I’ve always considered myself a morning person, willing to spend those early morning hours on creative work or preparing for my day. In fact, I even enjoy it. However, lately I’ve discovered a new morning routine, and it’s been improving my productivity in a way I didn’t expect. And it’s pretty simple!
I’ve been blogging since 1997. But I promise you, you’ve never heard of me.
After listening to Joanna Penn’s podcast about 10 years of her online business recently, I’ve been feeling nostalgic over my own early internet days. In particular, the 1990s internet, which seemed so quiet and so small. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on 20+ years of blogging.
Recently, I came across a pseudo-interview from 2014, where I answered questions about my fiction writing and my creative process. You can read it on my writing blog, here. Finding it again made me think about the ways my creative process has changed since then – and how it’s still the same.
A couple of months ago, I booked myself into an Airbnb for a weekend dedicated to writing. I’d done this once before, in 2008, and was excited to try again. I’d learned some valuable lessons from my last DIY writing retreat, and was confident that this one would be successful. So – how did I do?
I went full-time as a freelance copywriter in 2009. But a year before that, I dipped my toe into the world of web writing on the side. I waded through online job boards, looking for something that was less journalism and more entertainment – but not entertainment. Picky, I know!
As a writer, I’m well-accustomed to creative blocks. I know what it’s like to sit at my desk, staring at the blinking cursor for what seems like hours. If you sometimes struggle to find creative motivation, I thought I would share the top three tips that help me get unstuck.
Last year, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I’d been hearing how wonderful and inspiring it was for creative driven people. I’d even heard that it was life-changing. But it took me a long time to get around to it.
I love tinkering with websites and writing creative web copy. It’s something I like so much, I decided to make a living at it.
However, when it comes to my own business site, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t paid it any attention in a while. A long, long while. Years.
Let’s say you’re in a meeting when suddenly the door bursts open and a clown comes dancing into the room. You might go home and talk about that incident over dinner. Let’s say it happens again the next day. At dinner, you might say, “I can’t believe there were two incidences of that clown interrupting the meeting!”
“Incidences” vs “incidents”
While the “incidents” and “incidence” do sound the same and in fact are quite similar, they’re not interchangeable. What’s the difference?
- “Incidents” refers to two or more of the same event or occurrence – like the meeting room clown example above.
- “Incidence” is a technical word that doesn’t have a plural form. It refers to the frequency or rate of something happening, and is often seen in the medical or scientific worlds – the rising incidence of polio in a city, for example.
When you’re trying to figure out the correct word to use in writing, it might be helpful to think of a (minor) car accident – the dent in the bumper can remind you of “incident” – the right word to use to describe a single event or occurrence.
You may have read about someone “pouring over” a book, implying that they’re studying its pages intently.
Unfortunately, it’s wrong. Someone “pouring over” their book is likely dumping the contents of a watering can over it.
It’s a common mistake, but the correct phrase is “pore over.” It’s not a very commonly used word in this case, but “pore” is defined as “to be absorbed in the reading or study of.” Yes, a pore is also a very tiny opening in something, most commonly associated with the skin on our faces. The two words aren’t related.
Using “pore” might seem wrong to many people because of that other usage of the word. However, “pore” is the right word to use when writing about how closely you’re examining or reading something. If you get stuck, think of the watering can!