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comma splice

The Price of the Comma Splice

Part of my Master of Fine Arts in fiction offered the opportunity to work as a teaching apprentice and later, an adjunct, in college composition courses. For three semesters, I commuted three hours each way to sit in on, and teach, courses for college students learning how to become stronger readers and writers.

The most common grammatical error I came across was the comma splice. This sneaky devil has appeared outside of academia, too. I’ve seen it on websites, in business publications, and even in a novel. 

The instance that stood out the most to me was actually a sentence that was both a run-on and spliced. It had two comma splices. I don’t recall the exact wording, but it went something like this:

It was a difficult time in my life, I learned a lot about change and how to cope with it, I know I can tackle everything college has to throw at me.

A comma splice is when two (or more) independent sentences are separated only by a comma, as in the example above. Basically, it’s an example of glueing the sentence parts together in a way that can confuse the reader. 

Comma splices present a unique problem for readers: They make it unclear which clauses or phrases contain the most important information.

You’re probably thinking that unless someone is a grammar guru, they’re not going to care. The truth is that while, yes, some readers might not notice and/or care, there are readers who will notice, and not in a positive way.

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Charlie Gilkey

Writers’ Rough Drafts – Episode #56 With Charlie Gilkey

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Charlie Gilkey is an entrepreneur, philosopher, former Army officer, author, and Creative Giant. As the founder of Productive Flourishing, alongside his wife Angela, he helps people take action on the work and stuff that matter to them. As a speaker and business coach, he focuses on productivity and planning for creatives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Before this, he worked as a professor of philosophy (so yes, he’s an actual accredited philosopher!) at the University of Nebraska as he was earning his doctoral degree, while simultaneously managing a career as a Joint Force Military Logistics officer in the Army National Guard. 

The author of two books, The Small Business Lifecycle: A Guide for Taking the Right Steps at the Right Time to Grow Your Small Business and the forthcoming Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done, Charlie’s writing and work have always been based on theory and mindset, while focusing on information that is both practical and actionable.

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karma of writing

The Karma of Writing: 7 Types of Authorial Enlightenment

Writers are like ice cream: They come in different flavors. Some of us are plain vanilla, others are passion-fruit granita with creamy lime curd. Most of us try to find authorial enlightenment, which—like a karma of writing—promises nirvana once we go through enough hardships and lessons.

We are all different. You are special, just like everybody else. A catchy, tongue-in-cheek thing to say, and yet true in some esoteric way, as it can help you better understand yourself.

These are the qualities of this post as well.

The term karma of writing has a catchy ring to it. Just like everything that includes the words “karma,” “Zen,” or… “quantum,” it’s surrounded by a certain aura of mystique. To talk about the karma of writing almost sounds as if I were trying to sell a New Age book, doesn’t it?

Rest assured, I’m not. You see, this post is itself tongue-in-cheek. There is no actual karma of writing, and I’ve made up the seven types of authorial enlightenment, because seven is a satisfying number—would you have taken me seriously if I’d talked about the six or eight types of authorial enlightenment?

And yet, the post is true and it can help you better understand yourself. In particular, it can help you understand what kind of writer you are. Let’s get started!

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Victoria MacDonald

Writers’ Rough Drafts – Episode #55 With Victoria MacDonald

Or listen on: iTunes| Stitcher| Spotify| Google Play| Download

Victoria MacDonald is a writer, public relations expert, and social media influencer. A rough start in life, and her partner, Scott, being seriously injured in a helicopter incident, left her battling severe depression and had both of them trying to figure out how to make ends meet, especially since they had just purchased their dream fixer-upper home on a cliff overlooking the northeast coast of Scotland. Fortunately, Scott had a knack for websites and design, and started a money tips brand—but he needed content. Victoria’s first article was about how to save money when buying bananas, but the real win was noticing how this silly creative outlet gave her a bit of a boost from the black dog she was fighting. She started her own blog, full of funny anecdotes about her daily life, named greatHerday. 

Coupled with her work to build a following on social media, greatHerday took off, and before long, she and Scott were being invited on media trips and promotions all over the UK and beyond. Eventually, they renamed the website The Aye Life (as Scott was not well-represented in the “Her” part of their previous brand). With their work promoting their own brand to a following of over 50,000, and the destinations they traveled to, local businesses started approaching them for help with design, social media, and public relations (PR)—and they opened The Aye Agency, a digital and PR firm specializing in grassroots campaigns and personality-rich content.

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