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    Help! I Can’t Write—5 Tips to Make You A Better Writer

    Start writing today

    Start writing today

    Writer’s block is an all too real term for many of us. Whether you’re writing a book or a letter, that horrible feeling that your brain is paralyzed and your creative thoughts suspended in time can be overwhelming.

    Here are 5 tips that will make writing easier, faster and better:

    Read Learn to distinguish good writing. Ask yourself what made it good and how you can use the same techniques. Pay close attention to titles, headlines and first paragraph. This is what drew you in.

    Be aware Make an effort to learn something new every day. Feed your mind ideas and resources you can draw on.

    Research your topic The more you know about your topic the easier it is to write about it. Look for the three most interesting aspects.

    Organize Write an outline. Include details that support your points. Remember the outline is not set in stone. It can always change, but will help you stay focused as you write.

    Start writing Let your outline be your guide. Write a first draft. Perfection is not required. Allow yourself time. The key to good writing is rewriting. The more you write, the better you’ll write.

    Try to enjoy the process. If you still feel stuck, at Eagle Publishing, we write every day and we’d love to write or fine tune your writing for you.


    The World of Apple Macintosh

    A move in the right direction

    A move in the right direction

    Thinking about buying a Mac? A new Twitter friend @midlifetrip mentioned that she was a Macintosh newbie. I can promise any hesitation in her journey and yours will be brief.

    I’ve been a diehard Macintosh fan and user since 1987 (ooooh, that’s an age marker!) I’ve lost count of models I’ve moved through over the years but never have I been disappointed. Here are a few things to consider if the world of Macintosh is calling to you.

    Which one do I want? With so many choices today, choosing the right model can be overwhelming. Plus, spendy purchases can lead to indecision. Ask yourself how and where you’ll use your computer. Question number one—mobile or desktop. It’s a mobile world but if you’re only buying a laptop so you can get your email on the go, remember there are other, even more portable, options.

    Desktops have advantages but I would be lost without my laptop. When I’m sitting at my desk, my work demands a larger screen. Keep in mind, the Pro versions allow you to add an additional screen.

    How much power do I need? The answer lies in what you do. Any graphic oriented acitivies whether it be gaming, movie editing or graphic designer raises you a higher tier. Remember, also, that processor speeds of PC and Macs are like apples and oranges. The same number does not mean the same thing. Always shoot for the higher side of what you need.

    How much RAM do I need and what is it anyway? RAM (random access memory), your computer’s memory, may be the biggest source of frustration for computer users. Invest in RAM and you invest in a frustration free future. Does your computer freeze up or process unbearably slow sometimes. RAM is the likely culprit. Like the human brain, RAM is trying to memorize everything you have open and are working on. More is better.

    Macs are easy, simple to use, look cool and are destined to be your friend for life. We’re not experts but as enthusiastic fans, we’re here to help our friends. If you encounter questions on your Mac exploration, run it by us. You can follow me on Twitter and send me a message @vickidar. Welcome to my world!

    A Flip Video Love Story

    Vicki and her loveable new friend

    Vicki and her loveable new friend

    What’s smaller than a toaster, slower than a turtle and as much fun as a talking cat? I had been waiting a week. My new toy was a day late and I was getting anxious. And then, yesterday, finally…My new love was wrapped in my arms.

    My new Flip video camera was only a box cutter away. I’m working on a second blog— 42best.com —coming soon to a computer screen near you. It’s being developed to talk about the coolest of products for people like you and I.

    But, for now, back to the Flip video…It fits comfortably in the palm of my hand. It’s sleek, ergo-friendly design is easy to learn and manage. What it lacks are adjustment controls for things such as lighting, resolution and flash. In my opinion, though, these are not shortfalls—they are blessings.

    For Christmas, I bought one for my daughter. I wanted one but said to myself, “just get the old one out and put it to use”. Well, the videos Gods decided to shine on me and I was the Flip Video gift recipient now. He’s sleeping on the desk beside me (I always humanize my favorite gadgets). He took the cat’s place who moved to the chair with me.

    Being my father’s daughter, printed how-to instructions and I are like water and oil (funny thing when my business is all about words, huh). Anyway, I had this sweet little video camera up and running in a matter of minutes after reading less than four sentences (the reason the old one is in the drawer). In no time at all I had a test video of the disgruntled cat playing on my computer screen. The quality is exceptional considering the size and ease of use. A limited zoom feature and clear sound make this a must do for anyone looking for fast fame and on the go portability.

    Oh, the possibilities! The simple, straight-forward, no learning curve opens up a whole new world for fun and business.

    Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already. We always have great things to share!

    Twitter Your Way Into the League of Publishers


    Have you met Twitter? Let me introduce you.

    Being a publisher once meant I belonged to a fairly exclusive group. Today, with the rapid development of social media, my peers now number in the millions. Twitter has become one of the powerful new ways to communicate.

    Never before has it been so easy to connect—with friends, family, business associates and far beyond. Here are a few ways people are using Twitter:

    • Find new friends
    • Promote your business
    • Announce a new product
    • Get feedback
    • Send out an invitation
    • Learn something new
    • Keep up with the news

    Have you ever been in an online chat? Twitter expands your reach. You are allowed 140 characters for each post, referred to as a tweet. Whether you use it as a tool or just for fun, its effectiveness is proven. You can control how you want to use it. The beauty of Twitter is its simplicity.

    Have I piqued your interest? You have nothing to lose and much to gain by exploring this just over two year old phenomena. You can follow me at www.twitter.com/vickidar. It’s easy to get started. Sign up today and soon you’ll be on your way to sharing your thoughts with the world. I’ll be looking for you!

    Thank You…Power Words That Pay

    A card more sweeter than a valentine

    A card more sweet than a valentine

    Rarely are we presented with such an easy task that wields so much power and an opportunity to improve our business. I am always moved when I find a thank you note in my mail. The card sender automatically earns space in my thoughts.

    Early in my career, a manager that hired me shared that it was a tough decision as there were many good candidates. I, though, was the only one to write a thank you note. An inexpensive note card and five minutes to write and mail it had set me apart (and all along I had thought it was my intellect and charisma!).

    We live in a digital world but the most sensational ecard or the most eloquently crafted email simply cannot rival a good, old-fashioned, hand written thank you card. Pick up a box of thank you notes this weekend while you’re searching for that last minute Valentine’s card and try sending a few next week.

    What warrants a thank you card? Landing a new client would certainly qualify but someone who said just the right thing and made your day just a little better would be worthy, too. Maybe you’ve been trying to reach a potential client on the phone and were finally successful. Thank them for their time (and include your business card, of course!).

    It feels good to be appreciated. I guarantee that a few simple, sincere sentences expressing your gratitude will be rewarded. Use this tool to set yourself apart and watch your business and relationships grow.

    Do they think of you first?

    Make sure you stand out from your competition.

    Make sure you stand out from your competition.

    We see businesses come and go. None of us want to fall into the latter category.

    So many factors play a role in our success, but there are a few universal points to keep you on the side of success.

    Exposure This is a broad topic we’ll delve into more in future postings. The bottom line, though, is that your customer must know you exist. And since our busy minds tend to be forgetful, they must be constantly reminded. So often over the years I see people with a great idea open the doors of their business believing people will come. Great ideas don’t make people buy your product. Knowing how great your idea is does.

    There are many ways to build exposure—advertising, promotions, publicity, and more. We’ve worked with budgets of all sizes to find the ideal way to get the word out. In today’s digital world, the task has become even easier.

    Customer Service Customers that feel cared for return. Everyone on your staff is a customer service representative regardless of what department they work in. I’ve been re-reading How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I think it should be on the bookshelf of every business (or better yet—in the hands of a staff member!). Published in 1936, the information still rings true.
    Be aware of your customers needs and work hard to satisfy them. Let your staff know what you expect and remember the small things count, too. Have you ever noticed how a smile and kind word can change a less than stellar day? Your customers do.

    Knowledge In our fast changing world, it’s critical to know what’s going on in the world around you. Make it a point every day to not only read the paper and watch the news but to learn more about your industry. Read business magazines and trade journals. Follow trends and what your competition is doing. Keep an open mind and always ask yourself, what can we do better?
    Be sure to subscribe to the right and take advantage of our experience and free information and check out our company website at www.PublishingPeople.com.

    —by Vicki Dar