Member(s) with strong writing skills

I did not know you had such a low opinion of the projects we do here…

“Make” hasn’t been writing about the projects here, but I was referring to the projects “Make” has been publishing.

I’ve seen some work here that looks impressive and some that’s clever. Which projects do you think would be good enough for a magazine write-up?

This is where you and I seem to have a different concept. Personally, I think that it is the writing quality that produces a good article, not the quality of the ‘project’. That was my point about make magazine. Most of the projects I have seen within its pages have been no more ‘special’ then much of the work I have seen produced at the space.

Your own nitrogen laser is a perfect example. Numerous articles on the construction of such devices have appeared in popular magazines over the last four-five decades. However, a well written article that addressed how you handled the building of the laser and created a group to facilitate its construction would be something I think worthy of publication.

Another example was last weekends test bed for the go kart motor. It was cobbled together to serve a specific purpose. not produce a flashy product. But again a well written article about the process by which it was designed and assembled would be worthy of publication.

The real value in these types of articles is the writing, not the project ideas. Not diminishing the value of the projects, just saying that an article is a communication medium and its value is in its quality of communication.

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Good writing is important, but the publication rejection rate is high; I think the figure is around 80% of submissions are rejected. So, it would behoove a would-be author to select the very best. It’s also a point that when writing professionally, one must be brutal with one’s own work, sacrificing even favored passages to produce the best end result. I think the project selection needs to be as brutal.

The rejection rate can be explained solely by poor writing. Good writing is pretty rare. Projects are special. They are a means to illustrate useful concepts and skills. That is what most of the articles in DIY type magazines are about. Also, this debate is somewhat moot. Someone would need to do the writing and submit the articles. I believe they could generate a nice resume and income from doing so, but only in the attempt would they know.

Another way to overcome large rejection rates is to be prolific.

A (possibly) related question to finding authors and/or projects about which to publish:
how can we reach more of our membership to tap for these and other purposes?

It was mentioned that we have no newsletter, and that seems sorely lacking to me. Both paper mail-out and blog style monthly newsletters seem like a good start. Are we just missing volunteers there or is there a bigger reason? Is there a (traditional or electronic) mailing list available to be used for mass communications? For example, in a call for projects about which to publish.

How about a tie-in with Create Arts on the podcast stuff? They’re looking for projects willing to be showcased and discussed there, as well ( @Natasha_Cooks ). I know zip about podcasts, but I figure someone at least comes up with an outline for the time spent “chatting”. It could be the same outline and data gathering that goes into an article to be published electronically or traditionally…

It was also mentioned that people get secretive about their projects. How can we overcome that? Also, how to overcome the “my project is nothing special” feeling?

I’m not sure how helpful my ramblings are, but there they are.

One final question: ( @MellissaRhodes ) who all can publish to the aforementioned blog?

On this subject, I’d like feedback on my writing style if you don’t mind and see if it might “fit the bill” per se


Since you asked, I am going to provide what I hope will be taken as constructive criticism, but if you find anything I am about to write offensive, please ignore me and forgive me. I really only mean this to be helpful.

First off, I think Strunk and White’s elements of style to be the absolutely best guide for producing good readable written communications. It is cheap and I highly recommend obtaining a copy if you wish to do much writing.

Your article seems to have a very good start, but it read to me as if you were a little disorganized in trying to present your intent. For instance your first paragraph proclaims an intent for a series of articles, your second paragraph is a disclaimer and your third returns us to what this article is going to be about.

You spend some time talking about the physical implementation of a 3D printer when your stated purpose of the article is to describe how to design and presumably print a original 3D model for a part. So I would say this entire part of the article doesn’t further your stated purpose. I can’t tell if the extrusion illustrations are things you have added to the article or if the service provider is adding them as advertising; however, since they aren’t related to the purpose of the article I found them distracting.

Also, when presenting graphics as part of the writing, I suggest avoiding having multiple figures in sequence with no written explaination of those figures in between how they show in the article. I know there is a cliche that an image is worth a 1000 words, but I have always found that figures and other images require more writing to explain how they apply to the articles intent.

Anyway, I think you have a very good rough draft for your idea, but should now edit it ruthlessly and perhaps expand on some areas that need greater explaination, such as how all of the images apply to your intent.

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Per the New Member 411 on the wiki, just use your login info here.

More blog posts would be wonderful. Hope you submit.

I’ve done some writing in the past for Launch DFW. Here’s a link to some of my work:

I’m not entirely sure what were looking for here, so I might not be the best fit. If DMS needs a pool of potential writers to evaluate, I’m happy to toss my name in.


I don’t know if your responding to @MellissaRhodes discussion of the space’s blog or newsletter or my concept of people submitting articles to professional print magazines.

That said, I think the following addresses either of us. Basically we are a ‘doocracy’, which means you really don’t need permission to create articles, blog posts, etc. beyond seeking permission from the committee chair responsible for access to whatever resource you need. So for DMS blog posts, checking with PR chair on the process for submitting a blog post would be a good idea.

But for my concept, all you need to do is find a project you want to write about and write and submit articles. We (the space) wouldn’t be involved in ‘approving’ the articles beyond potentially getting members to agree to let you use them and their projects in your articles.

Ah. My thought of the structure would have been more like: 1.Observe projects in the community. 2. Round table on projects. 3. Selection on specific projects. 4. Assign task to writers. 5. Select best piece for publication. 6. Rinse and repeat.

The goal being to create a library of pieces that capture the DMS atmosphere, and see if they want to be picked up by any major circulation.

I can see though that’s not what were talking about.

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Thank you, Mellissa ( @MellissaRhodes ). I must confess red face. I have perused that document many times and even suggested improvements, but never caught the blog part.
This is why I know any pride I have in attention to detail is totally false.
Thank you again.


That’s a good idea; very organized. It would be suitable for an interest group at DMS to do something like this (e.g., a Writer’s Interest Group).

If you’re interested, sounds like you’d be a great fit for joining our PR committee. Check out the calendar for the next meeting or let me know and I can get @KrissyHeishman (our committee chair) to add you to our discussion group/hangout.

This applies to anyone interested.

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Thanks Melissa. I’d be happy to contribute.

I’ll check out the calendar for the next meeting.

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I’ve done a lot of technical writing for work as well as some fictional writing so should be able to be a co-contributor.

Hey, that sounds like a great idea. Have you talked to the editors at Make about the idea of a monthly column? I can ping them and see if they’re interested if you want. I do a monthly events column in SERVO and have written a lot of articles for SERVO, Robot, and some others. Can’t recall if I’ve written anything for Make but I’ve done photography for other author’s articles on several occasions. Most of the print mags seem desperate for content, so it might not be too hard to talk them into it.

Great to see that you’re talking about getting the DMS blog going again. I used to write lots of the blog posts back in the early days but it kind of died out after the blog got reformatted into a non-blog looking thing and hidden off on some sub-tree of the website. I’m not sure if any of the old posts are even still visible.


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No I haven’t. To be clear I was talking about an idea I had about an opportunity for someone else. I do not enjoy writing and would not want to do this. But I think for someone who does enjoy writing it would be a proverbial win-win. The space could get some much needed national publicity and the author could get experience and revenue doing something they enjoy doing.

I emailed Dale Dougherty at Make with a quick pitch for the idea of monthly content from Dallas Makerspace. I’ll let you know if I get a reply.