Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Edit, Anyone?

I read a few blogs regularly and those blogs often introduce me to new blogs. Today, a Facebook post led me to a fashion blog and it looked interesting and informative enough to click on. Fashion is important, to a point - the point where I don't go around looking like an idiot or dressing too young, etc. That can be challenging, though, since clothes in the junior department fit me best. It's not always convenient to be short.

The fashion blog held a lot of useful information, but this young blogger desperately needs an editor. We can certainly look past a few typos, but this gal had no clue how to use the English language. She needs an editor.

We all need an editor. I can't tell you how many times I've written a blog post, reread it several times, posted it, then came back and found typos or other errors! It happens to everyone.

I'm not just irritated at poor, unedited writing. I'm also frustrated for the writer because, in the long run, it will affect her success. Poor writing skills affect everyone's success, especially if we promote ourselves as writers. It pays to look like we know how to write. It pays to edit. If you're not confident to edit your own blog posts, have a friend look them over, or trade editing services with another writer who needs the same. Nothing can replace an objective eye looking at your work.

Editing is simple.
Practice it regularly.
You won't be sorry.


Monday, March 18, 2013

The (Non-magical) Writing Process

Writing is a process as much as it is a creative action. Those of us who write for publication know that this process, while we are drawn to it without reason, is not always easy. Writing involves a process. Part two of my series of classes on Writing for Publication focuses on this process and breaks it down into manageable steps. Today, I'd like to share some content from that class, which will be available in an e-book later on this spring or early summer. My first e-book from this set of classes is already available and you can find it here.

John Steinbeck said, "I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances."

John Steinbeck knew that the writing process is not magical. You basically just have to do it; just write. This is not a "how-to," it's more of an attempt to help you know the process so that none of this process will catch you off guard and you will know what to expect. I have broken the writing process down into these four steps:





The simple definitions for each of these steps are:

Prewriting - Anything you do before you actually write any portion of a piece. This includes thinking, getting the idea, taking notes, talking to others and a host of other things you might do in relationship to your writing before you actually write. This is a recursive process.

If you are thinking about your writing project, 
you are already in the midst of the writing process for that idea.

Drafting - Putting your ideas into sentences and paragraphs. It involves explaining, supporting and connecting.

Putting ideas into words changes gives them more power than you might realize.

Revising - The act of refining your work, improving the flow, making connections clear, clarifying context, etc. The revision process is more recursive than any of the other steps in the writing process. Be prepared for this. 

The biggest part of revision is often elimination. 

Editing - This is the last thing you will do before publication. I highly recommend hiring an outside editor since none of us are really objective enough to edit our own work. 

"If it's possible to cut a word out, always cut it out." - George Orwell's rules for writing #3. 

There you have the four steps to the writing process in a nutshell. 
Happy Writing!

Monday, March 11, 2013

20 Great Ideas

I ran across this article on the web and thought it was excellent, thus worth sharing with you. The article, written by Rowena Crosbie was published through Tero International, Inc, An Elite Training Group, is titled 20 Tips for Engaging Your Audience.

I do public speaking fairly regularly as a writing instructor as well as a Bible study teacher. I speak at women's events as well as in college classrooms. Even though I have done a lot of public speaking and a lot of writing, I still learned from this great list and I hope you can learn, too. Even though this article was written for public speaking, the principles within apply easily to writing for publication.

Writing for publication requires a writer to keep their audience in mind while writing.

Happy Writing!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Best Writing Advice You'll Ever Get

Today, we wish a Happy Birthday to Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known to us all as Dr. Seuss. This article by writer Richard Nordquist is an excellent tribute to a most talented writer. I thought it was good advice, the best I've ever heard, so it's prudent for me to pass it on to you.

Take it to heart.
Be a better writer as a result.