Writer’s Block – Myth or Malady?

This was the question bandied about in the #WrMatters Tweet Chat on Thursday June 28th. And just in case you missed it, here are the topics that we discovered along the way. Unfortunately, what we did not discover was an answer to the question: does writer’s block exist as a real phenomenon? Michelle Walkden of […]

Ante-Who?: Pronoun Usage in Technical Writing

Despite their small size, pronouns cause a world of trouble for writers of technical documents. First, if pronouns aren’t placed correctly, they can cause serious misunderstanding, and when documents are being revised often by multiple authors, these tiny words can get lost in the shuffle. Second, the many different classes and sub-classes of pronouns each […]

Proofreading 101

Proofreading is the final stage in the Writing Cycle. It seems like it should be the easiest of the six stages – just read through a document and be sure you haven’t made a complete fool of yourself. Yet we can all find numerous examples of the foolhardy, in ourselves as well as others, particularly […]

Pruning Overgrown Sentences

In a recent blog post, Fun Things to Do with Sentences, I suggested a few ways writers could avoid the tyranny of the subject-verb-object sentence structure. Oh, that all of us lived in such a despotic realm! Some of us wander the dark forests, wide prairies, and vast deserts of wild abandon where no such […]

The Little Things We Write

The Thursday May 31st edition of #WrMatters featured a discussion of the short messages that dominate our work days. We’re all professional writers throughout our working day as we jot down to-do lists, create status updates, tweet, draft headlines, and of course respond to email. Most of us on the chat realized how important the […]

Fun Things to Do with Sentences

In linguistic terms, English is an isolating language. That means word order matters, unlike say Latin, which is a highly synthetic language. In Latin, the function of a word can be deduced from its form. So a writer like Virgil could place the same words in any order, and the reader would still arrive at […]

Hello Short Stuff!

On Thursday, May 31st at 4 pm, Shakirah Dawud and I will host our bi-weekly Tweet Chat, #WrMatters. In our last conversation, we discussed how to begin a large writing project. You can see our suggestions on Shakirah’s blog post, Copywriting Process? What Copywriting Process? and on mine, Cubing, Reading, and Compiling – 3 Ways […]

5 Ways to Refresh Your Palette

No, that is not a misspelling in the title, although palette is a commonly confused word. I am not referring to our taste buds (palate), but to the tools of our craft, the raw material that we as writers apply to the canvas of our document, and which we unfortunately so often neglect, allowing our […]

Cubing, Reading, and Compiling – 3 Ways of Getting Started

On Thursday May 17, Shakirah Dawud and I held our bi-weekly tweet chat, Writing Matters. In past conversations, we focused on the Writer’s Triangle, discussing matters of context, author, audience, and purpose for professionals who write. In this edition we talked about process, specifically the beginning stages of writing a document. Shakirah and I are […]

Choose English

The English language has an uncountable number of words, possibly more than any other language on earth. There’s a simple reason for that. England is an island. Like all islands, its borders are difficult to defend without a powerful navy, which England did not develop until the late 1500s, under the reign of Queen Elizabeth […]