New Feature | Weekly Writing Tips

In an effort to make my blog more stimulating, I’ll be offering weekly writing tips to help aspiring writers improve their skills. What qualifies me to give writing advice? For one, I’m an avid reader and I read with a critical eye. I often find errors in grammar and syntax in professional published novels. In addition, I hold a BA in English and I am a certified English/Language Arts Teacher. I currently serve as an adjunct faculty member at a local community college where I teach essay-writing and literary analysis. I also recently earned my JD¬† (not that a legal degree inherently makes one a good writer).

Besides all of my fancy credentials, I just love writing and reading. I haven’t really been able to “grow” my blog because I’ve been so busy with school for the last three years. I’m still busy, BUT I am only studying now…not working/studying/stressing, etc.

So far, I’ve brainstormed a number of topics that might work for getting my weekly feature started:

1. Homonyms/Synonyms/Antonyms

2. Passive Voice (How to Avoid It)

3. Essay Planning and Structure

4. Drafting Personal Statements and Cover Letters

5. Descriptive Details

These are the basic topics that I want to cover for now. I’ll also post some sample essays developed for my students. One of my most popular blog posts was one on character essays – Goldilocks, in particular. I didn’t get a ton of comments, but the post continues to garner a ton of views. Another popular post was piece on “Only Daughter” by Sandra Cisneros. Based on the popularity of these posts, I know that students are out there looking for answers that aren’t found in their textbooks.

If you have more ideas for helpful writing tips that you’d like to see posted, please leave a comment below.

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Book Review | Time to Write by Kelly L. Stone

After beginning my adventures in blogging and becoming much more serious about producing a novel, I found myself stuck in a rut. During this time, I turned to my first love (reading) and began this blog to record my thoughts and reactions to my readings.

Browsing along the shelves in Barnes & Noble, I found the book Time to Write by Kelly L. Stone, which served as a catalyst to renew my writing spirit. Time to Write does not serve as a “how to write” this or that piece kind of book; Ms. Stone instead focuses on the reason that many writers have trouble writing; they simply can’t find the time to.

The book is a small size, very handy for throwing in a purse, bag, or briefcase and it covers topics ranging from how to find & schedule time to write daily, in writing blocks, or in other schedules of time that are detailed in the book, along with how to find inspiration in everything from conversations on the street to past experiences. Ms. Stone discusses how to turn children into “idea machines” rather than distractions and the importance of having your own “writing space” set aside and designated as your time to write.

Whether your reason for writing is personal, to become published, or to boost your business, Time to Write can serve as an excellent guide to help you learn how fit time into your busy schedule to write. Stone also enhances her commentary with quotes and advice from published writers, many of whom maintained families and/or professional careers when they became writers.

Visit www.kellylstone.com for more details on the author and her books.