Full Circle Communications
August 2016
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past issues
Scan past issues on such topics as design tips for writers and speechwriting.

ease in writing?
"Ease in writing" comes from a poem by Alexander Pope, the British poet:

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.

Note he (and I) didn't say "easy writing." But just as dance lessons can help get your around the floor more gracefully, the goal for this newsletter is to share a tip or two to improve your writing.

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Lessons from a New Website and Facebook Page

As August winds down, I had decided to let this newsletter slip a month for the first time since 2008. But the deadline-obsessive in me wouldn't let that happen.  

A good part of the month I spent helping to edit a website for Project Learning Tree (check out the new beautiful site of this environmental education program) and working on several assignments for the National Academy of Sciences, all with long-time valued colleagues/clients.

But I also launched into new territory related to my biography of abolitionist Julia Wilbur. While I expect comments from the publisher's third-party reviewer any day, I began what is known as "building my platform."


First, I created an author's website (separate from my long-time Full Circle Communications site), using the Squarespace platform. It is still a work-in-progress, and I welcome your comments and suggestions, as well as glitches that I missed.

A few things I learned in creating this website that may apply to your next project: 
  • Think through the main structure, then think again. Don't overcrowd the high-level navigation, and give yourself leeway for changes. For example, I will eventually add an Events page--but only when I have some events.
  • Ask someone unfamiliar with your topic to review the content. Too much detail? Not enough? It's hard for you to know.
  • Seek help, but first try to figure it out yourself. On other occasions I have hired a professional, but this time, I relied on Squarespace's "Help" for things like how to set up an RSS feed. By first going through the online materials, I knew what to ask when I went on chat. (I also learned very early on a Monday morning is a good time to ask for help.)

Although I have a personal Facebook page, I do not post very often. Using a tutorial I found online--7 Steps to a Powerful Author Facebook Page--I set up my public page last week. 

I realize that those of you more Facebook-savvy are rolling your eyes now. A little knowledge is sometimes a dangerous thing, I get it. Here are a few things that occupied me right away:

  • Have a quick way to tell the difference if you have two accounts--especially, as I do, using the same name.. I used two different photos.
  • For a public page, Facebook gives you control about who can post and like you. A few days into the endeavor, my page had a spam, get-rich-quick post. That led me to learn about deleting posts and, if needed, banning likers.
  • The page should reflect your personality, but remember it is a public medium. I posted a minor opinion and received two comments calling me to task--from both sides of the issue!
I am looking forward to learning more about these pieces of my "platform." Right now, I am tracking down the background of an 1867 letter that mentions Julia Wilbur and Sojourner Truth. While this would be too involved for the book (and it's too late, in any event), it is a perfect blog post!

Take a look at the website or Facebook page when you have a moment. Oh--and please like me on Facebook.

On to September and I wish you a great Labor Day weekend and back-to-school month.
Full Circle Communications, LLC / Alexandria, VA / 703.212.0350