jargonA week or so ago Cathy Miller, who among other writing is the creator of A Baby Boomers Second Life, posted an article called Our Obsession with ‘Real Words’.

It’s a fun read, particularly for writers – of which Cathy is certainly a well respected one. She talks briefly about what she calls the ‘Battle of the Words,’ speaking about so called ‘real words’ and word use.

She also included a wonderful video of Anne Curzan, (embedded below) who is a professor at the University of Michigan, author of books on language, member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, and co-host of That’s What They Say on Michigan Public Radio. She also has a wonderful sense of humor and doesn’t take herself or her work too seriously.

Two camps?

Both the article and the vid reminds me that the world of writing and language does seem to be divided into two camps: [click to continue…]


writing ritualsEd Gandia, creator of the truly helpful High-Income Business Writing even if your focus isn’t business writing sent a newsletter that details his morning writing ritual.

It’s extensive and includes a gratitude list, writing morning pages a la Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Wayfollowed by a something creative which at the moment is some drawing. Apparently the whole article isn’t (yet?) on the web or I’d link you to it.

As I read through the article I of course recognized some of my own rituals. My morning routine is something like this most weekday mornings:

Up at 5 if not earlier. Make coffee, feed cats. Almost an hours worth of what I call spiritual reading. Twenty minutes of meditation followed by 10 minutes of walking meditation.

After the meditation I spend some time in feeding cats the rest of their breakfast, unlocking some doors around the center, then at around 7 I’m at the computer either with reheated coffee or green tea.

As some of you know I now begin my writing day with my 5 minute writing projects. I’ve been having trouble with one of those projects and I plan today or tomorrow to take some time and see if I can figure out why it’s snarled. Plus, this morning although I did my meditations and door unlocking, and the first of the five minute projects (which really took 18) I’ve blown my day all to pieces. More about that in a minute.

Why writing rituals work

Ed lists several reasons why his ritual works so well for him. The one I resonate most with is his statement, “Morning pages exercise helps me get rid of all the “head trash” and all the noise in my head.” I recognize head trash and meditation has helped me calm that monkey mind. [click to continue…]


Why I Reject The Idea Of A Freelance Writing Muse

July 23, 2015

Is there a freelance writing muse? First, a definition from Vocabulary.com: In mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses who symbolized the arts and sciences. Today, a muse is a person who serves as an artist’s inspiration. When someone commented on Why Writing Less May Improve Your Writing about a muse coming and going I felt immediate resistance. […]

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Why Writing Less May Improve Your Writing

July 21, 2015

Writing less may seem an odd technique for a freelance writer, but if you’re like me you find it easy to get caught up in a certain kind of writing. Maybe it’s the 500 word blog post that you do eight times a month for pretty good pay. Or perhaps you’ve engaged in a 5 or […]

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4 Best Ways to Improve Your Writing

July 16, 2015

I doubt there’s a freelance writer in the world who wouldn’t benefit from improving their writing. Although taking continuing education classes or workshops on writing help, there’s a more consistent approach that I like. Essentially it involves four steps or actions: read more, write more, rewrite more and proofread more. I guess I could call […]

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What Do YOU Really Want To Write?

July 15, 2015

I get questions from writers that boil down to the idea that there’s some perfect topic or niche for them. One that will not only be fun to write but will make them a bunch of money. They want to know how to figure out what they should write. I always come back to the […]

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What Is Your Plan, Freelance Writers?

July 9, 2015

I was struck by this quote I found while doing some research on my new book: Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. Pablo Picasso I mean who thinks of […]

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2015 Freelance Writing Stats – What Do They Mean To You?

July 2, 2015

Contently sent over some 2015 freelance writing stats. I’m really in Samuel Clement’s (Mark Twain) camp. He is reputed to have said “There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” It’s so easy to see something that says, as the Contently article does, that “The median income for all respondents is $10,001–$20,000,” and decide there’s no […]

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Writing 5 Minutes A Day – How Much Can You Really Get Done?

June 30, 2015

About six weeks ago I grudgingly accepted a challenge from a friend to work on projects dear to my heart only five minutes a day because I was complaining I was too busy making money to work on those. After all, my reasoning (?) went, they won’t pay right away so I’d better not concentrate […]

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Writing From The Heart Avoidance

June 25, 2015

Have you ever started writing a piece then quit because you thought it was too revealing? Or maybe because it brought up emotions you didn’t like? Perhaps you were afraid if you told your truth you’d offend some people. Maybe you’ve been telling yourself you’re just not ready to write it, and you notice you’ve […]

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