Get ideas for writing Another reader question: “Where can I get ideas for writing?” Anywhere and everywhere. That’s the short answer. The long answer is… Anywhere and everywhere: the nightly news stories books you read songs you hear idiosyncracies of people you know watching people in the mall sermons or homilies newspaper headlines shopping trips […]
This might come as a surprise, but not all fonts are approved for commercial use. This means that when you’re creating products of any kind (books, newsletters, ezines, graphic tees, coffee mugs), you might not be able to use that type style you love so much. Fonts are intellectual property; they are software, and the […]
You have a home to manage, and children, and maybe a spouse, and possibly some money-making ventures… You’re tired, and you may even be hurting physically. Brain fog sets in…how are you supposed to write anything?! That’s what this whole blog is about: how you can write, with all the other things you have on your plate. How to find the motivation and the energy, carve out little bits of time and space, come up with ideas, how to shape up the mess you see on your screen (or in your notebook), how to find a place for your writing in the world.
Some writers think they need to use fancy words, pull out the thesaurus and find something obscure, but most editors don’t like that. Use normal words, just not the same ones every time. If you say “ran” every time you indicate quick ambulatory movement, you might try “jogged,” “loped,” or “trotted” a few times in the book. If everything is blue, you might make something in your book red, unless a blue universe is important to your story. Highlighting the places where you wear out a phrase can help you see just how often you use it, and learning this about yourself will help you be a better writer.
Spelling and grammar in writing are important A reader sent in the question, “Can I ignore things like spelling and grammar in my writing? Isn’t that the editor’s job?” In a word, no. The editor’s job is to shape and guide your work, not to fix things that you should already know how to do. […]
If you want to improve your writing, you’ll need to watch out for certain errors that most writers make, such as continuity errors. Sounds straightforward. What is simple isn’t always easy, though, and it definitely isn’t always done. Continuity errors are mistakes I find quite often when I’m editing fiction. I’m reading along and ooops, something doesn’t fit with what […]
Writing teachers, experts, and editors—most of them, anyway—push writing with an outline, or, more accurately, using an outline even prior to beginning to write. The rationale is that it helps a writer be organized and being organized means communicating effectively. I tend to disagree with the party line on that. Yes, disorganization can decrease effectiveness in communicating, but being organized does […]
Proofreading one’s own writing presents challenges. We know what should be there, what we meant to say, and so our brains fix the errors as we read, without drawing our attention to them. This fact is why everyone needs an editor (even editors who write need someone else to look at their writing before it goes […]
Like so many things, “When is the best day of the week to post?” depends on your audience. Not all fields of business are the same. That said, I’ll share with you the things I’ve learned over the years as they relate to my field and audience. Mondays suck No, I’m not talking about dreading […]
Editing and proofreading your own writing is hard, because you know what it is that your writing is supposed to say. Your brain automatically fixes errors as you read over what you wrote, so you don’t notice them. Others do notice those errors, though, and having errors in your writing interferes with the reading experience, […]