20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes I’ve edited a monthly magazine for more than six years, and it’s a job that’s come with more frustration than reward. If there’s one thing I am grateful for — and it sure isn’t the pay — it’s that my work has allowed endless time to hone my craft to Louis Skolnick levels of grammar geekery. As someone who slings red ink for a living, let me tell you: grammar is an ultra-micro component in the larger picture; it lies somewhere in the final steps of the editing trail; and as such it’s an overrated quasi-irrelevancy in the creative process, perpetuated into importance primarily by bitter nerds who accumulate tweed jackets and crippling inferiority complexes. Below are 20 common grammar mistakes I see routinely, not only in editorial queries and submissions, but in print: in HR manuals, blogs, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and even best selling novels. Who and Whom This one opens a big can of worms. Which and That Lay and Lie This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. Moot Nor
Refreshed review of Outlinely — a new outliner for Mac [Due to the major hash I made of my previous review of Outlinely, I have decided to start over with a (mostly) new review.] Thanks to the eagle-eye of one of the folks over at outlinersoftware.com, I was recently made aware of a new outlining application for Mac known as Outlinely (requires OS 10.8 or higher). Aside from the name, there is a lot to like about this nifty little app. The introductory price of $5 makes it a real bargain. Outlinely is a new option for people who use outlines for writing, planning, thinking, tracking, note-taking and more. The application has a clean interface that does feel a lot like a word processor, which is one of the goals stated by the developer. OPMLPDFHTMLRTFDOCMarkdown (it adds the markdown code for you — see the screenshot at the end of this article for an example)Plain text With Outlinely you can focus in on one topic. You can toggle topics between “done” and not done using the keystrokes command-D. Like this: Like Loading...
CriticMarkup Famous Writers' Small Writing Sheds and Off-the-Grid Huts Previous image Next image Roald Dahl's writing hut, The Gipsy House When I hear the phrase "writing hut" or "backyard shed" my imagination practically squeals with delight. Roald Dahl "The whole of the inside was organised as a place for writing: so the old wing-back chair had part of the back burrowed out to make it more comfortable; he had a sleeping bag that he put his legs in when it was cold and a footstool to rest them on; he had a very characteristic Roald arrangement for a writing table with a bar across the arms of the chair and a cardboard tube that altered the angle of the board on which he wrote. Mark Twain "It is the loveliest study you ever saw...octagonal with a peaked roof, each face filled with a spacious window...perched in complete isolation on the top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills. George Bernard Shaw Dylan Thomas "Dylan Thomas’s writing shed began its life back in the 1920s. Henry David Thoreau
Search Engines for Serious Writers June 20th, 2010 Finding the information you need as a writer shouldn’t be a chore. Luckily, there are plenty of search engines out there that are designed to help you at any stage of the process, from coming up with great ideas to finding a publisher to get your work into print. Both writers still in college and those on their way to professional success will appreciate this list of useful search applications that are great from making writing a little easier and more efficient. Professional Find other writers, publishers and ways to market your work through these searchable databases and search engines. Writing These helpful tools will help you along in the writing process. Research Try out these tools to get your writing research done in a snap. Google Scholar: With this specialized search engine from Google, you’ll only get reliable, academic results for your searches.WorldCat: If you need a book from the library, try out this tool. Reference Need to look up a quote or a fact? Niche Writers
Scribe - Intuitive Outliner My Journaling System - Resilient Joy Today I journal in one of the three devices I will usually always have at arm's length: my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. I used to have physical journals, but found that the benefits of using a digital journal far outweight having to carry an actual paper book. I would get frustrated having something great to write down but no journal anywhere in sight to capture the idea or the moment! Have you experience that? Or I'd use some random piece of paper only to lose it afterwards. And to complicate things further, writing on a piece of paper would get me distracted because I'd be really picky about my handwriting instead of actually focusing on writing my thoughts and ideas. Don't let your journal be like the bottom drawer of your desk lost with valuable items that you have collected over the years but none of which can ever be found when you look for them again because of how they were poorly stored. Once I began journaling digitally I have never looked back. Why this?
The Keystone Habit of Journaling Day One Journaling Series: Article 1 • Article 2 • Article 3 • Article 4 Once you have a solid reason to journaling and quality content to write on it about, the only thing you need is to actually start journaling. However, as I illustrated in part two of this series, starting a journal might not actually be as easy as it seems. It is hard to go from writing absolutely nothing per day, to recording mutiple things on the next. For this reason, the biggest road block people face when they begin to journal is developing a habit—it is very common too see people journal for about two weeks then stop. Why exactly does that happen? To better understand why so many people gave up on journaling during the first days I decided to study a bit about how habits work. How Habits Work I went to my university’s library in search of a good book about habits and eventually came across Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit book. According to Duhigg, the development of a habit is comprised of three parts: