Monday, April 22, 2013

when 1 + 1 = 1

I may be revealing a bit of my word nerd tendencies here, but this article is pretty funny. Since it's gorgeous out and my 3 year-old entertains herself much better outdoors than inside, I'm catching up on blog reading (see previous post) while enjoying the fresh air. My neighbors probably think I'm kooky for laughing to myself, but anyone with a bit of interest in word funnies will enjoy this piece as well.

To pique your interest, let me give a brief overview:

Do you write "a miss" or "amiss?"

Would you choose "a float" or "afloat?"

Is it "intact" or "in tact?"

If you're even remotely curious about the correct way to write these words, check out "Two Words or One? Words You Might Be Misusing." 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

blogs for writing/writers

Question(s) of the day: How many blogs do you have bookmarked? And from that list, how many do you read regularly?

My toolbar features about 20 of my favorite blogs, and I wish I had time to read through the posts daily. I often play catch-up when I find a minute or two of extra time on my hands, but I wish I could manage to check in more.

Since it's already difficult to keep up--there's just so much great stuff out there!--it takes a really, really interesting blog to entice me to add it to the toolbar these days. But recently I found one:'s Writing & Editing blog. If you are a writer, a self-proclaimed grammarian, or a professional who writes for your company, be sure to check it out!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

on content mills

The other day I was perusing my bookmarked blogs and came across this article by Carol Tice: In Which I Confront Content Mill Owners About Their Rates...In Person. Pretty interesting stuff.

The title caught my eye because the subject of content mills comes up often in writer's discussion forums. For anyone unfamiliar with content mills, the gist is this: they're (online) companies who hire large numbers of writers to churn out articles on an assortment of topics, from business tactics to parenting issues to how to build car engines. The catch is that writers are paid very little while the articles often gain quite a bit of visibility.

There are many arguments against content mills. Many freelancers loathe them because they denounce the freelance profession, driving down rates and producing (sometimes) shoddy content. Others manage to eek out a meager living writing for mills...apparently these folks can research and write uber quickly and don't mind making $3/hour for their efforts.

My personal thoughts are mixed. I have written for mills in the past. I used the experience as a bridge when I didn't have time to market to clients, soon after my second child was born and I was overwhelmed with kidstuff, but I knew I needed to continue writing to keep my skills up. The thought of earning some money was also enticing, even though I knew the compensation was peanuts when compared to working with "real" clients.

I got the hang of the game quickly and chose titles that were similar so I could cross-research to save time. I never felt as if I skimped on quality, writing-wise, but after the editorial review process (this particular mill does employ editors; some do not) there were times my articles seemed to actually lose quality. Since I maintain high standards for my writing, his didn't make me too happy.

After reviewing my end o' the year earnings, I realized I had worked really hard but hadn't made that much money. So I discontinued my relationship with the mill.

And so I see both sides of the argument.Which brings me back to my interest in this article. Check it out. Let me know what you think. Even better, comment on Carol's blog. I'm sure she'd love to continue this discussion!

photo credit: href
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Monday, December 10, 2012

15 writing prompts

Writers don't always grab their coffee, sit down at the computer, and start pounding out sentences. Sometimes we grab our coffee, sit at the computer, and stare blankly at the screen for what seems like eternity.

That's called writer's block--and it happens to even the best writers.

Writer's block is incredibly frustrating, and sometimes the only way to pull yourself out of a slump is to just...well, write. Writer's prompts terrific tools for helping the words move from your head to the page. Basically you're given a starting point, so there is no blank page, which is the proverbial wall (i.e., block) that holds us back.

For a few handfuls of writing prompts--15, to be exact--check out this piece on Brownstone Publication's blog.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

should you blog?

Instead of tracking the election today--there won't be any real news until this evening as the polls close, anyway--I've spent some time this afternoon catching up on reading favorite blogs.

Here's an article that's useful for anyone wondering whether they should start a blog, or considering why they should continue to post, even if they're not a "pro-blogger."  Great info here!

From Aliventures:
5 Great Alternative Reasons to Blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

UBC final wrap up & final thoughts

Today is the 31st and final day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Posting each and every day has definitely been a challenge, but it's also been a good experience. To wrap things up, here are a few random thoughts about this month.

1. I am happy to say I completed the daily posting goal, but I wish I had been able to find time to read (and comment) on more blogs. I tried to read at least a couple every day, but there were some days I wasn't able to read any. There were a lot of great posts out there, and I'm sorry I couldn't get to all of them!

2. The UBC was a great opportunity to evaluate the direction that I want to take this blog. While I won't be posting every day from here on out, I will make an effort to post more frequently than I did before (prior to October).

3. This surprised me: writing posts got easier! And I became faster at writing them! Things seemed a bit more effortless! And that's a good thing. Hey, even writers suffer from writer's block sometimes, or take longer than they'd like to construct an article!

4. I need to find a few more free images sites. I think I've exhausted, and some of the other supposedly "free" sites I had bookmarked weren't free, really.

5. Thank you to those who took the time to read my posts, and thanks again if you commented and/or shared. I appreciate the support! I have started following a few other participants' blogs and will do my best to keep up with them in the future. There are many awesome blogs out there chock full of great information.

If you participated in the UBC, how did you do? Were you happy with your results? Do you feel you made some new connections? What will you do next?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

why businesses need blogs

Stock Photography: Planet earth. Image: 198392
In an era where it couldn't be easier to share content, it's a wonder why every business doesn't have a blog.

You've got one, right?

No?! Well, don't worry. You aren't alone. Actually, there are still a lot of businesses (and organizations) that have yet to launch a blog.
© Photographer: Foto_jem | Agency:

They know it's a beneficial way to grow an audience, reach customers, and share information, but for one or more reasons, they've yet to get started.

If you haven't joined the blog bandwagon, consider doing so in 2013. You'll have a couple months to get a game plan together--consider topics, decide which platform to use, figure out who will write the posts--and you can hit the ground running at the start of the new year.

One of the first steps you might take, if you are considering blogging, is to read this article: 6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog.

And hearing from those who already have a blog in place might help, too. So let me ask this: if you blog for your business, why do you do it? How have you benefited from having a blog? What tips can you offer to those new to blogging? And if you'd like to share a link to your blog, please do that as well!