Why you should stop multi-tasking

why writers shouldn't multi-task

Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Multi-tasking isn’t the good idea it’s often cracked up to be. But there are some especially important reasons why writers shouldn’t multi-task… I have a simple question I ask everyone I coach and it’s this: Do you let your computer collect your email for you every couple of minutes? I always surprised when the majority — more than 90 percent ... Read More

Are you baffled by buzzwords?

Marilyn Katzman

Reading time: Less than 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a New York Times article written by Marilyn Katzman... I admit it: Jargon makes me crazy. I've always had a low tolerance for the stuff. Perhaps my intolerance is what turned me into an editor? I re... Read More

Beware of the shortcomings of email

shortcomings of email

Reading time: Just over 1 minute Email is fast and efficient, but it also comes with risks. If you're a smart communicator, you'll be wary of the shortcomings of email... If you work in communications, email is likely your superhighway. You use it to connect with clients, coworkers, media outlets and even your boss. It's convenient and fast. It even gives you a audit trail, by keeping a reco... Read More

Like a game of badminton…

Martin Cruz Smith

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a simile from Martin Cruz Smith... I read, a lot — a minimum of 52 books each year. (See my latest summary here.) That's why I find it relatively easy to round up figurative language every Thursday. But I always appreciate it when readers or colleagues... Read More

What does celerity mean?

celerity

Reading time: Less than one minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That's why I provide a word of the week. Today's word: celerity... While on holiday last weekend I was reading a novel that I'd describe as chic lit meets the Da Vinci Code. Not my usual style but it was very hot and I didn't want to have to think too hard. Imagine my surprise, t... Read More

Are you making any of these mindmapping mistakes?

Reading time: About 4 minutes Video: Just under 7 minutes Have you ever struggled with mindmapping? Here is a video, and a post, designed to teach you how to create a mindmap… Like a cardiologist who see nothing but hearts with problems — and therefore finds them easier to diagnose — I see a lot of broken mind maps. Clients send them to me asking for help. “What’s gone wrong?”... Read More

Where walls are lined with shimmering new books…

William Novak

Reading time: Less than 1 minute This is my weekly installment of "writing about writing," in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss an article written by William Novak..... I'm always interested in the ego of writers. Thus, when I saw the headline in a New York Times article, "Writing Books Very Few Will Read," I suspected it woul... Read More

Why you need a plan

why you need a plan

Reading time: Less than 2 minutes When people are busy they sometimes feel as though they don't have time to plan. Here's why that idea is so wrong-headed... If you work in media relations, I know you're busy. This is not so much because I know the field to be intense and demanding, which it is. It's because you are beholden to other people. If you need to interact with radio reporters, w... Read More

As bare as a birch in winter…

Clive Thompson

Reading time: Less than 1 minute I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today with a simile from Clive Thompson... I discovered journalist and writer Clive Thompson when a colleague forwarded to me a video in which he spoke. (Thompson was addressing the urgent question: which is the best implement for writing — a pencil or a keyboar... Read More

What’s the origin of the word feeble?

feeble

Reading time: Less than 1 minute Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That's why I provide a word of the week. Today's word: feeble... A recent, thoroughly engaging piece in the New Yorker, "Go Ask Alice," explores the story of Alice in Wonderland — "as familiar as a household god and as remote as a child star" — and her creator Charles Dodgson (pic... Read More