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Category Archives for The Craft

Why Every Writer Needs to Audit Their Past Work

As a writer, what do you do after you have penned and even published a piece of writing? Whether you write publicly or privately, you often want to move on to a new creation and leave the written work behind you.

After all, you have accomplished the uphill task of creating the content. So why not let that work belong to the people or die somewhere in the corner of the internet?

Or, if you are like me, allow it to gather dust in your archives, then later give it a new home in the trash can. Never to look at it again, while convincing yourself that only greatness lies ahead of you with a new piece.

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Editing Techniques for Writers with ADHD

Let’s pretend you live and breathe writing: Your blog is a labor of love, you’re passionate about the YA novel you’ve been writing for months, and you enjoy writing articles for your clients. But also imagine this: You’re easily distracted by random thoughts, overlook important directions, and miss crucial details you were supposed to include. 

Both scenarios are the reality for professional writers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that restricts a person’s ability to concentrate and control impulses. It’s not a simple childhood disorder; among adult cases, 41.3% are deemed severe, according to the CDC

It can seem impossible to edit long-form writing like a feature article, an educational e-book, or even a novel with ADHD. You have to have the commitment, patience, and detailed precision to make your draft as clean and reader-friendly as possible, especially if you don’t have an editor or proofreader. However, you don’t have to let ADHD control your editing time. There are ways to mitigate your symptoms so that you can edit your long-form document no matter how close to the deadline it is.

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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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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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