August 4, 2010

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Say good-bye to blank pages and writer's block.

What is Writing 101? Quite simply, it's a list of all the sources you'll ever need to compose brilliant articles, find new jobs, and climb the freelance ladder even if you've never earned an official degree or conducted an interview before.

Who am I to tell you how to write? I've been working full-time as a freelance writer for over two years, but you don't need to trust me for this site to help you out. Writing 101 isn't a place for me to blather on all day about my opinions on freelance sites or the latest grammar rules. Instead, it's a place where I find the best of the best the web has to offer and link you to it. From the great masters who went the traditional college route to the hard-working freelancers who got here off hard work alone, I keep you updated on new job postings and, most importantly, ways to improve your skills.

Each month we go on a journey to learn a specific new talent, be it improving your grammar or conducting an interview. I'll fill you in on all the free resources awaiting you, and hopefully your new writing abilities will put a little more cash in that wallet of yours. Sit back, relax, and let me do the research for you. After all, what do you think I get paid for? (Alright so I'm not actually getting paid for this. But wouldn't it be nice?)

About Me

I've been a freelance writer for over two years now and love to share my experiences, both good and bad, with others. I hope my blog entertains you, helps you find a job, gives invaluable advice and, if possible, does all three.

I write for Demand Studios, WiseGEEK, TopTenREVIEWS and recently started a job at Consumer Search. In the past I've worked for a number of smaller sites and created web copy for private clients. I'm now expanding my work to full-time status and trying to make my way up the freelance writing ladder.

Currently, I'm earning my degree in web design with a year's training in web authoring which deals with web copy and articles designed specifically for the way online readers skim read.

I love to research and write about virtually every subject I can get my hands on, but my favorites lie in arts and crafts, personal organization, personal finance, home and garden, web design/Photoshop and, of course, writing about writing.

In November I start pitching my first novel, a comedy/satire by the name of "The God Intrusion" for publication. I already have a small bonfire built for burning rejection letters (after salvaging any helpful critiques of course) and several stamps armed and at the ready for sending out the manuscript until it finds an agent or catches fire.


See a sample of my work at the following sites:

Free Activities In Washington, D.C. (

Reading by the Gushing Library Fountains in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (

What Is a Continously Variable Transmission? (

What Is Octyl Methoxycinnamate? (

Gadget Gift Stores Review 2010 (TopTenREVIEWS)

February 17, 2010

5 Tips for Quick Editing: Proofreading in a Hurry

Proofreading and editing your article or work of fiction is crucial to its success, but occasionally you'll run into that last minute deadline where there's no time to pick apart every line for grammar errors. What's a writer to do?

These five tricks will catch a large majority of your most obvious grammar errors and the entire run down will only take you about 5 minutes. Save the more tedious editing for a day when you have extra time.

1. Run Firefox or Microsoft Word Spell Check

Mozilla Firefox users have the advantage of a built-in spell check feature. While it's not perfect, it will point out most spelling mistakes and by right clicking on the misspelled word you can choose the correct spelling, or add the word to the dictionary if it's spelled correctly already. For those who don't have Firefox or want a more detailed spelling and grammar check, copy and paste your work into Microsoft Word 2007 and run spell check from the "Review" tab.

2. Check your apostrophes

Look for all the apostrophes in your document using the "Ctrl + F" search feature. Check that contractions are formed properly and that you haven't added on an apostrophe to a word that is plural and not possessive.


Wrong: You're hat looks very nice.
Right: Your hat looks very nice.
This sentence didn't make sense with the contraction you are in it.

Wrong: Check for stray apostrophe's.
Right: Check for stray apostrophes.
The word apostrophes is plural, not possessive. The apostrophes don't own anything.

3. Use Commas to Find Misplaced Modifiers

Misplaced modifiers are hilarious in many sentences, but they don't work so well for serious writing. To catch these sneaky phrases, look for any commas in your sentences and see what the part before or after the comma describes. For example, The man stole the woman's purse, brandishing a gun. The part after the comma, brandishing a gun, sounds like it describes the woman's purse. Rearrange it to say, The man, brandishing a gun, stole the woman's purse.

4. Find Passive Sentences with a Fancy Online Tool

This nifty little verb analyzer will point out all the forms of the verb to be found in your sentences. Glance over the sentences it points out and see which sound long or awkward. Reword those to use the active voice, not the passive one. You don't need to change all your sentences, just the ones that don't sound quite right.

5. Read It Out Loud

While not quite as fast as the other tricks, taking a few minutes to read your work out loud will help you find awkward sentences and grammar errors. You may not catch them all, but even a quick 30 second reading of all or part of the article can make a tremendous difference. When you're really crunched for time, read at least the first third of the article so your editor isn't bombarded with grammar problems in the first paragraph.

Note: Using just these 5 tricks I found several errors in this blog post to correct before publishing!