[Electric Speed] Easy video editor | Helpful social media tools

Digital tools and resources for creative people
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Electric Speed from Jane Friedman
A note from Jane

One of the dumbest things I ever did was buy a treadmill while living in a studio apartment of 300 square feet.

But I was desperate to hold onto my running habit.

I had built up to running 25 miles per week outside. Then my boyfriend and I moved in together and relocated to a different neighborhood.

Every habit and routine I’d established, gone. A month had passed without a single run.

I blamed our new location (too hilly), I blamed the weather (turning cold), I blamed my boyfriend (who made it hard to leave bed in the morning). Somehow I decided the perfect solution would be a home treadmill. Someone (my boyfriend) should have told me I was unreasonable, and maybe he did, but my mind was made up.

Nothing looked more ridiculous than that treadmill wedged between the futon and computer desk. I used the treadmill once, then did the right thing and returned it. But not because it looked ridiculous. Because I only used it that one time in thirty days.

I thought I was horribly weak, lazy, and undisciplined, but later I realized a life transition like that is a hugely fragile moment. Life doesn't (can't) continue as before, and even good and right things can become harder.

I did get back to running once I accepted and committed to tackling those hills.
Jane

P.S. The most popular blog post at my site this month:
Writers, Stop Using Social Media (Like That)

P.P.S. There is more to this newsletter. Keep scrolling!

ISSUE SPONSOR
Julie Gray Developmental Editing: fiction and narrative nonfiction.
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As the author of one of The Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2020 and with over 15 years of experience as a developmental editor under her belt, Julie Gray has an instinct for story and a love of writers. Offering manuscript evaluations, substantive & developmental editing, coaching, and courses. www.juliegrayediting.com

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Sponsorships help support Electric Speed.

 
Jane’s Electric Speed List
Here are some of the latest things I’ve discovered. (I am not paid to mention any of these resources; there are no affiliate links.)
An online video editor with lots of features
Long gone are the days when you need sophisticated software or a powerful computer to edit video. You don’t even need iMovie. Instead, consider a light tool like Veed, especially for short social media videos. In addition to editing features, it allows you to add subtitles, add images and audio, change the aspect ratio of a video, draw on a video, and more. You can try it without signing up for an account.
Generate a personal newsfeed based on your Twitter account
If you value the links shared on Twitter, but find it distracting to open and browse, consider Serendeputy, at no cost. Once you connect your Twitter account, you can do some light customization of your "deputy" so it knows what you’re interested in.

Then you’ll get an automated newsfeed (via email, if you choose) based on the people you follow and what links they’re sharing. Warning: You might realize there are certain people you no longer want to follow!

You can also see what is trending or being widely shared across the Twitterverse.
Rename those horrible and awful email subject lines
Ever noticed how many people are terrible with email subject lines? As one writer noted, "Often the email with important info you need is buried in a thread of 20 emails, all titled ‘Re: today’."

If you’re a Gmail user, you can change those vague, unhelpful subject lines with this Chrome extension.
Get more out of your bio link (an alternative to Linktree)
This one is for avid social media users who often refer people to the "link in bio" to share a variety of links at once (to your author website, newsletter sign-up page, book landing page, etc). Linktree has been the market leader for some time now, but it’s worth taking a look at Hypage as an alternative. It has a free plan.
 
Master the Flashback with Tiffany Yates Martin. $25 webinar. Wednesday, May 4, 2022. 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Eastern.
NEXT ONLINE CLASS
May 4: Master the Flashback with Tiffany Yates Martin
The flashback can act as both friend or foe to authors—and readers. Used skillfully, flashbacks offer a rich and vivid way to weave in essential backstory and add depth and texture to a story. But clumsily executed ones can be an eyeball-stopping intrusion that yanks readers right out of the story. In this class with career editor Tiffany Yates Martin, you’ll learn exactly what flashbacks are—and aren’t—and how to incorporate them smoothly and effectively to more richly develop your characters and their arcs, heighten stakes, and deepen readers’ experience of your story.
Your turn: smart home devices
In the last issue, I asked you to tell me about your favorite smart home devices. It seems that virtually no one is interested in this topic, but I did hear from one person!

  • My favorite home device has to be my Ring doorbell. Getting an alert on my phone anytime someone comes to the door is wonderful. Being able to see them provides me advance notice of what to expect. —Mike Preston

Here are the smart home devices that I’ve come to depend on:

  • Thermostats. I used to have Nest and have since switched over to Ecobee at the new place—one for each temperature zone. Ecobee is much, much better. It will save us on energy bills.
  • TV room light switch. Sometimes it’s the small things, like not having to get up from the couch to turn off the light when you’re ready to watch TV.
  • Smart door lock, my absolute favorite. I no longer have to carry house keys. The lock knows when I’m coming (it detects my smartphone in close proximity) and automatically unlocks. I can program the lock from afar to give guests access using a unique key code or fingerprint.

Next question: What convenience food can you not do without? Hit reply to this message to let me know, or share on the Discord server for Electric Speed subscribers.
 
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"At electric speed, all forms are pushed to the limits of their potential."
—Marshall McLuhan
Jane Friedman
Created by Jane Friedman
I report on the publishing industry and help authors understand the business of writing.

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