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Entries in writing (39)


The dirty dozen and how to avoid messy online content

Here are 12 common mistakes people make when writing web copy and easy fixes.

1. The presentation is hard on the head and the eyes.
You can't take text from a report and upload it onto your web site. The writing will be too formal, and the presentation too dull. Instead, break up your pages into bite-sized chunks of easily readable copy by using:

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The Funeral Skirt

I smoothed the fabric over my hips and noted how luxurious the silk lining felt against my legs. It was a lovely skirt with strong, straight seems. It fit me perfectly, falling just to the top of my knees, with a narrow patent leather black belt that cinched my waist.

"Buy that skirt. You'll get a lot of use out of it," said my friend Denise.

I couldn't imagine how. I had recently left a staff position with a big publishing company to work as a freelance journalist. I was at the stage of researching and pitching story ideas from my home office while wearing yoga pants. I hadn't had a face-to-face meeting in months and didn't have any on the horizon. How would a charcoal grey, high-waisted pencil skirt prove useful?

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2013: Create more, consume less

I reached a few personal milestones in 2012, like finishing my masters, publishing my first book, and landing a regular part-time teaching gig. I am admittedly a little concerned about keeping the momentum going in 2013, but hope that these resolutions will help me stay focused. My guiding principle for 2013 is to create more and consume less. I was criticized for not being specific and measurable in resolution lists past, so how's this?

1. Run 1,000 kilometres.

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Nine suggestions for promoting your book

Authors today are more responsible for marketing their books than ever before. For self-publishers this is assumed, but even for authors such as myself who publish using a hybrid model (assuming more production costs up front for a larger percent of sales royalties), the commitment to actually getting our books into the hands of readers can take as much time and energy as the writing itself.

While this list is in no way complete, it does reflect what was successful for me, and may help guide new authors wondering where to begin. Although my experience was in publishing a printed book, I believe it can be modified for e-books. This list assumes you've written a compelling, well-edited and sellable book. Without that, no amount of effort will save you.

Before your book is published:

1.  Connect with writers, editors, publishers, librarians, and booksellers.

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Super Swe-e-e-e-t Blogging Award

I'm flattered to have received a Super Swe-e-e-e-t Blogging Award from Anne O'Connell ( on September 29. I like this idea as a way for us writers to find a community and highlight each other's work.

I'm also happy to participate because I don't have a blogroll on my site, but there are some terrific blogs I follow. This gives me an opportunity to encourage those bloggers to continue their valuable work and to refer readers to them using my Baker's Dozen.

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