Posted in 2. Editing

Grammar Nazis!! A Confession

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I have a confession to make:

I will not share/repost anything that has bad grammar. It could be the best sentiment, the cutest picture, or something I feel strongly about, but if it has misspellings, errant capital letters, or poor grammar and syntax, it’s not going on my wall.

My wall is relatively silent on those days.

Some people need a brush-up on their grammar!

For example, Dollar General stores all over have these horrifically bad signs posted out in front of every one: 

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NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

I did post this on my wall. It nearly makes me NOT want to shop there. 

Heroes

And WHY is the word ‘our’ in quotation marks???? You are being selective about who gets to be included in your community?? Does Dollar General now have bouncers at the doors, or membership cards to get in??

This sign is all kinds of terrible.

Send me some signs that make you cringe.

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Here’s a good grammar resource:

Top 10 Grammar Myths by Grammar Girl

I enjoyed this article and feel it needs mentioning as it is still relevant 5 years later.

Note, the dictionary just added irregardless as a synonym to regardless, which is WRONG, but now accepted.

 

Please use correct grammar. Impress me.

I dare you.

 


In other Grammar news, my own first drafts are littered with commas. They are EVERYWHERE! When I edit, I have to cut out so many commas, were they really falling to the floor around me, it would look like a haircut.

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But better to have commas, than to not!

Commas, semicolons, colons, and dashes are a pain sometimes. There are often multiple ways they can be used and still be correct.

Here is a guide for those: https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/semi-colons-colons-and-dashes/

Lastly, if you see poor grammar, the natural thing to assume is that is comes from a non-native speaker of the language or a bot. The grammar nazi in me wants to think negatively – that their poor grammar is a result of a scammer or an untrustworthy person. However, remaining open and swallowing that judgement has led to helping others learn and develop better language and writing habits.

The true confession here is in being a grammar snob and learning to be a grammar teacher. I have my grammar faults, too.

Posted in 1. Writing

New Self-Help Guide

UPDATE: I pulled the guide from smashwords because the formatting had too many errors. I am releasing it on Amazon in paperback, because it looks nice there. It’s full color, but not full 8X11. It’s a smaller size pocket guide.

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Are you a writer who gives yourself excuse after excuse for not finishing that story inside you?

You are not alone.

Everyone needs handy tips. Everyone is faced with these 6 excuses at one point or another.

Break the cycle of negative self-talk with this ‘No Excuses Writing’ Guide.

I printed out a copy for myself and realized without a space to write in it, it wasn’t valuable to me.

Adding in lines to write on, guidance, and action steps, it became a more useful tool.

Write down ways to conquer your excuses following my tips, jot down notes from your muse, and more.

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1005391777

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1005391777

Posted in 1. Writing

The Art of Procrastination

What are the biggest time consumers for you?

My workspace is a mess, so it’s definitely not workspace rearrangement for me!

I think my top two are waiting for inspiration and utilizing social media. I run several websites, social media accounts or pages, and pages begging for tips. Once a book is ready, I will post it on smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, Reedsy, Bookbub, or wherever I can get reviews and make sales. Those links will get sent out to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube. Social Media is a marketing tool, but not a writing tool.

That brings me to waiting for inspiration. I really shouldn’t, and neither should you. Set yourself up for success by writing a cliffhanger into the end of your day’s work so when you come back to it the next day, you are excited to see where your characters lead you, or excited to write the next scene.

Start a series on Twitter with the hashtag of the day (there are lots of hashtag games: http://www.freewritingevents.com/daily-twitter-writing-events/ ) to choose from. Follow one and write one tweet a day. I did once and it ended up turning into a short story I’ve added into the space opera for Hawk and Young.

Again, what are the biggest time wasters for you? Leave me a comment below.

Posted in Other

Accolades from @Neelt2001

I am beyond honored to be mentioned on Neel’s post this week as an author he admires.

He says:

Elsha Hawk: Across various platforms of social media, there are some wonderful pieces of literature that paint a picture of the dark times of life. Admittedly, as fantastically written as those pieces are, they can get a bit heavy-handed to read after some time. That’s where Elsha’s writing comes in as the perfect balance. Her writing, whether sad or joyful is as powerful as anybody’s but with a heartwarming factor that puts a smile on your face even in the most troubled times. I’m not sure how she pulls that off but perhaps because there is a purity in her writing that can’t help but resonate with every reader. One of the other qualities I’ve admired about her is her unconventional route to reach a mass readership via her sci-fi series (co-written with Eddie-Joe Young). It’s one thing to promote poetry or short stories online but showcase a long and successful series is a whole different ball game. Follow Elsha’s writing on Twitter @ElshaHawk, on http://ko-fi.com/elshahawk and on http://hawkandyoung.com.

It’s such a wonderful feeling to be praised. I may not always see what other humble authors are doing, but I think I need to make a point to connect more – to read blogs, to comment, to try to make and keep new friends.

Pay Friendship Forward

Don’t look back.

Posted in 3. Publishing, Other

Energy well spent?

We all only have a finite amount of energy each day. The way we spend it determines how successful we are.  

Massive effort = Massive results, right?

Not necessarily.

If I want to write a book, I have to use my energy writing. 

If I want to learn how to publish, how to market, how to grow, then I have to seek out resources, study, and get tips from pros.

I can’t help but think that massive energy can be spent in all the wrong places. I could have great intentions and work really hard on something only to have it all end or unravel no matter how many times I keep trying.

A rule of thumb is the 20/80 rule – 20% effort or input should lead to 80% output or results. One way to do this is to schedule posts in advance that simultaneously share to many social media platforms to maximize your fan base. Another example is using email campaigns to post every day to effectively and automatically remind people about your products or services while simultaneously giving them free goodies and deadlines to sign up for or buy more stuff.

If I am truly learning, then I won’t retry a failed attempt and will instead try something different. Even if the massive effort ends, it is a step towards the ultimate goal.

Keep learning.

 Two of the pros I subscribe to seem to be saying the same thing; to focus your energy without distractions and work smarter, not harder.

I have had these moments of “flow” before where I get a massive amount of work accomplished in a small amount of time.

They ask us to dream big and then act big. The dreams they had were just ideas, but instead of running from them or convincing themselves that they were frivolous, they actually tried to make them come true. They contacted people to ask questions and gain permissions. They researched sponsors, shared their dreams, gained support, and did something cool.  

What cool things can I do this year? What about you?