Category: On Writing


Bursts of Creativity

One of my favorite stories about J.R.R. Tolkien centers around the first time he wrote the following line: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Tolkien scribbled this on an exam he was grading for one of his students at Oxford. These small notations can eventually develop into short stories, or into one of the most enduring fantasy epics of our time, which is why getting these ideas down on paper (or on the computer/tablet screen) remains important.


On Writing: Good Things

Saturday was the first day I had a few minutes to sit outside and relax in the sunlight. After a long, cold winter in the Midwest, the first warm spring day is something very special. But the first warm spring day that a person can spend time outside […]


On Writing: Proofreading

These are the types of headlines that some people enjoy finding in newspapers or online articles. Many of those errors are caused by mistaken intent—i.e. a reader inferred a meaning that the writer did not intend. Some, of course, are proofreading errors. Proofreading and editing your work is […]

Image from Dreamstime by Sherrie Smith

On Writing: Parkinson’s Law

          Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law? It originated with Cyril Parkinson in a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955 and was reprinted in Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress by John Murray (1958). The law states that work will expand and swell […]

Train Station

On Writing: Empathy

  The other day while spring-cleaning I came across my copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I read this book several years ago and really appreciated both the ideas shared by the author and the creative way he presented them. This […]

What I Listen to When Writing

Last week when I shared a “What I Listen to When Writing” post featuring Warm Shadow, by Fink, Eric Spannerman commented on Facebook that he has been listening to Pink.  Her song, “Glitter in the Air,” is one of my favorites and I have been listening to it […]


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