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Grammar Is Sexy

Ever read a book and think, “Yes! Yes! YES!!! Where has this been all my life?”

I had that experience recently when I read On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Whereas many of the other books on my Resources page cover grammar, On Writing Well covers, well, writing.

The book’s subtitle is “The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction,” and after reading it, I have to agree. On Writing Well is the best guide I’ve yet read to the kind of writing people have to do every day. Zinsser touches on all topics, all genres, and all occasions of nonfiction.

Whether you want to start a successful blog, record your family history, or just write better emails, this book has your needs covered.

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Despite my best intentions, despite plenty of planning, I’ve fallen off the wagon.

Not the the AA wagon or the diet wagon, don’t worry. I’ve fallen off the wagon of writing regularly. I have reasons (or excuses, call them what you like). I spent the past couple weeks traveling to Michigan, Florida, and Georgia, visiting family and friends and getting some much-needed rest.

I told myself that of course I would have time to catch up on writing when I got back, but it’s been almost a week now. I’m still not back in the routine. And so it is that I write this post on the day I’m supposed to send it to you.

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“Human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made, and who made them. The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it”

– Austin Kleon, Show Your Work

While I’d like to think the above quote sums up the purpose of this blog, I realize that I haven’t talked too much about how I share my work with you, my readers. That’s why today I thought I’d give you an overview of all the cool websites and programs I use to create Grammar Is Sexy. Consider it a look at my digital workbench, if you will.

If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, these are the kind of tools you would use. Even if you have no interest in blogging, I hope you’ll enjoy this in the same way you might a tour of your favorite celebrity’s home or favorite musician’s studio.

For easy reference, I’ve grouped the tools as websites, software, and mobile apps (though some are web apps, so there’s a bit of crossover).

Let’s do it!

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Editing sucks. It’s boring. No one likes it. Not even me.

While I love helping other writers with their work, I hate editing my own writing.

It makes sense that editing your own work sucks. You’ve already spent hours on the first draft. You’ve fought for each word, kept writing even when you wanted to give up, and now you just want to be done.

I call this the ”A for effort” approach, and up until my second semester of college, it guided my writing process.

If I had a paper due for a class, I’d write it in a couple hours, read it over a couple times, and then turn it in. And I got solid grades and positive feedback, so I figured my method was sound. This approach got me through all of high school and one semester of college English.

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Today’s post is part of a new series I’m trying out. I’ve been writing long(ish) articles (1000+ words) lately, so I thought I’d give both of us a break by publishing something bite-sized.

The series is called ”How I Work,” and each post will cover something related to the nuts and bolts of editing. Today’s topic: how I make notes as I’m writing.

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