Power Writing

Power Writing began as a weekly newsletter in April 2006. Its purpose? To give tips and advice about writing, to tell stories in an interesting way and to help corporate writers (and others) work faster, better. This newsletter is still distributed by email to thousands of readers around the world every week and, since March 2012, has formed the Tuesday entry of my blog.

You can read many Power Writing entries here – I back-entered all columns until the beginning of 2009, and a handful of ones that were earlier than that. But I hope you’ll consider subscribing, too. Just enter your name and email in the box directly under my photo on any page of my website. If you do that you’ll not only receive Power Writing by email each week, you’ll also automatically get a free copy of my booklet on mindmapping.

Why writers should use a secret sauce — tracking

Why writers should use a secret sauce — tracking
Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Have you ever kept a writing tracking record? This simple document — you can create it easily in your own word processing software — will revolutionize your productivity…. When I wrote my first book, 8½ Steps t Read more...

How to work with difficult editors

How to work with difficult editors
Reading time: Less than 4 minutes We don’t always get rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes we have to work with people who aren’t very good at their jobs. Here’s a primer on how to work with difficult editors…. I once worked for a difficult editor at the Read more...

Tricks and treats for writing

Tricks and treats for writing
Reading time: Just over 3 minutes Do you ever give yourself treats for writing? You should. Take five minutes right now and develop a reward strategy you can employ to bolster your spirits… Happy Halloween! As any six-year-old will tell you, this is Read more...

Four ways to build mental toughness for writing

Four ways to build mental toughness for writing
Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Do you have enough mental toughness for writing? If not, here are four suggestions about how to increase it…. Have you ever noticed the similarities between writing and making music or exercising? Each of these Read more...

Is NaNoWriMo a good idea for you?

Is NaNoWriMo a good idea for you?
Reading time: Less than 4 minutes A whispered word, NaNoWriMo stirs equal measures of fear and interest in many writers. Why? And is the program a good idea? Whenever I say the almost unpronounceable word “nanowrimo,” people ask me one of two questio Read more...

Is lack of reflection sabotaging your writing?

Is lack of reflection sabotaging your writing?
Reading time: Just over 3 minutes If you want to get better at writing you probably think diligent work is the key. Here’s why writers should reflect and plan, instead…. Have you ever used an expression like, “experience is the very best Read more...

How to avoid the horror of unclear antecedents

How to avoid the horror of unclear antecedents
Reading time: Less than 3 minutes Does a grammatical term such as “unclear antecedent” make your brain buzz unpleasantly? Let me help make it simpler so you can edit your own writing more effectively…. When I was in high school, I u Read more...

Five writing lessons from Keith Richards…

Five writing lessons from Keith Richards…
You may dismiss the Rolling Stones as old-time rock ‘n rollers, druggies or a group of has-beens, but it turns out that Keith Richards’ writing advice is surprisingly wise….  I’m old enough to have been a seven-year-old when the Beatles appeare Read more...

How to write a complaint

How to write a complaint
Reading time: About 3 minutes Do you know how to write a complaint letter? The rules are straightforward but surprisingly challenging to apply… My 20-year-old son, who’s studying to become an opera singer, recently gave me a complaint he’d writ Read more...

10 ways to become a better proofreader

10 ways to become a better proofreader
Reading time: About 2 minutes If you can afford to outsource your proofreading, do it. If you can’t here are some tips that will help… Do you clean your own gutters? Change the oil in your own car? Bake every birthday cake from scratch? I Read more...