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Posted in S.T.A.R.T. Workshop

S.T.A.R.T. 4

R stands for many things, but most importantly R is for reach.  It’s time to talk about your next step.  You’ve got an idea, you’ve setup a website, and you’ve established your social media channels.  What’s next? Content, consistent, weekly content is your next step.

If you’re a podcaster, how often are you going to post, weekly or monthly?  Either way, remember content is king.  Every episode needs to be interesting.  

They also need to maintain a good audio quality throughout the episode.  If you’re a Mac user, then GarageBand will be a wonderful choice for creating your podcast.  Windows users have various options, but Audacity is a wonderful free program that will work for you. 

Once you’ve made your audio file, it needs to be submitted to a provider.  Some choices are iTunes, Soundcloud, and Podbean, but there are others.  You will also need to create an xml file known as an RSS feed.  This sounds complicated, but it’s much easier than you think. There are even tools that will step you through it.


An RSS feed is basically an xml file that creates the metadata and instructions you need to package your audio file for distribution.  Here is a link to Apple’s own instructions for creating a podcast, and to the free program Audacity. (https://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/specs.html – http://audacity.sourceforge.net)
 
On top of this, you’ll need a quality image to represent your podcast. Make sure that you have the rights to any image you use.  This will be the image that is the face of your podcast.  It’s one of the most important images that you will choose.  
 
A quality microphone, like the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone will help you with sound control.  Music for your opening and ending needs to be original or public domain for copyright purposes.  
 
Quality sound is vital, but the most important part is your own voice.  Your voice doesn’t have to sound like a radio DJ, but it does need to avoid a monotone feel.  People will tune out a voice that doesn’t excite them. 
 
Fluctuations are important, as long as they are natural.  You never want to sound like a vocal roller coaster either.  Your voice needs to be inviting, entertaining, and interesting.  The best way to do this, is to have passion about what you’re saying.
 
This will also go a long way towards building your audience.  They will be interested, only if you are.  Can you generate enough regular content for a weekly podcast?  If not, a monthly one may be a better choice for you.
 
One way to do this is to have guests, but that comes with challenges also.  People’s schedules will dictate that you pre-tape some interviews.  It will also mean that you’ll have cancellations, and need to reschedule. 
 
When that happens, you’ll still need to have content ready for your post time. If you’re supposed to post on a particular day, again, be consistent.  Once you get regular listeners, they’ll expect you to produce shows regularly.
 
If you’re a blogger, consistent means at least two posts a week, every week. Obviously there will be exceptions, but as much as possible you need to maintain a schedule.  This will keep your followers engaged in what you have to offer.
 
Whether it’s audio, text, or video, your Reach will be determined by how consistently you produce something.  If something isn’t working, be open to change. At the same time, do not allow common obstacles to stop you.  Once you S.T.A.R.T. your project, follow it through until the end.
 
Next time, we will look at video content on S.T.A.R.T. Workshop!
 
Posted in Inspirational Collections

Songbird

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Psalms 11:1

1  In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

There are over 4,000 species found all over the world, according to scientists.  We call them songbirds, those small beautiful delicate creatures that produce a wonderful song.  They are not as mighty as the eagle, but they were made by the same hand.

At this point in David’s life, he probably felt more like a bird in the hand than a raptor in the sky.  Chased, hunted, and despised by the very person who benefited from the melody. Saul of all people knew David’s worth, and yet he wanted to silence the music.

What Saul ignored was the fact that David’s song wasn’t made solely for Saul. Oh he benefited from it, but David’s lyrics were made for a far greater purpose. His songs were to worship The God that preserved the Psalmist wherever he went.

God created you for His glory, others will benefit from it, but they’re not the reason. So when those you work with, witness to, and serve attempt to hurt or silence you, take heart.  They are recipients, but they’re not The One that validates you.

The Creator gave you your melody, and like the songbird, He placed His people throughout the world.  The darkest corners are illuminated with the song of the redeemed.  If they cannot silence you, they’ll at least try to stifle you, but they’re not the source of your melody.

Your song comes from the same hand that gave the eagle his mighty wingspan.  The One that gave the Owls their sharp talons gave you something far greater. A praise for The God that spread His wings all the way to a mountain called Calvary to give us a place of refuge.  You don’t need the bird of prey’s talons, because The God Of Armies fights your battles!

Keep on singing, continue to brighten the day of others with your music.  They may not always appreciate it, but they’ll benefit from it. Either way, whatever they choose to do with it doesn’t matter, they’re not who it was made for.

The old lyric says He woke me up this morning, and started me on my way, Thank You Lord for a brand new day.  As sure as the day dawns, the songbirds will sing, it’s what they were made to do.  You and I were made to honor Our King, regardless of obstacles. The song that beats in our chest will not be silenced by man, but it will be corroborated, sustained, and defended by The Master!

Posted in Serials, The Sea Horse

The Sea Horse: The Organizer

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The Sea Horse

The British Rose stood in front of the computer screen.  The Organizer was giving orders.  “High Society and The Caterer are at odds, the Wonzu is trying to play both sides against the middle.  The Sea Horse is stirring up trouble everywhere. It’s your job to maintain order, to promote the Organizer’s agenda, make them see what we want them to see.”  

“Of course T.O., I’m great at misdirection, you know that.  How is our common friend?”  “The image on the screen was a shadow, but the British Rose knew who he was talking too.  The image was just for anyone that might stumble in.  Of course, the image was twenty years old, and it wasn’t even the Organizer’s silhouette, not that he existed.  
The Organizer was a creation of the man in the hospital bed, but under another name.  It had been called Mr. Oliver, the Don, and Power Broker in the eighties. The Organizer was a front man for an organization that had a fundamentally different goal than they pretended too.”Is everything in place?”  The British Rose nodded, he himself was not what he had appeared to be.  
“The Sea Horse will soon figure it out, but not before the coming battle that will pit him against myself.  The scene is to be a local airport, transport a gold shipment out of the hands of the local authorities. The Sea Horse would be there to stop me, as planned.”  
“This will reinforce in the public’s mind two things, the importance of their hero, and the danger of our criminal element.  High Society will step in and attempt to take the gold for himself in the fight.  That is when our men will seize him, the real objective of the mission.”
“How do you know that either will be there?” The concealed voice asked?  “Simple, I’ve floated the threat to the papers, and in the various nooks and crannies of the city.  They’ll be there Thomas, they just won’t know you’re involved, at least not yet.”
Posted in Book Club

PruittWrites Book Club: First Edition

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Adding value through words and pictures, that is our mission statement.  It’s who we are, not only in our writing, but what Ashley and I attempt to do in life.  We’re far from perfect, but we try to show people through our words and our actions, that they matter. This thinking has given birth to PruittWrites Book Club.

This will enable us to share with our readers content that, may not be ours, but  that is highly valuable.  Our goal is for this to be more than just a reading list, but a way of introducing our readers to interactions with those people, and resources, that have added value to us.

We wanted to begin with two heavy hitters right out of the gate.  Each one is more than just an eBook, they’re an introduction to continuing content.  The first is 5 Ready, a five day devotional from www.DennyLivingston.com.

As my readers know, this is from our Pastor and friend, Pastor Denny Livingston. He is the Lead Pastor of Point Of Mercy in Nashville, Tennessee.  You will receive this wonderful book when you subscribe to his free mailing list.  This guide is a wonderful way of bringing you closer to The God that equips us each day to fight and defeat our giants.

On top of that, you will receive such wonderful, encouraging blog posts such as Big, Just Return, and Fellowship.  It is sites like this one that provide consistent, weekly encouragement.  I believe that you are what you put inside of you, and that’s why we believe in bloggers who have something meaningful to say.

The second is “Shave Ten Hours Off Your Work Week” from www.MichaelHyatt.com.  If you haven’t signed up for this wonderful site, I recommend that you do it soon.  It’s a chance to learn new methods to spread your message, one that can help others in your own, unique way.

I strongly believe in positioning yourself to receive regular, valuable pieces of knowledge, every week.  That is why PruittWrites seeks out material independently of the authors.  It’s our way of letting our readers know what we find value in.  These two men have made us better, and I truly believe that they will do the same for you. We hope that you’ve enjoyed this edition of PruittWrites Book Club, and we can’t wait to share more with you soon.

Posted in Inspirational Collections

For Best Supporting

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Galatians 6:2
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

My favorite award at the Oscars is early on in the night, it’s the award for best supporting actor. One reason is that character actors, those people who are in everything, are great at what they do. You may not remember their name, but you know their face, and you can’t forget their performance.

The second reason is because those same type of people have made such a difference in our lives. It’s not that they’re secondary to us or anything like that, but the fact that they make themselves there for us. They voluntarily put our needs before their own.

Many times, a former leading actor will win a role for best supporting. They took the role because they liked what they had read. So many people in our lives read where Jesus taught us to bear one another’s burdens, and they loved what they read. As a result, men and women who could easily be the dominant voice in the room, became the most supportive one there.

There was a picture yesterday of J.K. Simmons, the actor who you know from the insurance commercials, sitting while his Oscar was engraved. Another picture showed the best actor standing while this happened, but J.K. sat patiently waiting. How many times have those who loved us sat patiently at tables, in living rooms, and even hospital rooms waiting for us?

Only they didn’t do it to get an award, they did it because our lives mattered to them. Our needs, our hopes, and our dreams were so important that sleep didn’t matter. The only writing that was done was a note or a text encouraging us.

Whoever it is in your life, Family, Friends, Pastors, or role models that have been there for you, celebrate them. Take a little time today, show them in some small way, that they helped you become a better person. Let them know that the part they played in our lives made our story so much better.

After you’ve done that, look around, find someone who could use a support today. Be to someone what others have been to you. Someone needs a burden bearer in their life, one they’ll never forget, to help them to be the best that they can be!

Posted in Writing Notes

It Will Be Okay

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Mark 9:31

31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, — The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

John 16:33
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

It’s a bold statement, one not without risks. If you’re talking to a two year old getting a shot it’s an easy one. The older we get, and the bigger the scenario, the more danger involved.

Yet, we have reassurance from The One who looked Calvary in the face, and told His Disciples just that. Christ wanted them to know, when He, who they had pinned all their hopes on, was dying, that they weren’t wrong.

While the crowds were still cheering, He was telling them that one day they would yell crucify. Before Matthew was confused, and Thomas didn’t understand, He wanted to brace them for that night.

The other reference, in John, was to their own crosses. He was saying that we would all face trials, and battles that would seek to scare us. It was then that Our Heavenly Father, who knows all and was headed to Calvary to conquer all, put His arm around us. He was saying, at times it will be more than scary, but it will be okay.

Ok comes, as near as they can find out, from an old phrase ‘oll korrect’, or all correct. This means that, no matter what the foe, the outcome will be all correct. Righteousness will defeat wrong, the good guys will win, and those who endure unto the end shall be saved.

Like that two year old, clutches his Mom and Dad’s hand, and fights back tears, so do we. The beautiful thing is, while the little one is scared, his parents are holding him. They’re watching, ready for any contingency. So is Our Heavenly Father, no matter what we face.

While we are flooded with tears, and face living nightmares, Our Father stands in front of us, His sword drawn. He holds us yes, but He also goes before us. Christ let every battle, and every warrior know that, when His children are in conflict, He is in the room.

So, I say again, no matter what crisis, disease, or heartbreak, it will be okay. These aren’t my words, they’re His, but like Paul I believe them. Before he ever faced the chopping block, Paul was convinced of them. The Lord Jesus had kept him through both stoning and shipwreck, and would see him from Earth to glory. He will do the same for us, trust Him, for it will be okay!

Romans 8:38-39
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.