7 Ways to Slow Down Life…and How That Helps Your Writing at Work

7 Ways to Slow Down Life…and How That Helps Your Writing at Work

(Pssst: Scroll down for an adorable picture of my horse and puppy!) I had an epiphany while hauling a horse to a clinic the other day: I realized it’s not helpful to tell people to slow down to be better writers. Why not? Because I can’t expect people to slow down just one single part of their lives without looking at the bigger picture of a whole life lived in a hurry. I can’t expect people to slow down just one single part of their lives without looking at the bigger picture of a whole life lived in a hurry. We’re doing everything...
Monday’s Mistake for June 14: Their, Their, Their

Monday’s Mistake for June 14: Their, Their, Their

What’s wrong with this sentence? “As interest in keeping her healthy increases, it bodes well for companies to do their part—for their customers, employees and their bottom line.” The writer got a little confused about the theirs, I guess. They didn’t need that second their before bottom line. It’s clutter. Plus it’s weird to put their before customers and bottom line but not before employees. That makes it seem like the employees could work for any company, I guess. The sentence is better without the extra their because it’s both...
Oh, Comma, You Little Trickster You, Leading Us Astray…

Oh, Comma, You Little Trickster You, Leading Us Astray…

(Originally published August 2017) Why do people struggle so with commas? It seems we either tend to over-do it or under-do it, and using commas correctly eludes us. Maybe that’s because the comma is so easy to use and so easy to leave out. It’s just a little bit of punctuation, lacking the hardness or a period after all, right? What harm can it do to guess? Well, in my opinion, it can do plenty of harm if it: Gets in the way of clarity Makes you look dumb Or does both 1 and 2 So let’s talk about an easy way to know whether or not...
Monday’s Mistake for June 14: Their, Their, Their

Monday’s Mistake for June 7, 2021: Comma Craziness + Clutter

I had an attack of acute gastritis a while back, although I didn’t know it at first. I thought I had a severely upset stomach, that’s all, although I was in a lot of pain and sleeping a lot. On the evening of the second day, I finally Googled my symptoms to learn it was acute gastritis. As much as I appreciated finding the information I needed so I could treat the ailment, I was distressed to see this crazy use of commas on a medical website: “There are several different types of acute gastritis. This is due to the fact that the...
To Write Better, Read More. Period.

To Write Better, Read More. Period.

(Originally published August 2017) Would you read more if you knew you would be a better writer at work? Because you will be. And reading will also benefit your physical, mental and emotional health too. Sadly, too many of us aren’t reading. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, less than half of adults in the U.S. read literature. And the Pew Research Center says 27% of adults go an entire year without reading a book. That’s sad on many levels. As they say, the person who doesn’t read is worse off than...