I’m not proud of the fact that there are unwashed dishes in my sink, a pile of unfolded laundry on my bed, or a family of dust bunnies under my dresser. But I’m writing. And when my writing time increases, my usually high cleaning standards take a dramatic fall.
You’ve learned a thing or two in this lifetime. Maybe you know the secret to making the perfect souffle. Or how to be a stepparent to kids who refuse to say your name. Or maybe you want people to know how prayer has changed your life. Whatever it is, there is some message that you feel called to share in a blog.
Whew! What a roller coaster 2016 has been. From the World Series to the presidential election, I’ve had my share of late nights, nail biting, close calls, celebration, and despair.
During Game 7, in the bottom of the third inning, Carlos Santana crushed a curveball to right for a single, bringing Coco Crisp home and tying the game for the Cubs. And millions of hearts pounded.
This week I’ve been preparing to talk to health care practitioners at a nursing event about the benefits of journaling. I wanted to share the same information here, most of which is gleaned from a wonderful book called “Writing Down Your Soul,” by Janet Conner.
Why is journaling such a valuable activity?
Writing is hard. There’s no point softening that sentence with qualifiers. It’s just hard.
James Joyce said, “Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.” Elizabeth Gilbert says that 90% of her writing life consists of nothing more than unglamorous, disciplined labor. “I work like a farmer,” she says, “and that’s how it gets done.”
Take this quiz to discover how what your learning style is and how it affects your writing. Once you know your style, you can use it to your advantage to make writing easier.
Pssst. I’m going to urge you to steal the ideas in this blog. Because I did.
But before the blog police come busting in my door and drag me in front of the court of ideas where I’ll have my misused words thrown in my face and—
Wait, this is starting to sound like a dystopian novel when it’s supposed to be a blog.
Here’s the truth:
This week my client Katie and I had fun diving into this distinction and found that it’s not so easy to explain active vs. passive voice. To clarify, I turned to Grammar Girl, who says, “In an active sentence, the subject is doing the action. In passive voice, the target of the action gets promoted to the subject position.”
This may be overly picky, but it never hurts to be precise. Are you using the word “unique” properly? It means “without like or equal,” so there can be no degrees of uniqueness.
Incorrect: It was the most unique dress I’d ever seen.
Correct: It was a unique dress.
When I was pregnant with my first child I was enamored of the idea of using a midwife. I hired a seasoned professional named Lorna. But my son was breech and arrived via a scheduled C-section, so Lorna was replaced by an anesthesiologist, a surgeon, and a floating sea of faceless, masked nurses. I was disappointed that our preparations had been for nothing. Until I awoke one morning, groggy from morphine, to hear her arguing in the hallway with the pediatrician. She was refusing to let him give my son a shot that we hadn’t discussed.