It might be your reason, too

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I was talking with a friend one night about what’s going on in our lives. We hadn’t caught up in a while, and he was telling me about his realization that good things are happening through the very things that are making him miserable.

He plays guitar — classical style, with a lot of intricate fingerwork — and he’d been experiencing some issues with the tendons in his hand, which was causing extreme pain when he attempted to play. …


Light is freedom

sunbeams piercing through misty wooded area
sunbeams piercing through misty wooded area
Photo credit Marty Finney on Unsplash

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5, ESV).

The first words we have recorded from God involve light. He said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), and there it was. He separated it from darkness and then declared that the light was good.

The thought of light being good is something that has prevailed throughout millennia in every culture. When the sun goes down, people light candles or turn on an electrical light source. When it’s sunny outside, we tend to be cheerier.

Well-lit streets appear to be safer to walk along…

How to tell the difference

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There seems to be a lot of confusion among newer writers about what qualifies as active voice. There are those who seem to think the word “was” is on the forbidden usage list, and they’ll search their manuscript with the intent of slashing any sentence that includes the word.

Zombie rules

Strunk and White, in the famous The Elements of Style, listed “Use the active voice” among their elementary principles of composition. Their reasoning for this is sound: the active voice is more direct. It can often portray a more powerful feel.

And even though they follow this advice with the addition…

It was never even grammatically incorrect

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In all walks of life, there are all kinds of writers. Poets seem to maintain the greatest license for bending the rules for years and years, but as the language changes and people’s creative processes change, the way the language is presented to others must change as well.

Change happens whether we’re ready or not

The singular they is one of those changes I resisted for a long time. Believe me, I’m all for progress. I jumped right on that “single space after a period” when typing, after all. But the singular they seemed to ring disingenuous to me.

And why I’m not likely to sign yours if you have one

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If you are a writer, getting into a group with like-minded writers can be a really terrific thing. The encouragement is handy, and you can learn quite a bit from each other.

The pitfall of being in a group of only writers is that it can become an echo chamber, where people repeat what they’ve heard without basis in fact. This often results in a lot of people agreeing with each other about some really bad advice and promoting it as good advice.

The nondisclosure agreement

There’s a lot of bad advice to choose from, but the one I am focusing on today…

The 2020 adjustment to tradition

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For a long as I can remember, Christmas Eve has always been “the” night to celebrate with family. Oh, sure, Christmas Day was always pretty terrific, especially when I was a child, but Christmas Eve was magical.

When I was young, we spent Christmas Eve at my maternal grandma’s house with my aunts. Cousins were added to the mix when my favorite aunt got married, and that just made things better.

We created so many terrific memories during those decades of laughter, gifts, and hilarious mishaps. When I married, I was thrilled to learn that my new in-laws also celebrated…

How do you know what’s correct?

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Writers and editors often rely on a shelf (or five) full of resources to make their work as consistent and accurate as possible. I have a page of helpful writing resources, in fact, right on my website, that lists books I own and use regularly. (Note: my resources page contains affiliate links.)

There are more I haven’t listed yet, but that’s because I don’t recommend what I’ve not looked through myself. As a result, the list keeps changing and growing as I make my way through the TBR pile, which is wonderful.

In the editor groups I belong to, there’s…


It’s restful, but it’s not passive

Silhouette of man or father tossing little girl in the air for fun with a sunset backdrop
Silhouette of man or father tossing little girl in the air for fun with a sunset backdrop
Image credit: lauren lulu taylor on Unsplash

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5–6, ESV).

It’s easy to tell others to trust in God when they’re struggling with something. It’s much harder to trust when the struggle is our own. We all too often become consumed with our circumstances, not seeing the forest for the trees, as the old saying goes.

Trust may be a restful place, but it’s certainly not a passive thing. Trust is about as active as it gets. It…

Painless pointers for a frequently dreaded task

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You’ve written your book and you’re on a writer’s high. Congratulations! You’ve put together an entire book draft, which is more than many people will accomplish in their writing lives.

It’s smooth sailing from this point, right? Hire an editor, get that baby formatted, hire a cover artist, and boom, you’re good to go.

So why are you hearing the soundtrack of the scariest part of a horror movie running through your head?

Oh . . . it’s time to write that back cover blurb.

No pressure. It’s only the make-or-break cluster of words that will make people want to…

Communication is the key to success

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The best working/professional relationships are the ones with good communication. It’s no different when an author is preparing to work with an editor. If you want your book to be the best it can be, your communication needs to be thorough so the editor can do their best. The more information an editor has prior to even considering or starting the work, the better the end product will be.

So what are the main things we need to know from you before an agreement is reached and a contract is signed?

Word count

Knowing the word count of your book is important…

Lynda Dietz

Copyeditor. Grammar thug in the nicest, kindest way. I’m not scary, even for an editor. Find me at

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