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The One Word You Just Need To Remove From Your Vocabulary

There are a lot of words that we could do without in our language.

Mostly buzzwords that have stayed too long and expletives hurled out merely because someone is not crafty enough to find another word to use. Grammatically, language is filled with adverbs and adjectives that make sentences poetic, but often are not necessary to the base structure. These words are called modifiers (or qualifiers) and their purpose is to “describe and provide more accurate definitional meaning for another element.”

(Whew! Composition and grammar lesson over now!)

I am guilty of lacing my writing with modifiers. I think it is (in part) because I am a word geek, and apparently I manifest that obsession by cramming as many words as possible into a single sentence.Continue reading

The Blinker

For the past couple weeks it’s been happening.

I’ve been logging on with the best of intentions.  Intentions of updating my stuff with witty banter and deep insights.  Intentions of being useful and putting together some really good content for people to read.  Intentions of at least hitting “publish” as that little blinking blog cursor taunts me with it’s flashing.

Sure, I’ve had the random case of writer’s block that snuck up on me out of no where and reared it’s ugly head at some very inopportune moments.  Like that annoying ex that shuns and ignores you for years but suddenly decides to be your BFF again (generally about the same time you update your Facebook status to read “In A Relationship.”)Continue reading

Being Serious vs Being Taken Seriously

“Why would you ever use that as your profile picture?”

There wasn’t even a trace of sarcasm or concern in her question. It was pure horror. I might as well have been climbing up her chair trying to eat her brain.

“What do you mean? It isn’t a bad picture. I like it.”

We were discussing my choice to use the picture to the left out of all of the beautiful photos from the shoot Melissa Mullen did during my last visit home as my avatar on multiple social profiles.

“You have so many other pictures that look so much better. You aren’t making some weird stupid face.”Continue reading

Why “How To Be A Writer” Advice Is Usually Useless

How did you become a writer? How do I become a writer? How do I become a better writer?

Over the course of my 10+ years as a freelance writer, I’ve heard all these questions and a dozen variations on them. As soon as someone finds out that I spend my time sitting in cafes, sipping cappuccino, tortoise-rimmed glasses on, pouring myself into articles and stories, laughing aloud at the brilliant and witty prose I just created, they immediately want to know how they too can live such an illustrious life.Continue reading