Thursday, August 26, 2010

Has Blogging Made Us Sloppy Writers?

It bugs me!!

I just read a post by a highly respected and profitable blogger in which he gave hints on how to improve your blog writing.  It contained grammatical errors, non-sentences, and repetitive phrases.  All of these were "no-no's" when I was in school.  Miss Auchmoody and Mrs. Brooks (two of my English/grammar teachers) would have turned over while reading that post as published work.

Yet in the comments section of the blog, readers were full of praise for the post.  Yes, it did have good hints for making one's posts more exciting.  Nevertheless, I found it difficult to wade through the information because of the poor grammar.  (Perhaps that's the editor in me, although today's editors in print and online publishing often don't seem to consider grammar either.)

However, this person, whose work I read today,  is considered a very, very successful blogger who makes extremely good money at it. we need to forget the rules of grammar in today's world?  With blogging, text messaging, and social media abbreviations, correct spelling and sentence structure seem to have been forgotten. 

Do I need to loosen up and forget all I've been taught in order to be a successful, and profitable blogger/writer?  Something to think about. But I find it difficult to let go and become part of the group that's perpetuating poor grammar for future generations.

Does anyone use Strunk and White's Elements of Style any more? 
Or William Zinsser's On Writing Well?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Do Our Writing Niches Change with the Times?

Do our writing niches change with the times or simply adjust as we expand our horizons? 

Although I've written my "Country Kitchen" cooking column for more than 40 years, I've branched out into other areas:

  • Due to the necessity of earning a living
  • Markets available
  • My changing interests
  • New technology that introduces new subjects
  • Living in different parts of the country
I've discovered that I must adapt, whether it's writing about the same topic and tweaking it or writing about something new.

For instance, when I started writing for publication, we hardly ever heard of Alzheimer's disease.  However, both my mom and aunt developed this illness and I became their main caregiver.  Through this experience, I've been able to write, blog and speak about this illness and help others cope. 

At another point in my life, after requests for quilts from customers, I turned my sewing business into a quiltmaking business and then began writing on that topic for magazines and online publishers.

You will find new niches cropping up in your life as new opportunities open up.  You'll leave some niches or come back to them.  You'll develop a style and audience that will begin to be recognized as yours.

What niches have you found?

You Can Write for Niche Markets
Niche Marketing for Writers, Speakers, and Entrepreneurs
Awesome Article Marketing: Dominate Your Niche and Get Rich
Blog Profits: Insider Secrets to Making Money with Powerful Niche Blogs

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finding Your Writing Niche as Feather Schwartz Foster Does

"Find your niche, Mary," a writer/PR friend advised me.  I've been writing for years in whatever field brought in income, and have wide experience in many areas.  However, nowadays, we're encouraged to find a niche and capitalize on it.

Feather Schwartz Foster has done just this with her research, writing, teaching and speaking about various Presidents' wives and their eras in history.  She has turned a hobby into a career.  And written books on the topic, such asLadies: a Conjecture of Personalities .

Even more interesting, she now lives in Williamsburg, VA, right in the midst of history and teaches classes there.

By checking out her web  site and signing up for her e-newsletter, perhaps you'll gain ideas for promoting a niche of your own.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Shelf of Your Own Books

During a discussion on Facebook with another author, the topic came up concerning a shelf of books that are written by you.  She said this was her goal and she was on her way.

Then I looked at the shelf in my library where I keep copies of my books and realized, "I'm on the way!"

If I consider the anthologies in which I have one or two stories, as well as books entirely written by me, I have accumulated quite a collection of "my" books.

Sometimes we look at the books we haven't written instead of those we have completed, or at least have participated in.  Look at your accomplishments instead of failures or haven't done yets!

What have you accomplished on the way to reaching your dreams?

Tales of Adventure & Discovery

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Book Review - Explore Rocks and Minerals!

My daughter was fascinated with collecting rocks and minerals. Her children have been, too. When my husband and I travel, we try to find rocks of the area and unusual natural items as souvenirs for the children.

A new book came to my attention recently - Explore Rocks and Minerals! by Cynthia Light Brown & Nick Brown, published by Nomad Press. It contains a great deal of information with projects, activities and experiments that youngsters can undertake. This would make a great resource book for teachers and home schooling parents, too.

In addition to projects and experiments, you learn about the various types of rocks found inside and outside the earth. You'll also discover where to locate them.

Did you know you can make your own basalt columns?
Did you realize that some islands are made up completely of volcanic rocks? Which ones?
Fossils are so fascinating. Learn about them and how to make your own.
Become a "rock hound," discover facts about rocks and minerals as you collect your own.

An easy-to-read book, Explore Rocks and Minerals! offers information that children and adults will find fascinating.