Even though most of us, thankfully, won’t ever need to confess to crapping the bed, we will all have moments when human dignity seems a distant memory.
If we’re writers, we’re going to be tempted to write about those moments – and even put our stories where other people can read what we’ve written. That can be risky, even borderline masochistic. My grandmother, for example, once told me that “ladies’ names and ladies’ faces are never seen in public places.” And yet, here I am, ready to write about . . . well, you know.
And, when I imagine my younger son reading this, I see a deadpan expression and hear these words: “Oh, Mother . . . you didn’t. Please tell me you didn’t.”
Over the past 14 months, I’ve had four colon surgeries, three of them extensive, plus five colon stretchings. In a stretching, a colonoscopy-like outpatient procedure, “balloons” of increasing diameter are inserted into the colon, theoretically stretching its capacity and fighting against collapse.
Even though I’ve clearly fallen down on blogging on this site, I have been blogging regularly on writing topics. Here’s what I’ve written recently for The Search Guru:
Interview of K.D. Sullivan: K.D. is a well published writer and CEO of Untreed Reads Publishing. Find out what K.D. has to say about proofreading and more, including the importance of style sheets.
Proofreading tips: Here, I interviewed numerous professionals to find out how they proofread – and I also share stories of embarrassing misses and near misses, including one of my own.
How to show empathy in writing: For Valentine’s Day, I blogged about the effect of true empathy and how to cultivate the trait for more effective writing (and overall living, for that matter!).
Finding expert sources: Newer writers often find themselves in a Catch-22 situation when they attempt to get experts to bolster up the authority of their writing. Here are practical solutions to the dilemma.
Power of storytelling: Storytelling skills are important to develop. Here’s why. People like to connect with other people – and storytelling is a perfect vehicle to create connections.
Jargon in quality content: Here is a defense – kind of, sort of – of the use of jargon in quality content, at least in certain situations.
Breaking through online noise: There is so much content online nowadays, with each piece shrieking for our attention. How do we smash through that noise and what is the proper role of controversy in content?
Year of the audience: “Content is king.” That phrase appears all over online – and is great for writers to hear. It boosts our egos. But, I predict that 2014 will really be the year of the audience. Find out why.
Trusted sources: It’s hard enough sometimes to find sources for journalistic pieces of writing, and it can be harder still to decide which ones are the most reliable. Here is my take on the situation.
Here, I wrote a guest blog post about finding the best writing assignments in the Searching for the Happiness blog. In the post, I share five important characteristics found in many successful writers, along with places to find quality assignments.
Wildly creative, while following the precise rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation
Assertive with editors, while sticking to their exact guidelines
And you must be willing to:
Keep an editor up to date with your progress, without bothering her
Work hard on a project, with no guarantee of another assignment
For seven years, I worked as a freelance writer, toiling under that unspoken job description, and it was tough treading those invisible boundaries with editors. Then, from 1997-2001, I worked as the managing editor of a magazine in Ohio. Those years were extremely rewarding and enlightening, and they gave me a chance to see the unique challenges inherent in the other side of the publishing equation.
2013 was a crazy year for me, in more ways than I can count. I’ll spare you the moment-by-moment details, which aren’t all that interesting; suffice it to say that all was capped off when I discovered that I needed to redo my website — as you can plainly see.
Yes, I could get the old files and upload, but I’ve decided to look upon this as an adventure, rather than a problem, and create the website I want. In the meantime, I apologize for the sparseness of the site.