's going to end...I'm not there yet.  (And that's good because a 31,050 words does not a novel make.)

I'm not sure I'll ever do this to myself again, so I'm trying to enjoy the process.  (Inasmuch as anyone can enjoy pounding out enough words in a single month to bruise their little fingers.) 

My dear friend Elana talked a bit in her blog about how she's NaNo-ing in a notebook rather than on the computer.  Apparently her obsessive internet-checking behavior has decreased significantly as a result.  I would consider trying that if I didn't think the withdrawal might kill me.

I've tried using notecards to lay out plot points for the first time, and I'm finding them really helpful.  I was running out, though, so I went to a local Staples to find some more.  Only thing was, I only want unlined notecards, and the only way I could get unlined notecards was to buy 500 of them.  That's a lot of friggin' notecards.

Angst Blog chain Wrap-up

We've reached the end of our blog chain on angst, and since I started it, I get to end it with a quick review of everyone's point of view.

The first thing I want to note, though, is that the group overwhelmingly argued against angst being necessary for the production of creative works.  They believe that what I first defined as angst in my original post can instead be a barrier (sometimes an enormous one) to creative productivity. 

I wonder if part of the reason is that pretty much everyone in the chain is a little older -- between their late 20s and early 40s.  I wonder if the desire for angst and the need to wallow in it is particularly valued by people in their teens and early 20s?  (I remember my college poetry writing classes well -- we were just awash in angst in there, to the point that it gave me the giggles.  Which, to tell you the truth, just about got me thrown out of the class more than once.)

The group members are also notable for their dedication to professionalism and publication.  They're more focused on producing good, publishable work and interacting professionally with agents and editors than many writers.  Angsting takes up a lot of energy; a tendency toward angst may also make it more difficult to deal with the constant rejection in the pursuit of publication.

Other theories?  Comment button is below!

Well, I saved the part above and then went through and summarized what everyone said...just in time to have Internet Explorer crash on me.  So guess what?  There's gonna be no summary.  Too much angst to redo it.

And on that note, head on over to Michelle's blog.  She'll be starting our next chain on November 15th!

Do You NaNoWriMo?

A lot of my friends decided to do NaNoWriMo this year.  (That's National Novel Writing Month – you basically strive to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  That comes out to about 1666 words a day.)

Last month, October, we challenged each other to write 1000 words to say, and I failed miserably.  I probably wrote 5000 words the entire month.  It was sad.  No, it was pathetic.  So there was no way I was going to get sucked in to doing NaNo, ya know?

Except I did.  I recently started a new novel, but got stuck around 10,000 words. That seems to be a common number to get stuck at, we’ve decided. (Have other writers had the same experience?  Comment button below, folks!)  So I threw myself on the mercy of my buddies to help me brainstorm going forward.  We got that done just in time for me to start writing on November 1st

It’s Day 4 and I’ve written about 8000 words so far, so not only am I on track (so far, but it’s early), but in 4 days I’ve written more than I wrote the entire month last month!  This is a really different way for me to write, but I think it might be a better impetus than I ever expected.  Ask me at the end of the month.

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