Focus, Write, and Change Worlds

Focus. Then Write.

A couple of shout-outs to people doing good work—and they are pretty much giving it away! First up, Leo Babauta, the founder of the fine blog, Zen Habits, has published a new book titled Focus. If you are familiar with his blog, you’ll know that Leo is a wise fellow who offers techniques and approaches to seeing things in a big-picture perspective, not sweating the small stuff, and learning to listen to your inner voice—and to consciously act on that listening. His new book is about finding simplicity in the age of distraction.

That’s a fine thing, but finer yet, is that the book is available as a free download. The for-sale version has a bunch of extras, but being able to get the full 120-page version of the book for free is a gift. Thanks Leo.

Magic Formula: Muse, Write, Change the World!
The other present-with-balloons is from the soulful gals (who are also my pals), Pace and Kyeli at Connection Revolution. A little while back, they offered a World-Changing Writing Workshop that was chockablock with info from the stellar minds (and keyboards) of folks like Chris Guillebeau, Danielle LaPort, Jennifer Louden, Jonathan Fields and Sonia Simone and lots more. The course material—audio recordings and transcripts—centers on understanding and learning how to craft writing that makes a difference; how to produce writing that’s real, and that spreads ripples. A pretty good deal at $297.

They’ve got a better deal, and a mighty generous one: in honor of NaNoWriMo, you can get the workshop in all its writerly wonder, for whatever you can pay. That pretty much means you could pay with a coconut, or a single buck, though considering what these guys put into it, two coconuts would be better. Really though, this is a deal, and a big deal. But it’s only good until this Saturday, the 23rd at midnight, when the workshop turns into a pumpkin.

Full disclosure: I get no coconuts or any other forms of wampum from mentioning these things. But these are good people doing good stuff, and I wanted to share.

Feathered Muses, World-Changing Writing and More Word Magic

It’s a potpourri today, though all the spicy petals and heady scents promise more than the supply of mere atmospherics: they encourage you to seek and exchange the currency of real communication, and to write worthily.

First up, a bit of congratulatory squawking for Pat Ferdinandi, who is a bridge between worlds: Pat is able to oil the dried-up gears between non-communicative nerds and tech-terrified businesspeople so that the machine of commerce (and better yet, the connectivity of communication) can move freely. In her new book, Parrotology, she shows how geek-speak and spreadsheet speak can meet, work together and enjoy each other’s company in the process.

Marketing magician Jodi Kaplan reviews Pat’s work with some flair here; you can download Pat’s free technologist’s assessment guide here: Bonus: You’ll meet her fine-feathered friend, Scarlet. As a muse, Scarlet is no bird-brain.

Writing to Change the World
More writing-world congratulations are in order: Pace and Kyeli, Chief Freaks at Freak Revolution, know that writing for writing’s sake isn’t enough. Writing can sear souls, give gravity-bound ideas wings, and literally save lives. They’re spelling it out for you with all the letters on your keyboard (and some magic ones you didn’t know about) at their World-Changing Writer’s workshop, that gathers a few of heavy hitters, like Chris Guillebeau, Jonathan Fields, Danielle Laporte and more. Check out their free special report, The Five Keys to World-Changing Writing. Write well, but write to change the world. (Note: this world-changing doesn’t have to be done before lunch, but before tea-time would be nice.)

Word: Cats
Lastly, I wrote a bit about my own word delirium in this post, but I want to extend that a bit: the Shelf Awareness daily compendium of bookish (but never boorish) news had this statement from author Rick Riordan the other day about something he learned in his Egypt-themed novel research:

I did quite a bit of research, and had shelves of books on hieroglyphs and how magic pertained. The ancient Egyptians considered all writing magic. They had to be careful: if they created the word “cat,” they had to deface it slightly, because they believed they could create a cat. The idea was that the ultimate form of magic was to speak and the world began. You see that influence in the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word.” All these ancient cultures dovetail, and they were all forming and evolving at the same time.

Behold the power of words! (Note: I spent all day writing variants of “Porsche” yesterday, but no car appeared. I did see an old cat move haltingly through the yard, however…)