This post is part of the January 2012 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt: Winter Nightmare Another broad one: go wherever the prompt takes you. It can be fiction or non-fiction, the nightmare can be Cthulhu or just a struggle with a troublesome New Year’s resolution (or anything in between). At the end of the post, you’ll find
Today’s prompt: atardecer en la nieve
This post is part of the December 2011 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s prompt: Home for the Holidays Write about a holiday memory in 1,000 words or less, if possible. It can be fiction or non-fiction, and the choice of holiday is yours (fictional holidays are okay too). Perhaps you can invent an annoying relative.
It’s/Its is a common typo or mistake I see in my editing and, well, just about everywhere else.
Here are a couple tips that might help you remember the difference:
Remember that “it” is a pronoun, just like “him” and “her.” Just like “his” and “hers,” the possessive pronoun“its” never takes an apostrophe. You would never type “hi’s” and “her’s” would you?
“It’s” should only be used for the contraction of “it is.” If you’re ever unsure whether or not to use “it’s” try re-reading the sentence with “it is” instead. If it still makes sense, “it’s” is okay. If it doesn’t make sense, you’re probably looking for a possessive pronoun instead.
Today’s your last chance to sign up for May’s writing streak!(*) Write daily. Share your successes (and struggles) with other writers on a writing streak. Earn points and awards for extra motivation. A grand prize will be awarded to the writer who earns the most points: one free month of coaching (worth over $200) or comparable service.
Just head over to writingstreak.org and click on the registration tab (or click here) to register your username and e-mail address. You’ll receive a password to access the word count page tonight and you can start logging your word counts at writingstreak.org tomorrow. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook too!
Remember: The focus of a writing streak is not just words. Word counts are nice, but consistency and commitment are just as important. You will accumulate points based on how many days you’ve written, not just how many words. You can also earn bonuses for writing consistently.
(*) It’s not really your last chance. You can sign up any time before May 30th, but you’ll be missing out on some of the fun if you wait too long.
For May’s #WritingStreak, I want to play with an idea I’ve been fiddling around with for a while, and introduce a new site: writingstreak.org. I need your help though. I’ll need about ten people to get my test run off the ground, but I have room for up to fifty. You can even win some neat prizes just for helping out.
No Room for Writing?
Some days, between family, work, bills, and whatnot life is full of so much busy-ness there’s no more room for writing. But you want to write. You feel the itch to write. You yearn for it. Sound familiar?
At the end of the day, if I’m even awake enough to sit in front of the computer, I often feel like all of the creativity has been squeezed out of me and I’ve got nothing left for my own writing. My Inner Writer begs me to spend some time with her, to put her in front of the computer screen or even a blank piece of paper, but all too often, I turn away, putting her off yet again.
Join us for a #WritingStreak in May!
The idea behind a #WritingStreak is to commit to writing every day, even if it’s only a few notes about an idea, a snippet of dialog you overheard, or a snarky haiku about why you’re not writing more. By making this commitment, you’re telling your Inner Writer: “You’re important to me.” You may be surprised to see that your writerly life begins to flourish once you’ve committed to writing daily.
Join #WritingStreak to have fun with your committment. In addition to sharing your accomplishments with other writers on a #WritingStreak, you will receive awards for the words you log. You will be tallying your word counts on a shared spreadsheet, and earning points toward a variety of awards. A grand prize will be awarded to the writer who earns the most points: one free month of coaching (worth over $200) or comparable service.
Registration is easy, just sign up below with a username and your e-mail address. (Your e-mail address will never be shared with anybody else.) You’ll receive a password to access the page where you’ll tally your daily word counts. Then on May 1, start writing, start talling your words at writingstreak.org, and start earning awards for your progress.
Register below to join us for a #WritingStreak in May:
In a previous life, I was an Administrative Assistant. Give me a spreadsheet, and I can make data sing. I’m also obsessive. So it was just a matter of time before I started putting my word counts on a spreadsheet.
In March, I started tracking not just the words I write, but also the words I work with. Which proved to be enlightening. For a while now, I’ve had a theory about why I don’t write as much as I’d like to. My spreadsheet finally proved it.
Eighty percent of the words I deal with every day are somebody else’s. Only three percent were my own creative writing. Three lousy percent.
Every morning (at least most mornings), the first thing I do after waking is write in my journal. I’ve learned that keeping a journal is vital to my mental and emotional health. It’s where I blow off steam, where I process things, where I gripe and complain, where I indulge my insecurity and my ego, and where I take some time to take care of myself.
After my journal, it’s rush rush rush. Get the kids fed. Get lunches made. Prep dinner. Go to work. Go to meetings. Go to doctor’s appointments. Read other people’s words. By the end of the day, I have nothing left for my own words.
So for April, I’m trying something new. I’m waking up an hour earlier. Writing in my journal still comes first, but immediately after that, it’s now time for my words.
In the two days since I put this into practice, I have already increased my personal word count by 500 words over my personal word count for the entire month of March.
My overall word count is still dominated by other people’s words. That may never change, because that’s what I do for a living. I used to wrangle data from nine to five and work with words in my free time. Now I wrangle words from nine to five and work with data in my free time. But now I’m getting my own words in first.
April Michelle Davis recently blogged about i.e. vs. e.g. on her site, Editorial Inspirations. If you ever have difficulty remembering which to use, check out her post for a thorough and informative explanation.
Quick and dirty basics: Use i.e. as “that is” and e.g. as “for example.” I learned this when I started working as a legal editor in 1996 and still rely on remembering “that is” and “for example” whenever I need to think about it which one to use.
Style notes: Bluebook style (which is used in legal writing and editing) dictates italics, although Chicago Manual of Style states it should be set in roman type since they are common Latin abbreviations.