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While standing in the checkout line at the grocery store the other day, I spotted the magazine Real Simple. It wasn't just the cutesy name that caught my attention. (How can the editors live with themselves, basing a magazine name on a grammatical error? But I digress...) The eye-catching cover line that grabbed me by the eyeballs was: What can you do in 15 minutes?  Continue reading...
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Rosanne Cash has been writing songs for over three decades, most recently releasing the critically acclaimed album Black Cadillac in 2006. But she doesn't limit herself just to music. "My liveliest cottage industry now is writing for magazines," she says. And besides contributing essays to The New York Times, New York Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and other publications, Rosanne has also written a book of short stories and a children's book. We here at the Visual Thesaurus were thrilled to have a fascinating conversation with Rosanne about her work:  Continue reading...
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Blog Du Jour

Public Speaking

Ready to step up to the podium and wow 'em? Okay, we thought you might need a little boost. Great public speakers aren't born that way. These blogs help you develop the skills you need to sizzle in front of an audience:

Great Public Speaking

Speak Schmeak

Public Speaking Sucker

HELLO, My Name is BLOG

Executive Speech Coach

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Sparrow, a pundit poet from Phoenicia, New York, graciously contributed the following column.

Nouns are becoming verbs faster than ever before. I've been "journaling" on this phenomenon, and here's my report:

In the Old Days, every new invention did not immediately become a verb. No one said: "I must electric canopener this tuna," or "Well, it's time to dishwasher." But ever since the Fall of Communism, new consumer items have been verbified. We do say: "I'll fax you that receipt," "Can you e-mail me the final figures?" "Let's microwave the taco," and "Shh! I'm text-messaging!" (In fact, "text-messaging" is giving way to the more direct "texting.")

 Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

Get to Work!

Jason Fried, director of software innovator 37 Signals, asks on the website Vitamin: "When you're in 'the zone' you get your best work done. But how do you get in that 'zone' when colleagues, e-mails and IM are vying for your attention?" Read Jason's answer here.
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Blog Du Jour

Creative Inspiration

Nancy Wells is a VT subscriber and senior copywriter from Chicago, IL. She graciously sent us this list of sites where she goes for creative inspiration -- when she's not using the Visual Thesaurus! As Nancy told us, "the Visual Thesaurus is on my bookmark bar nestled between Google and the Chicago Tribune. I go to company brainstorm sessions with my computer and get on the VT for ideas." Thanks for your support, Nancy!

Google Image Labeler "Gets my brain warmed up for thinking of headline and copy ideas."

Creative Ideas

Malcolm Gladwell's column.

Word Spy


Finally, Nancy asks you, our fine subscribers: "Where do you get ideas and inspiration?"

Please let us know...

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When I am up against a deadline and I absolutely, definitely have to get on with my work, I use a few tactics to force myself to concentrate:

  1. Switch off email. I don't start Outlook (or if I do, I disable all the notifications that tell me I have new mail).

  2. Isolate myself. I use Bose noise-canceling headphones but don't plug them into anything. The silence really is golden.

  3. Greed and guilt. I remind myself how much money I'm getting paid for a particular assignment and how ashamed I will be if I miss the deadline. This actually works sometimes.

  4. Stop with the blog already. When I'm pressed for time, distractions like blogging and tidying up become very compelling. Knowing this makes it easier to resist.

  5.  Continue reading...
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