Black Out Poetry

Austin Kleon creates poetry through subtraction; that is, he blacks out the unnecessary words of various printed materials such as newspapers and books to create his own poem through the remaining words left behind.

While the idea is simple, the work Kleon creates is intricately laced together through black strikes through unneeded words and the results are beautifully written poems. Try your own hand at blackout poetry! It’s a great creative exercise and definitely a different approach to writing. If you’re in a rut, it could definitely help get you out of it! Sometimes just changing up the way we write can make all the difference.

To get a taste of Kleon’s work, click here!

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Software That Helps You Write Faster?


There’s a software called “Write or Die” that forces its user to type at a certain rate, or words start to delete. Sounds horrifying, right? Author David Nicholls wrote his second novel Us this way, and described it as “writing with a gun to my head.”

Despite David Nicholls’s experience, writer David Mitchell still wanted to try the software. Read about his take before deciding if this program is for you. As for me, I think I’ll stick with my current routine of procrastinating for an hour and then letting panic be my motivator. I will not be downloading the software. Sounds way too anxiety inducing for me!





Email Etiquette

Email Etiquette

As Professional Writers, we conduct most of our business and communication via email. Thus, more often than not, email is the only thing that clients and employers only have emails to form opinions of us as professionals, which is why we know more than most the importance of email etiquette. Good email etiquette can be there difference between return business and recommendations and bad reviews and bankruptcy. On that note, I found this very helpful inforgraph with tips to ramping up your email etiquette game. It may seem silly now, but you will probably end up using these tips a lot more than you thought.


6 Tips for Creative Writers

Creative Writing

In honor of National Novel Writing November, here is an article by journalist and writer Justin McLachlan about the 6 common writing mistakes that can make you seem like an amateur. Now to go home and rewrite all of my work.

  1. It’s ok if characters just say things. They don’t have to grouse, whisper, bellow, and ejaculate their dialogue. Dialogue attributions are just markers to help orient the reader.
  2. You don’t need to use italics for emphasis. Put important words in important places rather than using italics to lend emphasis.
  3. Slow it down on the point of view switches. Stay with one character instead, and if you must change—save it for a scene break or other clear delineation.
  4. There is such a thing as too much description. Adjectives and adverbs are the death of good writing. Get rid of modifiers and replace them with strong and active verbs. For now, cut the italics and trust your reader.
  5. Complex writing does not equal complex thought. Instead of getting out of the reader’s way and letting the story envelop them, this kind of showy style puts a wall up and paints the author’s face across it. It also kills clarity, which is just another wall in and of itself. Aim for clear, simple writing.
  6. Characters and places with pretentious and unpronounceable names. A lot goes into a name, and getting them right in genre fiction can be hard. However, if the reader can’t pronounce what you’ve written it is highly likely that they will stop reading.

For more details on these six writing mistakes, check out McLachlan’s article.