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On Reflection: The Joy of Creating Books

On Reflection: The Joy of Creating Books

I don’t need to tell you 2020 has been a tough year. We’ve all experienced something unusual; some of us have struggled; some of us have experienced loss. One of the things that has kept me focused and grateful is work. Not only is writing and editing possible to do at a distance from clients, […]

Word Tip: Finding Your Word Count

Word Tip: Finding Your Word Count

Knowing your word count can help you set guideposts to keep on track, identify areas for potential revision, and create a better reading experience for your audience. In MS Word, to find your word count, from the Review menu, choose the Word Count button. You’ll see a pop-up box with your document’s statistics. If you […]

How Arithmetic Can Help You Write

How Arithmetic Can Help You Write

The more I work with books, the more I realize how helpful arithmetic is (yup, just arithmetic—no algebra, geometry, or calculus needed). Whether you have too little content, too much content, or lopsided content, some addition, subtraction, and division (not finding a use for multiplication yet!) can help set guideposts to keep you on track, […]

Word Tip: The Navigation Pane

Word Tip: The Navigation Pane

My client excitedly told me, “I’ve just found the coolest thing in Word: the navigation pane. It has made my life so much easier—you gotta tell everyone about this!” Okay, I got my marching orders! Tip time. Microsoft Word’s navigation pane has been around for a decade, but I’ve only been using it in the […]

The Prick of New Growth: On Writing and ...

The Prick of New Growth: On Writing and Chickens

My chickens are molting. In the fall, they lose old tattered feathers so new ones can come in. (Hang in there—this will come around to book writing eventually.) Molting is not a fun process for the chickens. “Pin feathers” poke through their skin. Being a live pin cushion is clearly uncomfortable for them—they don’t want […]

How to Begin Writing a Nonfiction Book

How to Begin Writing a Nonfiction Book

On a recent call with my mastermind group, we were talking about the value of writing a book to support your business, and one member said, “Writing a book seems like a good idea, but I have absolutely no idea where to start!” I hear this a lot. How to begin writing a nonfiction book? […]

Word Tip: Creating En and Em Dashes

Word Tip: Creating En and Em Dashes

In Word you can automatically generate en and em dashes by using the hyphen key and AutoCorrect. (Read more about en and em dashes in this article about common proofreading oversights.) To make an en dash: Type a word (or number/letter character), space, hyphen, space, word (or number/letter). Example: 1990 – 1995  As you move […]

Proofreading Oversights You Don’t Realiz

Proofreading Oversights You Don’t Realize Are Giving You Away as Self-Published

You know you want to self-publish—for control, for speed to market—but you don’t want your book to look self-published. You want it to be indistinguishable from books published by the “Big Five.” But even if you have high quality content and avoid common formatting mistakes, your book may still contain proofreading oversights that give it […]

The MS Word Editor: Going beyond Spellch...

The MS Word Editor: Going beyond Spellcheck

If you use Word, you’re probably used to seeing red squiggly underlines for misspelled words and blue double-underlines for incorrect grammar. These appear courtesy of the “Editor” function, aka spellcheck and grammar check. But the Word Editor can help you even more if you let it… Cool Stuff the Word Editor Can Check For Some of […]

Match Your Nonfiction Writing Approach t...

Match Your Nonfiction Writing Approach to Your Content: Gain Efficiency, Relieve Pressure

Originally posted on the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) blog. “I know it’s messy, but you know me—I’m a pantser.” My editing client knew his topic inside and out, but his book manuscript read like it was the first time he’d ever touched the topic. We had to do a lot of rewriting and revision […]

Crisis Writing: Paying Attention To and ...

Crisis Writing: Paying Attention To and Beyond Yourself

To say there’s been a lot going on in the world the past few months would be a bit of an understatement. On top of the physical distancing and over-Zooming of the coronavirus pandemic, the death of George Floyd and the resultant protests have caused emotional turmoil: shock, grief, insight, awakening. I want to talk […]