I’ve stolen this phrase from the first book I read about writing that got me excited to be a writer. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott left such an impression on me that it still sits on my reference books shelf. It was a revelation, getting to this specific chapter. I felt vindicated when she told me that, “all good writers write them,” because I’ve had some terrible first drafts. Before Anne, I’d stare at them in desperation, convinced this was the best I could do. My writing wasn’t going to get...Read more
Why it’s okay when you end up with one
And what we lose if we can’t read it
I started journals for each of my children when they were born. I use them to mark special event and milestones. They’ve also morphed into scrapbooks with ticket stubs and old birthday cards. My hope is to deliver a book of memories they might not have of their own lives when they’re older. I hope these journals become a treasure, but as my oldest started elementary school I began to worry. The carefully-crafted messages to my kids are painstakingly handwritten in cursive — Are they even...
More from the grammar police
You can call me a snob if you like, or roll your eyes when I correct your grammar or punctuation. I don’t care. It’s intrinsic for me to flinch when it appears that someone has forgotten elementary-school English. Having already expressed my views on commonly confused words and misplaced commas, I’ve started to notice two other areas where people can struggle in getting things just right — apostrophes and exclamation points. In my opinion, both tend to be overused primarily because of a lack...Read more
The benefits of formatting blogs
Perusing the internet, reading through your favorite blogs, a style pattern may emerge — headline, intro, series of subheads with 1-2 paragraphs under each, a few bullet points, conclusion. There’s a reason for this format, as formulaic as it may be. Crafted with the right words, in the right format, your blog post is more likely to get read, thanks to SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) works when relevant words are woven into your content. This includes word placement as much as word...Read more
Finding the right creative outlet
I think I started out life as a creative person. Most children naturally gravitate toward a specific direction from a young age, and my first creative foray was art. Asking my eight-year-old self what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would quickly answer, “Artist.” I took art classes, had loads of sketch books, worked in multiple mediums. The problem was, I wasn’t very good at it. The other problem; aspiring to be an artist doesn’t offer the guarantee of financial stability I’d need if I was...Read more