The Lowdown On Content Licensing

Surfing the internet, I see a lot of questions regarding the use of the multitudes of content available everywhere. As writers and artists, it is important for us to understand some of the popular licensing structures applied to content so we know not only how we may use someone else’s creation as well as how we should license our own work in this atmosphere of open content.

Public Domain

When a body of work is in the public domain, it means that though it was created by someone, there are no legal restrictions on its use. For instance, a public domain photo may be used for both personal and commercial projects without being required to pay royalties to the creator of the image.

Scientific and creative works are put into the public domain when their copyright, patent or trademark has expired or has otherwise become null.
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Idea Management: When It’s A Team Effort

Okay we already talked about how to organize your writing ideas and we’ve gone over the many ways in which you can keep track of them when you are away from your office. Now we are going to talk about different ways in which you can keep track of ideas while working on a collaborative writing project.

I’ve never worked on a collaborative writing project. I’m more of a solo artist myself. However, in speaking with other writers, I get the feeling that participating in a collaborative writing project is both fun and frustrating. Fun because bringing people together from different walks of life often offers fresh and humorous perspective on the writing idea as a whole. At the same time the frustration comes in because attempting to keep a bunch of creative people on track is a little like trying to herd cats. All but impossible.

While I can’t really help you with the cat herding thing, I can offer some ways of getting your group together for jam sessions as well as suggestions for keeping track of things when all is said and done.
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Idea Management: When you are in the office

Last week we talked about a couple of ways in which you can capture your ideas as quickly as your highly developed imaginative minds can churn them out. Now we are going to talk about different methods of corralling those unruly puppies in your home office. Each of these systems will help you track both general writing ideas and specific works in progress.

1. The Notebook System

This system is perhaps the simplest way of keeping track of your ideas. All you need for this system are stacks of notebooks, a marker pen and empty space on your bookshelf. This was my system years ago before I got my first computer.

All I did was label each notebook with the aspect of writing that it concentrated on. For example, one notebook could be labeled “Characters”, another “Plots” and so on and so forth. Then it became a matter of transferring the notes from their temporary home in my pocket to their permanent home in the office.

One disadvantage of this system is that when I wanted to find something I had to flip through pages and pages of written text which, inevitably, took forever because I would get distracted from what I was looking for by thoughts of all that I could with the other ideas I was flipping past. Therefore if you have a computer, as I and most people do, I recommend the electronic version of this system.
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Idea Management: Keeping Track of Ideas When You’re Away From Your Desk

As a writer I often find inspiration in the most unlikely places and, more specifically, at the most inconvenient times. I love my muse but sometimes she can be a flake. She will spark my creativity when I’m standing in line at the supermarket, or at work trying not to go insane or driving in my car swerving to avoid little old ladies that appear out of no where. (Where’d you learn how to drive grandma? Sears?)

Hardly ever am I inspired in a place where I can actually sit down and explore the ideas that come to mind. So today we are going to talk about different methods of capturing lightening in a bottle while the storm is raging or, in layman’s terms, recording those ideas the moment the light bulb goes off.
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It’s About Choice Management

Now I know you were expecting some hip music score to help you unwind this Monday evening but instead I’m going to do something a little different today. Yeah, I know. Why can’t just stick to doing one thing well? Have to always be jumping around trying this and that. Blame it on my ADD. Wait, I don’t have that…

Anyway, today I bounced on over to Odeo and found a nice mp3 that gives a few tips on getting the most out of your work day. Now these tips are pretty simple and you may have already heard them before but some things just bear repeating. Especially if you haven’t implemented any of them yet and are still struggling to get things done. I, personally, can vouch for tip number one which is to organize your work area. This goes a long way towards clearing your mind. When your desk or closet or kitchen table is cluttered, so are you because everything on that surface or in that area represents something that needs to be done and you become constantly distracted by that fact. So much so that you are unable to focus on the task at hand and you end up spending all day just getting ONE thing done.

Organized space = Organized mind = Increased productivity. Enjoy 🙂

Creating Quality Content

The number one question I see raised in blog forums is “How do I get people to visit my blogs?” There are lots of things you can do to drive traffic to your site but, really, it’s not getting people to your party that’s a problem. It’s keeping them there. All the traffic generating tips in the world will do you no good if you lack the content to make your visitors stick around.

Below are a few tips to help you create good, solid, fly-paperesque content that’ll will keep your visitors glued to your blog.
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The Search for Blogspiration

Many people begin to blog without any idea as to what they want to talk about and that’s alright. What is it that they say about spontaneity being the spice of life. Or was that variety? Eh, one of those.

Anyway, when that first rush of creativity wears off, bloggers often find themselves abandoned by their muse on a dry but surprisingly crowded island called Writer’s Blocktopia. Here are a few ways to flag down the rescue ship of inspiration:
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