Editing it down

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Your writing would be better if it were shorter. In my survey of business writers, the top complaint about what they read is that it’s too long. The top complaint about what they write is also that it is too long. We know we have a wordiness problem. But how do you edit things down? … Continued

The two words that (nearly) always cure writer’s block

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You’re sitting staring and the page. You don’t know what to type. And the deadline is looming. Two words will break your trance: “Look, stupid.” Allow me to explain. What causes writer’s block This advice is for nonfiction writers only. (If you write fiction, you need advice from somebody else.) There are plenty of rational … Continued

The asshole rate

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What is the cost of being a pain in the ass? When I started my freelance business six years ago, I took whatever clients I could get. After a year or so, as my reputation grew, there was a steady stream of people asking for my help. I charged them three different rates. Some people … Continued

Count words, not pages

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I often ask writers I’m coaching how many words will be in the piece they are planning to write. They frequently don’t know. They say things like “It will be about three pages long.” You should get used to thinking in word counts rather than page counts. Why? Because word counts are the best measurement … Continued

Audiobook narration tips for authors

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People bought over $2 billion worth of audiobooks in 2019, and the market continues to expand. If you’ve written a nonfiction book, it should be available in an audiobook format. But who should narrate it — you, or a voice actor? If you have an inclination to narrate your own book in audiobook format, I … Continued

This WordPress Gutenberg linking feature should be in every text editor

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WordPress includes a linking feature missing from every other text-editing application. They all ought to copy it. In 2018, Automattic, the parent company of the blogging platform WordPress, debuted the block-based editor Gutenberg for authoring blog posts. People hated it, but it made sense — advanced bloggers were building blogs out of blocks anyway. By … Continued

9 virtual workshop tips

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After conducting 15 clear writing workshops using videoconferencing tools, I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t. I originated my workshops for in-person delivery, but for the last year, I’ve been delivering them online exclusively. There has been a surge of demand since I went virtual — I think people are looking … Continued

Why you shouldn’t charge by the word

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I never charge by the word — for writing, for editing, or for anything. The principal at a PR firm recently hired me to write articles for one of their clients. I will be working with the firm and the client to create articles of about 1500 words appropriate for placement in business publications, based … Continued