Four ways The Written Word helps you achieve goals

Get a GRIP on your writing

The next few posts on this blog are going to focus on something that I like to tell myself I know something about: how to write. Since audiences seem to like step-by-step guides, I’ll start with the two basic rules of writing. Know what you want to say. Be able to sum up your main […]


Onboarding, buying-in and re-skinning: Gerunds gone wild

Today’s hottest buzzword is: “onboarding.” A group of corporate Internet professionals has “onboarding” an official part of a major, inter-departmental project, as in “The onboarding phase will continue until buy-in has been obtained from a significant majority of players in this space.” Do you see what they’ve done here: defined one buzzword with another in […]


My favourite proofreading tips

Don’t you just hate it when you see a typo in work you’ve just published, posted on a website or sent to a client? Every writer needs to learn how to proofread. As a professional editor for over 30 years, I have a few favourite techniques for effective proofreading. Here are some, plus a few […]


Writing tip: Avoid the Phantom Menace

Title: A proposal to supply Acme Corp. with Blagfly Macroscopic Flange Background: In 20187, Ignati and Wilhelmina Lightblack noticed the diminishing return on investment of industrial-size household powersource applications for lightsabres. The siblings engaged upon a ten-year research project into the optimal application of flange technology in lightsabres. A side enquiry into the efficiency of […]


How to avoid awful committee writing: Go back to the beginning

“A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” That’s been attributed to more than one person, and it’s an excellent way to describe written documents that get approved by authorities who are more concerned about things other than the content of the documents themselves. In other words, documents produced by corporations and governments. Recently, […]


Rules, shmules

Writers are always teaching me, whether they know it or not. I’ve been editing and beta-reading manuscripts for a number of people this summer, and their words make me re-evaluate some ideas I held firmly for some time. And I keep coming to the same dilemma: at what point does trimming text and adhering to […]