Monday, March 19, 2012

A Short Piece of Advice (For Writers)

This advice takes the form of a popular children's song:

Be careful little eyes what you see.

The best advice I can give any writer learning to write is to watch whose advice you take. I have read hundreds of books, probably thousands, in my 41 years. I have been proofreading for 25 of those years. Consistently, I see people handing out advice who don't know what they are talking about.

So how to judge?

Look at their track record. How long have they been giving writing advice? Look at their success. Who recommends them and why? Look at their networking. How many services do they offer? Do they write often? Most of all, read their articles. Are you learning something from what they say? Is someone else?

Also, large organizations don't necessarily make for good advice. I appreciate someone's references, but their ability to write means more.

Here are my favorite writing advice columns:

Janice Hardy
http://blog.janicehardy.com/

Cecil Murphey
http://themanbehindthewords.com/

Daily Writing Tips
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/

And don't forget, writers must learn about words. It's not enough to rely on an editor or proofreader to correct you. I highly recommend signing up for the newsletters at the websites below.

Alpha Dictionary
http://www.alphadictionary.com/index.shtml

World Wide Words
http://worldwidewords.org/

My last piece of advice is turn on the punctuation/grammar checking tools in Microsoft Word. Believe it or not, it WILL help you prevent many common mistakes.

A good writer will always admit they continue to learn their craft. They strive to become better and are willing to admit their failings. However, be careful whose advice you take along the way. Form good habits and never stop growing.

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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