To The Beginning Writer…#156

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I do believe that I may finally be on the “mend”! The second surgery in three weeks was beginning to show progress. Then, they removed the staples and the incision site opened (I know that you did not want to hear that information, but sh*t happens). I now wear a pump vacuum over the site until it heals from the inside out. Uncomfortable, yes, is it working, yes. Although I am not doing anything but sitting most of the time, I am getting in all my back reading and a bit of research.

One part of my research took me back to the fundamentals of writing. I believe that being a writer is all about continually evolving and improving. Sometimes it helps to start as if you have not written at all. Read your work, being a writer is about being an editor of your own work. It is essential, after writing something, to read it carefully, editing out typos and punctuation errors (I sometimes make this mistake after years of writing).

I personally find reading the words “aloud” as if I were reading the content for the first time helps. Wordy writing is a hallmark of amateur writers, so as a rule you should try to reduce the word count when you proof read. If a word does not need to be there, get rid of it. I have been guilty of this many times; I call it cleaning out the garbage. Use a grammar checker, if you use Microsoft Word as your word processor, there are a host of grammar checking features.

Take a course, its well worth investing in your writing skills if you are serious about being a writer. I took a course when I first begin to write at the University of Wisconsin, where the instructor told me that I was a storyteller, but needed to develop my own voice. In addition, I was to edit, edit, edit.

A little book called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott was and still is my writer’s bible, my inspiration. Next, read Shrunk and White’s “Elements of Style”, it is essential to read what will help you avoid commonly made mistakes. Working with the public, I had two individuals that help me through the tough times. The first was my boss who gave me writing projects then covered the paper with “blue ink”, he continued patiently with me until I had the project correct. The second was my last boss before retirement that I worked ten years, he would write his projects and I would correct them and send a fresh copy back to him. He would sign and most times get a nice reward for my work. I never got upset at either; I was learning lessons that would take me down the path to writing. There is a huge amount to learn, I study the craft almost daily, but it is a very enjoyable journey.



Author’s books at and Barnes&

7 thoughts on “To The Beginning Writer…#156

  1. I’m very glad to hear that you’re on the mend! Coincidentally, I’ve been working all week on developing two new writing courses, the first one of which is “The Writing Process.” (I never tire of the writing process. There is always something new for me to learn!)

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