The Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd

Today’s post is in conjunction with Grammarly.com. Grammarly recently celebrated their 7 million grammar enthusiast fan-base by conducting a survey: what makes up a “grammar nerd.” I thought their findings were pretty interesting and felt it would be appropriate to share the infographic here.

Do you consider yourself a grammar nerd? Do you fit in any of the findings below? Do you even care about grammar? Check it out, and then feel free to sound off in the comments section below:Anatomy of a Grammar Nerd Infographic

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May Update

Hey, awesome readers!

Just wanted to share some cool updates with ya’ll. There’s so much going on for me this month, so I’m doing my best to take one thing at a time. You ready? Here we go!


Website Redesign

If you have been hanging out at my blog for a while, you’ll notice I just did a huge overhaul of my website. Yes, I did it all by myself. 🙂 I am very proud, especially since I used a free WordPress theme, and I only spend about $45 per year on my domain + mapping it from my host (Network Solutions) to WordPress. It took me several hours to get everything just right, but I am pleased with the overall design. Hope you guys like it too!


 

TODAY: Special Event

One of my YA author friends is hosting a Facebook event all day long today, and you can join the event by clicking HERE. Other authors will be “taking over” during the day, including yours truly at 3:30pm PST. We’ll have some cool giveaways, so stop by—you just might win something!


 

Buzz Bookstore Excerpt Contest

I am trying to get my work “out there” even more this year, especially since my Spirit Lake series is now in the hands of my publisher, Cosby Media Productions. Something I discovered is an Except Contest, hosted by Buzz Bookstore. If I win, I will get three months of free exposure on the Buzz Bookstore site, which would be AMAZING!

Would you do me a favor and watch my video and then give it a share or two? Every bit helps! Check it out below:


Spirit Lake Review Opportunity

And speaking of getting my work “out there,” there is a special review opportunity for my debut novel, Spirit Lake! You can read my book for FREE in exchange for an honest review. To sign up to review my book (I REALLY need some reviews, too!), click HERE.

A HUGE Thank You to LIEP Promotions for hosting my book and providing the opportunity for book reviews. 🙂

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Current Projects

So…what’s next for me? Well, my second book, The Wrong Fairy Tale, will be out next month! Woohoo! Paperbacks for both Spirit Lake and The Wrong Fairy Tale will be available in July—exciting!

I’m working on the third installment of the Spirit Lake series, titled Freak Show, which will hopefully be out later this year. I’m super stoked for this story and can’t wait to share teasers with you guys over the summer.

I am also working on a few secret projects, including a surprise for the Spirit Lake series. I’ll let you guys know any news I can share when the time is right. 😉


Under Development

Coming up, something exciting (I hope!) for authors/writers: an easy sign-up sheet in order to be featured on my blog. I LOVE being able to give back to the writing and reading community by featuring authors/writers and their work. I am working on a way to make things easier on me to host and on those who want to be featured on my blog. Of course, there will be some basic criteria for guest posts/features, but nothing crazy. When things are all set and sign-ups are live, I’ll make the announcement. Keep your eyes peeled for the update!


Editing Tip

Quick editing tip: Not sure about the wording for that new novel you’re writing? Take a break from writing and read your work OUT LOUD. It’s easier to catch choppy sentences and word repeats when you read aloud. 😉

If you’re looking for a professional editor, you can contact me by clicking HERE for more information or a quote.


 

Well, that’s all for now. Hope you’re all having a fabulous week! And don’t forget to check out my latest book HERE.

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Monday Motivation: Read This Cool Stuff VI

Well, I’m not gonna lie: this Monday is particularly rough since I’m working early and got just a few hours of restless sleep last night. But sometimes, that’s how it goes. I could definitely use some motivation today to get me through the week, and I’m sure you’re in a similar boat. Therefore, I bring you three great articles to check out:

1. How to Write Better: 7 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Writing by Jodie Renner on The Write Life

This is a GREAT article. It explains how to simplify your writing in order to have a greater impact on readers. All the tips given are ones I stand by, especially as an editor. In fact, most, if not all, of the tips sound exactly like what I would tell my own clients. Even if you don’t think you’re struggling with consolidating your writing, give it a read. How to declutter your writing is never a bad thing to study, no matter your level of expertise on the matter.

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2. 45 Tweetable Quotes About Creativity to Inspire Your Next Big Idea by Lindsay Kolowich at HubSpot

The title says it all: quotes that will help inspire your next big idea. I often write down quotes I find inspirating in my journal, and when I have a blah kind of day, I look back over the quotes and feel much better after. Check out these quotes and see if you can find a few that speak to you.

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3. 5 Top Social Media Dashboard Tools to Manage Your Social Accounts by Pooja Lohana on JeffBullas.com

Again, it’s all in the title for this article. Not only does this post provide a list of the top 5 tools, but it also gives readers a breakdown of the benefits of using such tools. As your small business, freelancing gig, or author platform grows, I guarantee that you will get to a point where you need such tools. Social Media is everything nowadays, whether we like it or not. So, I highly recommend you checking out this article to see if any of these tools will work for you. 

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That’s all for now, folks. Hope you have a great week. And, remember: if you’re in need of an editor, make sure you contact me! 🙂

Self-Editing in 9 Easy Steps

(As previously seen on the HelaWrite blog.)

I write EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even if it’s texting, I consider that a form of writing. Most of the time, however, I write at least an e-mail and blog post each day. Culturally, many of us have become lazy in regards to self-editing/proofreading what we write. In a world where our version of shorthand is “TTYL” or “U” for “You,” abbreviations are the gateway to lazy writing and lazy editing.

Let’s change that.

Since the age of 12, I’ve taken self-editing very seriously. I’m nowhere near perfect, but my “editing detective eyes” have become better and better as time has progressed. Taking your own communications seriously will prompt others to take you seriously, too. Trust me on this one.

I’ve created some resources to help you out with self-editing. These resources don’t replace another set of eyes (or a professional editor), but they will help immensely, especially if you’re helter skelter when it comes to your own writing.

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This checklist is simple and straightforward:

1. Check spelling—don’t rely on spell check for everything, either!

2. Check grammar—ditto to the above ^

3. Proofread your article, e-mail, blog, etc. at least 3xs—don’t be lazy!

4. Review the context/meaning of your wording
-Did you use the right words? (See the common grammar mistakes info graphic below)
-Do you have misplaced/dangling modifiers? http://www.writingcentre.uottawa.ca/hypergrammar/msplmod.html
-Is your message clear and concise?
-Did you cut/edit unnecessary wording?

5. Check your dates & times (if applicable)

6. Check your sources (if applicable)

7. Check your links (if applicable) NO ONE appreciates a broken/incorrect link

8. If you are sending an e-mail, double check your recipient list (and if it’s not an inter-office communication, best practice is to BCC recipients to protect privacy)

9. If working in a Word/Pages document, save often

You can find my checklist on Evernote (I’ve shared it publicly) by clicking HERE. Feel free to copy it to your own Evernote notebook so you can actually use the check boxes that are not shown in this post.

I’ve also made an infographic (my first!) about common grammar mistakes. Check it out by clicking HERE.

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There are, of course, so many more elements to editing, but this is a great start. The resources here can definitely get you through your next e-mail or blog post. However, if you find yourself in need of a professional editor, well…you know where to find me. Happy editing!

The Importance of Brevity (In Exactly 500 Words)

As a writer, it will probably be my life-long struggle to pare down my words and get to the points that really matter. Even in fiction, there’s a line you shouldn’t cross when it comes to the overuse of details. It’s more obvious in non-fiction, especially in journalism-type writings. No matter what the communication avenue, brevity plays a key role in successfully conveying a message.

“Good things, when short, are twice as good.”
—Gracián

As an editor, a key component of my services to my clients includes helping them to develop their projects while getting rid of the chaff. We’re not in high school anymore, so we shouldn’t write bullsh**. If we do, our credibility is apt to go down the toilet. With so much quality content just a Google search away, it is crucial to be clear and concise with our words.

Even editors need editors. My first novel, with notes from my editor. Which is also what I do for my clients.

Even editors need editors. My first novel, with notes from my editor. Which is also what I do for my clients.

Here are 5 simple rules to follow when constructing a communication piece:

  • Write it ALL (Similar to “free writing,” write without abandon, and get all your thoughts out of your brain.)
  • Re-read it while doing a simultaneous edit, at least 3xs (This is where you begin to make sense of everything and weed out the garbage.)
  • Read it aloud (Reading to yourself is one thing; hearing it spoken is a whole different bear.)
  • Ask someone to look over it (If it’s an important piece, another eye is always good. If that’s not an option for you, however, just go over it one more time by yourself; you’ll be surprised to find that it still needs tweaking.)
  • Send it, publish it, deliver it (Release your baby into the world!)

Sometimes, it’s necessary to write something not so brief. However, most of us are guilty of adding in too much fluff. Maybe it’s a culture thing, maybe it’s how we’ve been taught. Either way, in my personal and professional experience, the more clear our communication is, the more beneficial it is.

And, a well-expressed piece of communication is just damn good.

Try the above “rules” when you construct your next e-mail or blog post. You don’t have to be a professional writer; you simply need to take a few extra minutes to do some rewriting and self-editing. The more you practice, the more effective you’ll be with writing and communicating. You can become a better communicator if you put some effort into it.

“Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
—William Strunk, Jr.

Do YOU have tips to share about the importance of brevity? Leave a comment!

Click HERE to read an article from WebAIM about writing clearly and simply.

Looking for an editor? Contact me TODAY and get a free quote! Let’s work together.