Studies of Life

Learning by doing.

Category Archives for: Writing

Online Journalism needs to adopt the Spotify Model

13 July 2014 by Jim


Representative Newspapers of the US

Over the last few years, many major high-quality online newspapers have chosen to setup a paywall after years of relying almost entirely on advertising revenue. They usually offer casual readers to read 8 or 10 articles per week or month for free, and then prompt you to subscribe for a usually low fee. Some of these newspapers, most of which I personally read, include the New York Times, the Economist, Financial Times and Le Monde (French).

The switch to digital subscriptions has become necessary because advertising revenues for these online newspapers are falling. Why? Because more and more page views on the Internet are accumulating in less intellectual corners of the Internet. This includes less traditional news websites like the Huffington Post, ‘content farms’ about subjects like technology, gossip (the Gawker network), humour websites like FunnyOrDie, video hosts like YouTube, and others. This post is however not the place to criticise this increasing shift of the masses to casual online entertainment rather than high-quality information.

NaNoWriMo 2012 – 50K Words, 1 Month after 78K Words, 60 Months

02 November 2012 by Jim

Since I’m currently so lazy and do not know what to do with my time besides translating a novel into British English and being a model student (haha), I’d like to take on another challenge. My running challenge is over, obviously, and I’m steadily approaching the 100 push-ups in the One Hundred Pushups programme, so I need something new to fight against. Brussels by night

#Update November 18: After spending a lot of time catching up and doing coursework for school this week, I feel like I cannot possibly complete NaNoWriMo on time, because it’s just too much of a time sink and someone I’m not ready to work 8h per day yet. Maybe someday I will. But that’s not important. What is important is that I, who previously took 5 years to write my first novel, now have about 10’000 words of a new one with a promising story, and that within only 2 weeks’ time. That’s quite a big increase in speed, and I suspect in quality, too. It’ll be wonderful to see how this plays out! I need to get me some new deadline to finish. (more…)

Translating a Novel into British English

12 October 2012 by Jim

Now that my first novel, initially written in French, is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords and some other places in both digital and print editions, the next logical step for me as a writer / translator / language student is to expand the reach of my text by translating it into two languages other than French that I feel comfortable enough with to translate a novel: British English and German. But let’s first stick with the British. It’s going to be enough of work either way.

87’000 words


Formatting and Self-Publishing on KDP and CreateSpace

01 October 2012 by Jim

I’ve been writing a novel for three years now and finally finished, did double proofreading, revision, and so on, and finally the manuscript is ready.

In theory, at least.

As a freelancer, I find the Self-Publishing trend very enticing, because it promotes the same values of independence, self-determination and freedom of choice. So that was, for me, definitely the way to go. My first novel is in French and eBooks have not yet gained huge amounts of traction in France, but French geeks do use Kindles and other eReaders, so it’s not a problem. (more…)