Informative topics, reviews and my personal reflections.
When I joined WDC in 2007, I set up my blog to provide readers at WDC with reviews of websites, products, or information I thought might be helpful. Now that I have made personal connections with many of the wonderful and talented writers at WDC, who have been so kind with their reviews of my writings, I feel comfortable including more personal entries. I hope you will also feel comfortable replying to them.
|I hope all my WDC friends are doing well. I can't believe it's been over three years since my last blog. I have renewed my membership for another year because I'm always hopeful that I'll have time to get back to my writing. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked.
I started crocheting again to ease the stress from all the news, and then I opened an Etsy shop to sell my handmade items. It's been enjoyable, but it's a struggle because there are so many people doing the same thing...but I do love it! I've even designed some items. If you're so inclined, please visit my shop and maybe you'll find something you like. I'll be adding a lot more for the holidays (as soon as the weather clears so I can take photos). I hope it's okay with WDC if I provide the link to my shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SharonChicBoutique
I have pondered whether or not I want to start a website or just a blog. I would love any suggestions from my WDC friends who may have websites or blogs. I really miss writing and hope I can find some spare time to enter the Short Shots contest. I love the picture prompts.
Happy Holidays to everyone!
|I came across a very helpful article on Commonly Misused Words that I think will help everyone with their writing. I hope this helps:
|I was going through all my reviews and noticed that I gave 5 stars to a lot of items, even though they may have had a punctuation error or grammatical error. I remember reading a note from WDC about reviewing that said we shouldn't give 5 stars so easily. I have also received responses to some of my reviews which stated that the writer doesn't want a star rating for their work, only a review, because the stars don't really mean anything.
I read a lot of stories and poems that have a couple errors that I feel don't detract from the good work they produce. If I enjoy someone's not-so-perfect poem or story, I will give them 5 stars because it's the substance of the writing that I want to review, not the minor errors. I will point out the errors just in case they want to correct them, but I don't lower their rating. If I find a story or poem that I can't get into, either because it's full of blatant errors, isn't spaced properly for easy reading, or just doesn't make sense to me, I just go on to the next item to review.
Do you have any thoughts on this?
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|Since I renewed my WDC membership this year on Sept. 30th, I find that I have devoted a lot of my time reviewing rather than writing. I love reading other authors' work and try to critique it and offer suggestions without upsetting anyone.
I have passed over a number of poems and short stories that I just can't review, usually because I don't know where to begin and I don't want to discourage anyone. There are also genres that I don't feel comfortable reviewing (fantasy and erotica).
When I signed up with WDC back in 2007, I wrote a lot and entered contests. I also started writing articles for an online magazine. That magazine editor asked me to edit all the articles he was receiving, so I became a copy editor and proofreader. When I critique poems and stories at WDC, I want to edit the grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but I don't want to offend anyone. I just want to help improve their writing.
Unfortunately, reviewing takes away time I would otherwise spend on my writing. I guess I'll just have to reach a balance.
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|Since I renewed my membership, I've entered two contests and started writing again. I find that writing fills the time I otherwise spend watching the depressing news. It makes me feel better, especially when I write about happy things - heartwarming stories that make me feel good. I also read through all of Ms. Kimmie's "Improve Your Writing" articles and they are excellent - very informative and easy to understand from her examples; you should all take the time to read them. I'm sure she spent a lot of time writing them. Enjoy writing and ave a great day!
|First, I want to apologize to everyone who left comments on my journal/blog to which I didn't respond.
As I stated in my last entry in 2008, my new job in Washington was very hectic and late nights kept me from visiting WDC. As a consequence, my membership expired. A year later, I fell at work and injured my neck and had two operations. Unfortunately, the neck injury caused some numbness and pain in my fingers so typing was not possible. Fortunately, my fingers are almost back to normal so I can type again.
Also, I moved back to Austin, Texas last year so I could be near my two granddaughters (20 months and 5 years). I take care of them a few days each week and when they leave, I'm exhausted! But, I decided I would just have to make some time at night and on the weekends for my writing so I have renewed my WDC membership. Yea!
To all who comment on my journal/blog, thank you.
|I'm sorry for not contributing to my blog lately, but I went back to work and it's been hectic. By the time I make the commute home, it's usually 8:00 p.m. and my mind is dead. But, at least I am working, for which I am thankful. I was starting to worry that I would never find a job, but I did and I love it.
|Boy, have I been remiss in adding blog entries; and I apologize to all of you who clicked on my blog. But, I've been busy writing articles and actually getting paid for them. I'll admit the money is never going to make me rich, but it's exciting to see my name in print.
When I sold my first article, the editor liked my writing and requested that I copyedit some other articles, about 300 of them. The copyediting progressed into copywriting more articles, book reviews, and website reviews for the company's online magazine. If you have the time, please visit my website and take a look at the articles I've written (http://sharonleahill.squarespace.com/). (I no longer have this website.)
Writing keeps me busy, but it can get boring being couped up all day. I found that I was eating more (I put on 15 pounds) and smoking more (a pack a day). So, on January 1st, I made the decision to quit smoking and quit snacking. So far, I haven't had a single puff (yea!), but I haven't lost a single pound. I attribute it to sitting in front of the computer all day (to which you retort: "You need to get up and do some exercise," and I agree). But really, it was actually easier to quit smoking, and I'm having a real hard time understanding why. If nicotine is so addictive, why was I able to quit cold turkey after smoking for 10 years? Whatever the reason, I'm just glad I did it.
|I've received some really great news! I have been offered a job as copy editor for a publisher who accepted one of my articles on Helium. He liked my writing and asked if I would be interested in editing the articles for his magazine. I hope to be starting that in mid-October.
A couple of my articles have been published and I intend to write many more. I am also writing articles at Associated Content. I like these two sites because it gives me a chance to do research and write on topics I know little about. Most online publishers pay $15 to $150 for an article and you don't necessarily have to be the first place article.
The publishers pick those articles which are their voice and not necessarily the favorite of readers' ratings. I have found that it is important to note what type of article the publisher wants and the information that should be included in the article. Many writers don't seem to pay attention to that. Even though they write a good article that the readers like, they may not follow the publisher's guidelines.
If you're interested in writing articles, send me an e-mail and I'll send you an invitation to write for them. You don't need an invitation to write, but if I invite you, I get rewarded.
|The following is my review of the trial version I downloaded of Writer's Blocks writing software. I found it difficult to work with. Their concept is to use blocks for each thought and then you can arrange the blocks in the order you want them and transfer them to your manuscript page. The problem I had was that the blocks became too cumbersome and my thoughts were so long that it wasn't easy to organize them.
Once I organized them and transferred them to the manuscript page, which puts them in sentence order, the screen for the manuscript page was too narrow so you had to scroll over each time you wanted to finish a sentence. I just found it to difficult to work with, but that doesn't mean that someone else might find it helpful.
The cost for the software is shown as $149, but once you load the 15-day trial version, they send you an e-mail offering $50 off if you purchase within 10 days. Not a bad price, but I didn't feel it would work for me. I sent them an e-mail that I didn't want it and asked how to take it off my computer. I never heard back from them, but I went to "Add/Remove Programs" in the Control Panel and deleted the program without a problem.