I found this video very helpful. I hope you do too.


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The Passive Voice

The passive voice is a to a sentence what kryptonite is to Superman.  It leads to weak, very weak, sentences.

The Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks. (Active Voice)

The Milwaukee Bucks were beat by the Boston Celtics. (Passive Voice)

The sentences say the same thing. The Bucks lost. The first sentence is clear and concise. The second sentence might fit the mood of Bucks’ fans and it doesn’t have the punch of the first sentence.

But, both sentences are easy to read. Why worry about active and passive voice? Just the thought of active and passive voice might make you cringe. Maybe an image of an old English teacher standing over you is something you can’t shake. His or her coffee breath fills your memory. You cringe. Why me?  Can I use passive voice? Yes.

You can use passive voice when you don’t know the answer to a question.

My candy bar was taken by someone in the house.

We don’t know who took the candy bar. In this instance, passive voice works well for the sentence. The passive voice gets a bad wrap, but don’t fear it.

Active voice is the number one choice,  but don’t be afraid to use passive voice when you want to make a point.

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Amazon Can Help You

So you want to self-publish with the hopes of quitting your day job, or maybe you like the idea of seeing your book in print, but mostly you like the convenience of publishing on Amazon. Not every writer is happy with Amazon, and if you follow the news, that probably doesn’t come as a shock. Now, authors are upset with Amazon because of their program Kindle Unlimited.

What is Kindle Unlimited? It is a program that offers readers a chance to read over 700,000 titles for a nominal fee of $9.99 a month.

This is a great idea if you want your story being read, but not a good idea if you depend on the commissions from your book sales.

As an artist you want your voice heard and your work reviewed by the biggest audience, and that is one of the benefits of self-publishing on Amazon. It is the age old question about what is more important to the artist? Is it the money or the creation that has the greatest value? Just because it has value to the creator, does it carry any value to the reader that pays for the book? Amazon readers might expect the best deal, and there lies the conflict with art in a consumer world.

As a business person an author values their work and desires the appropriate compensation for their work, and Amazon offers writers a big chunk of the profits. It isn’t easy to self-publish and make a profit, but at this point in the game Amazon is the best place for an author to make a profit and do it with minimal risk.

Yes, an author could use the traditional route to get their work in front of readers, but that doesn’t that always mean the author controls the finished product or how that finished product makes it to the hands of the readers.

Is this a good business idea for Amazon? This model hasn’t seemed to hurt the movie industry, because Netflix hasn’t meant the end of video sales. It just gives people the convenience of watching lots of movies and televisions without the cost of cable or cost of purchasing DVDs they might not want to own.

The author doesn’t need to stay in the program or even sign up for the program, but a self-published author that depends on the income generated from book sales might panic when income drops.

It might be too soon to say that Kindle Unlimited is a bad idea, but right now some authors are upset with lost income created by the system. Amazon might respond to author concerns, but at this moment they are trying something they hope works.

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Daily Writing Habits

What kind of writing habits do you have?

Habits? The dictionary defines habit as a noun: The manner of conducting oneself: bearing

I think of a habit as something you are doing so it becomes normal. I don’t know if other writers start out thinking about writing as a normal thing to do, but I only really understand my writing habits. I like to work on as many projects as I can because I feel this will lead to the most creative pieces of work. 

EB White said this about this about writing: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”

A writer that waits for inspiration is in trouble to start with and the waiting is like wishing for Santa to bring you a Christmas gift. A writer in motion will certainly stay in motion. We are humans and have a story to tell, but the problem is getting started. Google motivational books and you will find a book for almost any problem that requires motivation. 

You want inspiration to write, well, here is a quote from Ray Bradbury: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” There is something about this quote that sticks out to me and that is the drunk idea. The writer needs to ignore negative thoughts and needs to get the words out. There will be time to edit when it is done. I feel a drunk will spew words until he or she passes out. The drunker the person gets the louder they seem to get. 

Once we get in the habit of writing, we probably will stop thinking of it as a habit and more as a lucky thing we get to do with our time. 


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Hello world!

This website is about my freelance services and help information about freelance writing. I hope you find it useless.

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