Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide for Better Writing

Online Proofreading Guide. Photo Credit – Flickr: tonxA proofreading guide is like a dessert menu.

It presents the third course to your creation meal that involved writing as a first course and editing as a second course.

Since proofreading is the last step you take before publishing, it’s obviously an important one—you want to ensure perfection.

It’s heartbreaking to find an error in a final document that has already been released for the world to see.

But before proofreading is the most appropriate revision procedure, there are important steps that you can take during the writing process to make sure your message is strong and direct.

Unlike the first edition of my proofreading guide, which only explained proofreading techniques, the second edition of Your Ultimate Online Proofreading Guide also establishes methods to keep your thoughts clear and organized while you write and edit. [Read more…]

You’re the Master Storyteller: On Writing & Editing Your Life

How to Overcome Heartbreak Without Projectile VomitingYour right hand lifts your coffee mug to your lips, and you take a sip of the beverage that will activate your editing sensibilities.

After the drink’s vessel rests securely back on your desk, you look at your computer monitor, blink a few times, and glance down at your keyboard as you fiddle with your mouse.

Since you’ve already completed a rough draft of your writing, improving it should be simple.

Nonetheless, editor’s block has plugged the flow of your creative juices.

How do we end up in situations that require literary Drano?

A rough draft is the first step in the writing process, but you must stay vigilant.

The words that we initially transcribe aren’t always the purest and most accurate manifestations of our intentions.

You get to manipulate your creation until it satisfies your vision.

The evolution of a document is comparable to the evolution of human character.

We encounter editor’s block in our writing for the same reasons we get stuck in life:

We’ve made choices that have produced a present unhappiness and don’t feel we’re capable of making new choices that will alleviate our frustrations.

We’ve fallen down a well, and there’s nothing but darkness.

We don’t know how to get out. [Read more…]

Is There Actually a Way to Get Over Heartbreak?

Buy the Book - How to Overcome Heartbreak

Once your fairy tale ends and you’re forced to face a heartbreaking reality, you don’t want to hear more bullshit.

Unfortunately, traditional talk about getting over heartbreak is as aggravating and distracting as the situation that broke your heart.

How to Overcome Heartbreak Without Projectile Vomiting: A Guide for Cynical Hopeless Romantics is the only heartbreak book that doesn’t mention your Ex.

Aren’t you tired of lamenting about everything that’s wrong with him or her?

When relationships, dating, and love are the themes of get-over-heartbreak discussions, solutions focus on getting over the people who hurt you.

But heartbreak isn’t about them.

It’s about You.

How do you let heartbreak change your behavior?

[Read more…]

On Erections & Nonfiction Essays

Nonfiction Essays. Photo Credit – Flickr: mugley

“All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.” Marcel Proust

Many creations begin with the intent to communicate an emotion or state of mind.

Nonfiction essays are no exception, but unlike works of fiction, nonfiction writing rests upon a straightforward notion that the writer and reader share the same reality.

Instead of transporting you to a fictional universe with imagined circumstances and characters, the nonfiction writer observes and deconstructs the world that is already familiar to the reader.

With fiction, there is an implied distance between the writer and the manuscript and necessary space between the writer and the reader. The story is disconnected from the author.

This is also the case in some nonfiction work, but reflective, prescriptive, or philosophical essays tend to incorporate the author. The reader views a topic through the writer’s mind.

This type of nonfiction writing can cause an uneasiness and anxiety for the author when a piece of text is published, promoted, or read at a later time. The essay may have been erected from an emotion or state of mind that no longer exists for the author.

The erection is fleeting; the creation is permanent.

Does such a case affect a nonfiction essay’s authenticity? [Read more…]

How to Be Smart in a World Full of Dumb Tattooed People

Photo Credit – Flickr: Nina Matthews PhotographyThey’re so gross, aren’t they?

I don’t know the exact group of people you have beef with, but I’m sure you have beef. Humans love disliking other groups of people because we love to blame everything that is wrong on someone or something else.

Our perceptions of what is wrong are innately external. You would prefer a situation to be different, but it’s not, so your human instinct decides to be pissed off about it.

Unfortunately, facts aren’t going to magically change just because you don’t like them, and excessive lamenting is a waste of energy.

Let’s focus on energy for a minute.

We all want more energy—especially in a society where “tired” and “busy” are common, acceptable, and often preferred responses to the question “how are you?”

Everyone has important tasks to accomplish and feels there is never enough time to get it all done. Energy helps us execute our to-do lists.

So, why do we waste so much energy “liking” and “disliking?” [Read more…]

What Tattoos Can Teach Us About Art & Writing

The Philosophical Functionality of the Tattoo: A Philosophy of ArtTen years ago, the two words that most accurately described my identity were “philosophy” and “tattoos.”

Philosophy consumed my life as an undergraduate student, and tattoos were my favorite hobby—one that I incorporated into my studies as much as possible.

When it came time to pick a topic for my honors thesis before my senior year, the decision was a no-brainer.

Justifying my topic to the faculty in the philosophy department at my college was another story.

Since anthropology was one of my minors (studio art was the other), the philosophy professors were quick to dismiss my idea of using tattoos as a focus for a philosophical examination of art.

Luckily, my faculty advisor saw potential in my perspective and convinced his peers to hear more about my paper in a meeting.

The objections that I faced stated the obvious: [Read more…]