Thursday, October 15, 2009

11 Most Common Writing Mistakes

I will be the first to admit that I am not that great at grammar. This sentence probably isn't correct. The rise of email, text messaging and status updates hasn't helped either. That doesn't mean it isn't important to write as correctly as possible. Check out these 11 common mistakes to help get or keep you on track with your writing.
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Avoid these 11 mistakes and get the job, make the sale, and write better!

Constipated Clauses

If it “goes without saying” then don’t say it. If it doesn’t, in fact, go without saying, then don’t say it does.

“Obviously, the sky is blue.” Putting the “obviously” doesn’t suddenly make the statement insightful.

Comma Vomit

An example of correct comma use: “The game was over, and the crowd began to leave.” The game and the crowd are different subjects and the clauses are independent. The crowd could still be leaving regardless of what is happening with the game.

The Death of Adverbs

Once upon a time, the English language had a way to modify both nouns and verbs. Adjectives did the trick on the former and adverbs on the latter. You didn’t just have to walk, you could walk quickly!

Less vs. Fewer

Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Prevarication Junction

The Affect-Effect Divide


None is.

i.e. is not e.g. is not i.e.

Could of

Scan any document or business e-mail you write and make sure it’s correct
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Word. One Image. Meditation.

I am a big fan of flash fiction, Haikus, six word poems - anything short and meditative - is appealing to me. You can't get more simple and single than Spencer Burkes concept of "monotation."
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“LUMINATION”<br />MONOTATION - one image, one word, meditation - A daily visual meditation with one word to create space for personal reflection.Created by Spencer Burke. - Some images are available for personal use on a variety of products (journals, note cards, prints and wearables) at*
one image, one word, meditation

A daily visual meditation with one word to create space for personal reflection. Taken by Spencer Burke on his iPhone on the road - This is a on growing collection. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0

My desire is to encourage people to take a moment each day to reflect, center and meditate - using a simple image with one word to evoke understanding, love, self-refection, creativity, celebration, integration...

Daily Image posted on website, RSS feed and tweeted to subscribers. Some images are available for personal use on a variety of products (journals, note cards, prints and wearables) at*

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

5 Ways to Grow as an Artisit

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So how would a Cassatt or a Henri or Picasso approach painting differently than we do today? How might this heartfelt fear of others controlling our painting process impact our self-understanding as artists? Here are five possible answers:

1. Making a successful picture is not the goal.
2. The painting process is always a beginning.
3. Ignore non-artist authorities.
4. Get into a prolonged creative process.
5. Furnish the world with your beauty, let the world see, touch and feel who you are.

The life of Franz Schubert may suggest a model. He was so into the process of creating music that each of his new efforts was but an opportunity for little Franzel to become more Schubert. So, he would compose the work, let it go and move on. His students would then find the work, practice it and perform it for him afterwards, whereupon Schubert is reported to have said, “My, that is lovely. Who wrote it?”

This is the way to make art. Move in the direction of the greatest pleasure and excitement.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Does Organization = Success?

When we attribute a reason to someones success we tend to say they are extremely talented and creative, right? This is most likely true but it leaves out a very important reality: Organization or discipline. People who are successful work very hard! They stick to it and have many failures over time but they stay organized and disciplined.

In the article below, Scott Belsky, founder of and talks about how to achieve breakthrough with both creativity and organization.

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Scott Belsky: Creativity x Organization = Impact

As creatives, we often tend to dismiss organization as a necessity—or even to relish our own disorder. Yet Behance's research on particularly productive creatives indicates that organization is a key ingredient in making ideas happen. Founder Scott Belsky outlines how organization can magnify your creative impact.
About Scott Belsky
Scott believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive. As such, he has committed his professional life to helping organize creative individuals, teams, and networks.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Faith in your writing ability

There are lot of reasons why we shouldn't write or why we won't be successful. There are many starving artists in the world. We have to have faith in our ability and write daily no matter what the outcome...simply because we believe in ourselves.

How you do you use faith (religious or otherwise) in your writing discipline? Click the comment link or tweet us a reply!

Faith in oneself can be a tricky thing. We all have voices inside our head telling us that our writing is not good enough, that our story has already been told better by someone else, that we’d be better off getting up from our desk and going to the gym instead of hammering away at the same sentence for another hour. Those voices will never go away. Friends of mine who are very accomplished writers — winners of big prizes and big paychecks — say, in fact, that they only get louder. I think the difference is that more seasoned writers find a way to live with these voices. They recognize the doubt as being a familiar thing, and they don’t let it get in their way. I love a poem by Richard Wilbur called Source, and keep it by my computer to remind me what to do when the voices of doubt get too loud. This poem speaks to this reality — that no matter how grand or powerful you are, you still must take a leap of faith to tap into your creative source:

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Writers Prompt: Write an opening line for this picture

How would you start a story using the picture below as inspiration?

Maud didn’t realize that ‘doing the locomotion’ meant you were only supposed to go forward.

Give us your best 1-2 line opener!

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You have heard of the inner child, right? Now it is time to unleash your inner writing wizard with the helpful advice of Valery the entire article for great inspiration:

An Interview with Valery Satterwhite, Empowering the Wizard Within

Q: When and how did you first discover your own Inner Wizard™?

A: I discovered my Inner Wizard at a very young age. It spoke to me all the time, inspiring me and expressing what my heart longed for. I struggled in life because I didn’t honor and listen to this voice of my intuition and truth. Instead, I followed advice and direction from others and, in doing so, gave up my authenticity and personal power. I gave up my dream of being a dancer, gave up on allowing myself to express my truth. I lost touch with what inspired me, what gave me energy, what expressed my very soul.

Inner WizardQ: What led you to start empowering and expressing your Inner Wizard’s desires, and how do you facilitate this process in others?

In that moment a calm, powerful, knowing voice within me said “You can live the creative and delicious life you dream of, and mentor others to do the same.”

Please visit
Valery Satterwhite
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Music can inspire your writing...ask the Beatles

What can we, as writers, learn from the music of The Beatles? Quite a lot, honestly. But I’ll break it down into five simple elements for us all.

It’s not news that all types of art influence others. For me, films play a big part in giving me ideas for stories. Heck, Girl With a Pearl Earring was written from a painting with no story—so someone made one up. Music can also influence us in many ways. It creates mood; lyrics can spring ideas in our heads. And, as I’ll lay out, the ethics of a good band—and good writers—can be a great help.

#1  Hard Work and Perseverance


#2  Passion and Curiosity

#3  Respect – For Yourself and Others

#4 Ubiquitousness and Universality

#5 Esteem and Influence

Music has influenced me in so many ways I cannot even begin to list them.  Learn from the best to be the best, yet don’t imitate. Use what you see and make it your own and your writing will shine. I truly believe that. Now, get to writing something grand!

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