May 22, 2013
free writing classes, The Muffin, writing classes, Writing Tip
May is a busy month, isn’t it? End-of-school chaos, graduations (That’s Youngest Junior Hall, graduating college!), Mother’s Day, Memorial Day…whew! Time for a nice summer break.
And really, I am the Queen of Summer Breaks. But I also know that too long of a break from writing and my brain gets mushy. I can’t remember what my manuscript was all about, and my creative idea juices sort of dwindle to a trickle. So I work–but I break up my routine.
Which brings me to the topic I discussed over at the Muffin today: taking writing classes. Sometimes, a class is just what a writer needs to get excited, to get new ideas, to break old habits, to mix up the routine. And goodness, there are an awful lot of writing classes!
I came across this Write Now! Mastermind class the other day and had to read the details twice. Free? Really? That’s a pretty sweet deal. But honestly, there are sweet deals like that going on every day in the writing world. And maybe the summer is the perfect time to rev up your writing life with a fun class.
So do something for yourself this summer. I know it’s sounds crazy, but you’ll feel great, putting your brain to work during the break!
May 8, 2013
Adverbs and Cliches in a Nutshell, Jessica Bell, The Muffin, WOW!Women-on-writing, writing books, Writing Tip
I finally cracked open Magazine Markets for Children’s Writers 2013 because–well, I’ll let you read all about it over at The Muffin.
And because I can never get enough of how-to-write books (as you know by now if you read my WOW! post), I’m adding Jessica Bell’s Adverbs and Cliches in a Nutshell to the queue. Partly because of this lovely review by Margo Dill. But also because there’s a special WOW! deal going on now.
But you already know that if you’re a subscriber to WOW! Women on Writing. And if you’re not subscribed then quit reading right now and do it.
(Did that come off a little bossypants? I felt like it might be a little bossypants. I’m not going to change it, mind you. Just wanted you to know that I know. And when I finish reading all these books, I’m going to know even more.
Wow. It’s kinda scary, right?)
April 11, 2013
editing, The Muffin, WOW!Women-on-writing, Writing Tip
It seems to me that the more I write, the more I realize what I don’t know about writing.
Usually, it’s right before I fall asleep, when some burning, writing question pops into my head. I still fall asleep, mind you. But I wake the next day, determined to find answers. (And looking a little worse for wear, I might add.)
The Muffin answered a writer’s question this week, and as it happened, I was one of the writers who made a suggestion. You might have this very same question and find the answer you’re looking for among the four writers who weighed in. But it occurred to me that even if you don’t, you might have another writing question that’s causing you nightmares.
If you can’t find the answer amongst all those issues over at WOW!Women-on-writing.com, you might want to ask the editor. Maybe your question will show up over at the Muffin.
Then frabjous day! You’ll be a writer in the know!
(And you can get some much-needed beauty rest. Or maybe that’s just me.)
April 4, 2013
James V. Smith, readability, The Muffin, The Writer's Little Helper, Writing Tip
While reading The Writer’s Little Helper (yes, the same book from this post–I told you I was actually reading it), I came across several references to readability. The author, James V. Smith, is a big fan of readability. And so am I. But I wasn’t always.
One of the publications that got me back to writing was a newspaper that our church produced. We had a circulation run of about 3,000, and twelve pages to fill with news. And the editor was a writer gal who was very serious about journalism.
At one of our staff meetings, she came in with a handout. “Here are instructions for enabling readability statistics. Use them.” Then she gave us the numbers that she wanted our writing to meet. It was an eye-opening experience for me.
I mean, I was a journalist, too. I thought I knew the ins and outs of writing. But there is a big difference between fine writing–and writing that people will read. So, yeah. I had to make some changes.
That must have been at least ten years ago. But the lessons I learned from using the readability statistics stuck with me. And I can prove it. Just read my post on The Muffin.
I may not always get around to reading my writing books, but if you give me a handout, we’re golden.
March 25, 2013
The Muffin, writing advice, Writing Tip
Juniorette, pitching in with the ACK face.
Ack! Remember back when I admitted that I’d done something really stupid, writing-wise?
No, not that something stupid, or that ack!, either. I mean the one from last week, the publicizing-my-blog feature ack!
Now, another writer might get annoyed at making mistakes, over and over and over again. And if I didn’t learn something extremely helpful from every mistake I made, I would get annoyed.
Take, for example, that last mistake. I learned a little something about the importance of strong titles and hooking your blog readers with an interest-grabbing first line to your post. (You can find out the particulars over at this Muffin post.)
So I like to think I’m becoming a better writer, ack! by ack! by ack! Plus, I never seem to run out of material for blog posts.
It’s a win-win.