Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grammarly to the rescue

In my youth, a convoy of nuns at Sacred Heart School taught English, grammar, writing, shorthand and typing. The nuns are long gone to their heavenly reward but daily, I am grateful for my ability to string sentences together. These basic skills helped me make a living in the corporate world for many years, and then as a writer/author. Freelance writers without the early-childhood advantage of nuns for teachers can be grateful for Grammarly. This company stepped forward to provide a survey showing the value of good writing, at a time when good freelancers are in great demand. Grammarly is an online automatic proofreading service and grammar coach.

In a survey of nearly 500 freelance professionals, Grammarly analyzed how well the freelancers' online profiles at seemed to correlate to credibility, hireability or pay. The results showed the best-reviewed freelancers had the fewest writing errors per 100 words in their profile. Error rates by freelance writers were markedly lower than other areas, such as IT, engineering, sales and financial professionals. Across all fields in the study, writers earned more money per job than other professions.

Perhaps it is our attention to detail, critical eye, and love of words that make us so reliable and in demand.

To the left, you'll find an interesting infographic supplied by Grammarly... (click to enlarge)

Note: Grammarly made a donation to Reading is Fundamental, on my behalf.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Special event for teen writers

If you're in the Chicago area, here is something special coming up on Saturday:

JESSIE ANN FOLEY - Writing Workshop for Teens
Saturday, November 15th
3:00 pm at The Book Stall, 811 Elm Street, Winnetka, IL
Every story has to take place somewhere, and for writers from William Faulkner to Suzanne Collins, the WHERE can be just as important as the WHO and the WHAT.  In the “Take a Place” workshop, Jessie Ann Foley will introduce some techniques to "see" a setting in your mind and build out an entire story world from there.

The event is free, but space is limited. Please call The Book Stall: 847-446-8880 to reserve your spot. Recommended for teen writers ages 14-18. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blogging is 20 years old!

WOW... Blogs have been around for twenty years!

Yes, 1994 was a long time ago and that's when blogs got started.

The Columbia Journal Review has a nice long piece here about the start of something that grew larger than anyone could have predicted.

NANOWRIMO inspiration break

If you're writing daily in November, and feel yourself running on empty, take a break and read this lovely essay by Sven Birkerts on

"It was going to New York City last week that finally did it, almost as if the point of going had been for me to be in Central Park on that fine crystal afternoon, to sit on a bench by the lake watching that cinema trick of a painting dissolving into motion. Something happened in that spot. I was touched in the core of my reverie by one of those unaccountable inner shifts. This one scarcely more than a flutter, really, but I took that flutter as the beginning of a larger turn, a motion counter to the deep inertia of the long weeks before.

"The matter sounds so simple. All of a sudden, I found myself wanting to write sentences again and, when I did, it felt to me like the rains had finally come, stirring up life in the dry land. I don’t know if I even shifted in my place, but whatever it was has since brought something back that had gone missing. The time hasn’t been that long, really, but by what clock? What decides long? The clock of days or the clock of the inside life? How long can a person feel unconnected and not feel that it’s too long? Writing, for me, is the mainspring, the momentum, that small tipping action inside that makes the watch keep real time."
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