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Creative Writing 101: Five Tips for Collecting Your Thoughts

Creative writing is all about turning ideas into words. First, of course, you must have an idea; something to write about. But unless you know how to put those ideas down into words you can sit there staring at your computer all day and will have nothing to show for it but a blank screen and a headache So how do you bridge the gap? How do you get your ideas out of your head and down on paper in such a way that they will actually make sense to someone else? It begins by learning how to collect your thoughts.
Five Tips for Bridging the Gap between the Idea and the Word
The bridge between the ideas that you have and the words that you write is actually quite simple. It consists of learning how to collect your thoughts. Many people believe that their thoughts and ideas are coherent; that they make sense. And in their minds those ideas may make perfect sense. Unfortunately, there usually comes a time between the having the idea and getting it out on paper that something important gets lost. Somewhere you misplaced the nuances that made your topic so appealing when you first thought about it. The following five tips can help you in collecting your own thoughts and putting them down on paper.
Keep a Writing Journal. Not only should you keep a writing journal, it should stay with you. It doesn't matter what size. Even a small, pocket-sized notebook will work. And yes, it is an annoyance to always carry a journal around with you. However, being able to record your thoughts as they occur is a lifesaver, especially if you are in the middle of something else; like a meeting or a family activity.

Write Down Everything. It isn't enough to just have a writing journal; you have to get into the habit of writing everything down. I don't care if it is just a fleeting thought; you need to write it down. You need to write everything down. Get used to putting your ideas into words and make sure that when you re-read what you have written that it makes sense to you as well. If you look back through your journal and find that you can't understand what you were talking about, then you need to refine your note taking style.

Re-Write Every Day. At the end of every day you need to go through your journal and take those ideas that you have written and copy them into a working notebook or even type them into your computer. This will not only help to keep your ideas fresh in your head, it will also help you to begin a working copy of your idea; one which you can adjust and adapt as need be.

Be Your Own Worst Critic. It is not enough to simply write your ideas down, nor even enough to re-write your ideas so that they flow smoothly. Sometimes you have to pull the entire structure apart and re-build it from the ground up. Even though the idea may have sounded good the first time you wrote it down, it can always be better! Write and re-write your ideas out until they say exactly what you want them to; until you can see the picture that they paint in your mind.

Use a Sounding Board. It helps to have a sounding board; someone who is willing to read your work and give you their unbiased opinion. It is not this person's job to edit your work. You simply want their reaction to how the words sound; what sort of picture that it paints in their head. If you do not have a friend or acquaintance who is willing to serve as a sounding board for you, there are many websites out there that allow you to post your work and have readers critique it for you. This is invaluable in learning how to fine tune your writing.
The Benefits of Learning How to Collect Your Thoughts
Learning how to collect your thoughts and being able to bridge the gap between the idea and actually expressing the idea is a daunting task. But by using five tips listed above you can go from simply having an idea to being able to share that idea with others in a way that they will be able to understand.

Five Copywriting Mistakes to Avoid

Never underestimate the importance of good copywriting - if you're initiating a content marketing strategy, you'll need to make a success of it to achieve the desired results.

If your content does not get the point across, you may lose potential sales and damage your company's reputation, which is why it's necessary to place your copywriting campaign in reliable hands.

Below are five common copywriting mistakes that must be avoided:1. Boring headlines'The Father of Advertising' David Ogilvy best sums up the importance of the humble headline:

"On average, five times as many people read the headline as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."

If your headline is unable to draw the reader in, that opportunity for a sale is almost certainly gone.

A headline should be catchy, enticing and hard-hitting, and capable of drawing the reader in at a glance.

2. Features without the benefitA feature tells the consumer the product's function, while the benefit explains why they need it.

Good copywriters present the features before using them to convince a potential buyer of the product's usefulness. A consumer will ignore things that do not directly benefit them.

3. Using the same meta title for each web pageDescriptive, informative copy is important per se - but it also needs to get noticed, which is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.

A meta title reveals the name of a webpage and are read by search engine robots and visitors to the site. To appear higher up the rankings, they need to appeal to the former first and the latter second.

If the same meta title is used for each page, your site won't be properly optimised. This may implicate its search rankings, and its ability to inform potential customers of your business's products and services.

4. Saying too much... or too littleA copywriter must understand the reader and the product. Some copy might involve multiple pages of information, but others may only require a single tweet to get the point across and achieve the desired results.

The important point to remember is to be concise. Word economy is paramount - very rarely can a 3,000-word article not be reduced to 2,500 or 2,000 words. Conciseness prevents unnecessary information from cluttering your copy.

5. Missing the call to actionOnce you have a 'a hook', your reader and potential customer requires a gentle push in the right direction. Ask them to sign up for a newsletter, like your page on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. If you ask for a specific action, the reader will often oblige.

If your article writing disregards the call to action, how do you expect to turn a visitor of your website into a client or buyer?

Pharmaceutical Copywriter? Maybe?

So you are just getting out of college. You want to earn your living as a writer, and you decide on a career as an advertising copywriter. Naturally everyone wants to write the next great sneaker ad, or be the brainchild of the newest 20-year Vodka campaign, right? Not so fast.

While a career in ?consumer? advertising has always been the benchmark of the industry, more and more young copywriters are finding their way in the growing world of pharmaceutical advertising. So why would someone want to write about a depression drug rather than a soft drink?

Here are three major reasons for this trend:


With Job security as low as it has been since the crash of 1929, young creatives in general consumer advertising on Madison Avenue are finding themselves out of work an alarming rate. Pharmaceutical advertising is generally a bit more stable, as the market is simply smaller.


Initially, the salaries earned by consumer and healthcare copywriters is roughly about the same. That is to say, not very much. However, successful healthcare writers see larger salary increases and title promotions sooner than their consumer counterparts.

Sense of Importance:

At first glance the content, regulations and demographic would imply that pharmaceutical advertising wouldn?t allow for as much creativity as a general consumer advertising. And while your ?creative box? may be a bit smaller in pharmaceutical advertising, the work does allow and lend itself to a more dramatic and strategic end result. Furthermore, many creatives in pharmaceutical advertising love the fact that the message matters, and feel that their work truly is important.

So while writing the dream sequence spot for that new video game is fun, at the end of the day you?re simply marketing a video game.

Pharmaceutical writers are asked to really devour the product; it?s chemistry and most importantly how the condition for which the pharmaceutical product is indicated affects patients. In many cases, writers are asked to interview and meet patients to talk about their condition(s). It has been debated ad nauseam if medication is truly the best therapy. And while I?m smart enough to not opine on that topic, there is no arguing that awareness and education for both patients and healthcare professionals are necessary.

In any case, we can be certain that medicine has historically done more for society than any sneaker, soft drink or video game ever has.

To learn more about a career as a pharmaceutical copywriter please feel free to email me at anthony@

Anthony Hemsey is a Sr. Trainer/ VP Placement Specialist at Dola Group Professsional Development. Dola Group is a consulting and executive search firm dedicated soley to the medical pharmaceutical advertising and marketing arena. To learn more about Dola Group?s current program and job openings please visit

To begin a dialogue with one of Dola Group?s professional consultants please send an email to resumes@-? and mention this article!

Keyword Article Companies

When it comes to making the most of your website or blog, you will need to have top notch content. The bottom line is that content brings visitors to your site, and visitors bring profits.

In order to increase traffic to your site, you will want to use a good mix of keyword articles. These will go a long way in increasing your traffic from search engines. Not to mention the fact that keyword articles can also be very educational.

When looking to choose a keyword article company to help you out, there are three important things that you should keep in mind. These details are as follows.

1. A good keyword article company should be devoted to helping you succeed through quality content. This means that you will want to find a service that offers quality content, not just fluff. After all, people are going to be reading what you put on your site. If your writers do not do a good job you will not be making your visitors happy.

2. Even though price is not everything, you will want to take it into consideration. Think of it this way. If you need 10 articles a week, and one service offers them for $6 an article and another $8, you will be saving $20 total every week. Over the course of a month this is $80; and during the year $960. Surely you could find something to do with an extra $960. Remember, costs can add up; shop for the best price without compromising quality.

3. Search for personal service. When you order any type of copywriting project chances are that you will need to be in touch with the writers you are working with. This means that you should do your best to choose a service that will walk you through the process, not one that simply completes the work and sends it back without communication.

Overall, there are several top quality keyword article companies that are available to work for you. As long as you do your research and follow the tips above you should be able to find the one that best suits your needs.

Web Content Writing Could Be Great For Your Website

Web content is the text, visuals or audio that a viewer encounter while visiting you website. It can even be videos and it is what makes your website. Without content, you would just have plain white blank pages on your website.

The idea to keep people coming back to your website is to keep fresh, attractive, informative and interesting content. No matter what business your website is in, there is a need for attractive words. No one is interested in spending time looking at content that is drab and isn't telling or showing them anything new. You could have a great web design, but if the interesting content isn't there people will return.

So now we see why this stuff is so important. If you have no desire or just plain don't know where to start on creating your web content, there are services available to you. There are organizations online that can create excellent quality material for any website.

Generate More Traffic to Your Website

These services will write content that is appropriate for your business and incorporate phrases that are eye-catching and that can be easily remembered. They will also add keyword rich material into your content that will show up in search engines. Having optimal search ability is important for your website as it will create more traffic. The more keywords that are used the more your website appears in searches and that is how the traffic is generated. The web content the writers create will be of high quality and can be written to fit your specific needs and requirements.

What to Expect

If you are in need of marketing to create brand recognition then professional and attractive content is an essential requirement. Quality is important to promote your website or products and services. These services offer a staff of quality writers to create good material for your website, and some may provide different languages if needed. These writers are usually called ghost writers, which means that the rights are transferred so that the material cannot be reused or resold. It will specifically be for a single website.

Quality is important factor and you must make sure that if you are taking the services of any company, you should know that your work is in capable hands. Your satisfaction is important as this will attract people to your website.

If you just aren't sure how to make your web content effective or would like to have a service do your ' content writing, than look for the best company to give you the utmost worth. Quality web content is affordable and a smart investment for any online business to generate more traffic.

Copywriting Tips For You – Is It Time For A Copywriting Course

There just never seems to be enough time in the day for all of the things we must accomplish. Unfortunately education sometimes takes a back seat to the every day challenges of living. A copywriting course you can do in the privacy of your own home may be just what you need to help your writing skills. There is a growing job market for copywriters and with a little instruction and practice you can write professionally.

A copywriting course can be found in many different places and in many different instructional formats. Some courses can be found online whereas others may be taught from videos and personal one-on-one interactions.

If you decide to enroll in a copywriting course, consider what you want to write. Web copywriting aims more towards online advertising whereas SEO articles are designed for companies that rely on internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization or Optimized. They are articles that have keywords or phrases written into the article. If you were to search for the terms "red dog leash collars" it would turn up specific ads or articles that contained those exact words.

When you find the specific copywriting course that suits your needs, check the course work. It should include instructions on how to write persuasive copy. Copywriting is exactly that: writing meant to draw the reader or watcher's attention to whatever the business or company is promoting. Copywriting courses can also teach the fine art of dissuading articles. An example of these would be the anti-smoking ads that we read about in magazines, watch on television and even receive mailers on in our mailbox.

A good copywriting course offers the student the ability to interact with the instructors. This is very important. If you purchased an eBook or program, there should be a way to email or otherwise contact the author of the course. Often there are questions that cannot be answered just by reading the material. The point is not memorization, but gaining knowledge from the coursework so that it benefits you in practical application.

Advertising copywriting or SEO copywriting are always looking for fresh talent and an influx of new writers. A copywriting course can help you on your way to a new career path or simply help you refine your skills in your old career. The possibilities are endless for good copywriters. Companies need writers that can bring in new customers as well as maintain existing customers.

How To Develop Web Content That Sells

Having a website that sells isn't just about having a "snappy" design, although that's a part of it. And it's not just about marketing your site effectively, although that's very important too.

It's also about ensuring that once people reach your page they want to stay for awhile. To do that, you need a combination of the following:

? a logical, informative, easy-to-navigate structure
? an attractive, professional design
? web copy that sells
? marketing strategies and elements in place to attract the right audience

In this article we'll go back to basics and discuss the fundamentals of developing an effective structure for your website. In future articles we'll go into detail on each point and walk you step-by-step through each of the points outlined here.

Many people fall into the trap of making their website simply an on-line brochure that includes selling information. In most situations, visitors to your site DON'T want to be sold.

Instead, they want information on your type of product or service. So ...

1. Add value. Add value. Add value.

The more value-added information you can include on your site, the warmer the relationship you will build with your prospect and the much greater the chances they'll visit your site again and again, refer their friends/colleagues to your site, and of course, buy from you. Make sense?

Here are just some of the types of information you can include on your website:

? Selection tips - how to select the right "widget" for your needs
? How to get the best performance from your product - operating instructions
? Different uses for your products including real life case studies which help your prospective customers get a "horse's mouth" feel for the benefits of owning your product.
? In-depth instructions on how to build something using a range of your products. For instance, if you owned a hardware chain you could include plans and instructions on how to build a pergola or a retaining wall. You could then list all the tools and other items a handyman needs to build it in a checklist type format. From there, the customer could go directly to a full description of each item and then a shopping cart.
? Frequently Asked Questions which help overcome the most common objections.
? Success stories and case studies which flag some of the tremendous successes clients have achieved. See "Imagine Getting Results Like These".
? Directory of useful links that relate to a prospect's needs. For instance, an accountant could include links to the ATO site, ASIC, ASX, BRW etc. etc.

For instance, on this site we include dozens of articles to help business professionals improve the effectiveness of their promotional material.

We do that because we love to give advice that helps people but also we're hoping to build a relationship with potential clients so they'll want to invest in our services down the track.

This philosophy of adding value stems back to the age-old, much coined saying "give generously and you will receive". For more information on this strategy see our article on the law of reciprocation.

Writing articles can be a tedious exercise but it's one that pays off handsomely in the end. Having said that, if you don't have the time to write your own articles you can source other people's articles to publish on your site without spending any money.

Many businesses write articles for their own site but also grant reprint rights so other sites can publish them in return for an acknowledgement and a link back to the author's site. If your organisation operates business-to-business (b-2-b) and you'd like to feature any of our articles on your site, just send me an email letting me know which articles you'd like to feature, and I'll be happy to discuss this opportunity with you.

2. Make it interactive

Naturally it makes sense to know who is visiting your site because you can then contact them to further build the relationship with them and to secure a sale. To do that you can offer:

? a free subscription to a weekly or monthly e-zine
? a "membership" that entitles them to certain privileges
? a FREE consultation
? Guest book - in theory this sounds like an effective way to capture emails. In reality you could find that it's very open to abuse by people wanting to post pointless messages. Also, there's no real benefit in signing a guest book.
? A discussion forum on the other hand provides people with the opportunity to interact with other members and also either post ideas or get advice. If you venture down this track, make sure you moderate the page before items are posted as again, this is open to abuse by your competitors and others who want to "play games".

A Pen is Mightier Than Sword

You can have a killer website design and you can employ the latest technologies to make your visitors say "wow!" but unless your web page copy is compelling enough, and unless it gets the right traffic to your website, the only business you do will be accumulating the "wows!".No doubt, you must have a good-looking website (strangely, even lousy-looking websites do great business sometimes) but along with that you also need to speak smartly and convince your visitors to do business with you. There is a very well known saying by Edmund Henry "The cause of failure lies within the salesman himself , but he often seeks it in the customers". In todays networking world where each firm tries redeaming its pledge in the midnight hours to strive to the top, a sequenched copywriting can make wonders.

SEO Copywriting, or to give it its full name, search engine optimization copywriting or search engine copywriting, is the technique of writing the viewable text on a web page in such a way that it reads well for the surfer, and also targets specific search terms. Its purpose is to rank highly in the search engines for the targeted search terms. As well as the viewable text, SEO Copywriting usually optimizes other on-page elements for the targeted search terms. These include the Title, Description and Keywords tags, headings and alt text. The idea behind SEO Copywriting is that search engines want genuine content pages and not additional pages that are created for the sole purpose of achieving high rankings. Therefore, the engines cannot possibly view SEO copy written pages as undesirable, and the rankings they achieve tend to be as stable as those that are achieved by other search engine optimization techniques. Although the ranking procedure is quite complex and makes use of numerous parameters, one important factor is how your pages are spidered or crawled .Sprinkled with keywords, your web page text should be strategically used to convey to the search engine that your web page really contains information relevant to the keyword in focus.

Chareles Butner has said "He who has a product to sell and whispers in a well is not going to get the rupees as he who climbs a tree and shouts". This is what is the demand of the present scenerio , if you want to demogate yourself to top laurels you need embarking copywriting materials for you company and products. The current statistics reveal that approx 56.38% of private sectors have gained income in their quarterly plans just with proper chronical use of copywriting material. Than why should you turn your site to something which is just visited once in a blue moon, When you can embark the name of your company and its products in laurels of shining stars. The key to it is simple "Seo copywriting".

specializes in online copywriting. The team at iCopywriter focuses on building content that creates value, increasing traffic to your website with engaging material for Internet users to read. If you need to make sure people find your site first when they search for your product or service, we can produce well written and topical SEO articles so you can get ahead of the competition.

"Behind every dark cloud there is a strike of bright light ,similarly behind every upcoming firm will blend as the bright light".

Top 10 Editing Rules To Drop

As a copyeditor and president of a copyediting/copywriting firm, there are times I find great satisfaction in what I do. Like the time I helped a group of consultants turn a garbled mess of technospeak into an award-winning presentation. Or the time I stopped an IT firm from submitting a proposal describing its expertise in porker productivity. (It was supposed to be worker productivity?efficiency, in other words.)

Then there are times when I feel as though I?m spinning my wheels. ?I?ve changed since to because once again! And while to whereas! And thank goodness I caught that pesky over and changed it to more than. Readers would never have understood what the author meant if I hadn?t!? Of course readers would have understood.

But these are the types of reflexive, mechanical changes that we make as editors because ? well, because someone told us to a long time ago. Guess what? I?ve quit making them. Not because preserving distinctions isn?t important?in fact, it?s terribly important and one of our responsibilities as editors of medical journals and other industry-essential documents.. Distortions of usage can affect meaning. The primary role of an editor is to clarify meaning and ensure that a writer?s message will be understood easily and precisely by readers.

And I love being an editor, but I feel strongly that some of the changes we?ve customarily made because ?that?s how it?s done? just aren?t relevant anymore. Our role is not to insist on usage distinctions that don?t affect meaning and that, frankly, no one cares about anymore?much less understands. Doing so reduces our credibility, trivializes our profession, and positions us as little more than mechanical word-switchers, dogmatically replacing one perfectly good word with another.

Worrying over unimportant details detracts us from our true role: ensuring that the written word will be understood effortlessly by readers. That?s the job that I want. And dagnabit, that?s the job I?m going to have.

Starting today, I?m going to stop making the following 10 editorial ?corrections.? I just don?t believe in them anymore. Most contemporary usage guides agree with me. Do you?

Sam?s Top 10 List of ?Errors? to Stop ?Fixing?

1.Since to because. In a nutshell, Garner?s Modern American Usage says of since, ?This subordinating conjunction may bear a sense either of time or of logical connection.? And it?s been used that way for centuries (see the New Testament, Luke 1:13, for example: ?Mary said to the angel, ?How can this be, since I am a virgin???). Yet we?ve all been taught that since must be changed to because when it denotes a sense of causation. I?ve even been marked down on an editing test for not doing so. Folks, listen to Garner: Unless using since risks actual temporal confusion?and it rarely does?feel free to use it. Readers will understand you.

2.Additionally to in addition. Every corporation I?ve worked for has asked me to replace the former with the latter. But I just checked the Webster?s and ? additionally is in there, listed as an adverb synonymous with furthermore. I?m using it.

3.Over to more than. Here?s what the New York Public Library Writer?s Guide to Style and Usage says: ?Despite a long and illustrious battle by grammarians to preserve the distinction between countable units (more than) and cumulative quantities (over), all dictionaries, most commentators, and many excellent writers make no distinction between the use of more than and over.? Hey?if over is good enough for ?many excellent writers,? it?s good enough for me.

4.Compare with to compare to, and vice versa. I understand the traditional distinction between these two terms: compare with contrasts dissimilar things; compare to ? umm ? compares similar things. But do you honestly think that the following sentence (from New York Times technology writer Eric Taub) doesn?t make sense? ?The [Panasonic] ad points out plasma?s superior contrast, color rendition ? and durability when compared to LCD TVs.? Taub?s writing sounds so natural that I just can?t find fault with it. Distinctions that are this fine?and that only editors care about or understand?seem like good candidates for discarding.

5.Like to as or as if. Maintaining this usage distinction requires knowledge of grammar?sadly, on the wane. From about the 17th to the mid-20th centuries, like was allowed to serve only as an adjective. As Garner writes, ?in traditional usage, like is a preposition that governs nouns and noun phrases, not a conjunction that governs verbs or clauses.? Thus, ?The movie ended just as [not like] we hoped it would? and ?It seems as if [not like] we?ll never finish writing this proposal.? Yet the conjunctive use of like has long been ?a usage on the borderline of acceptability in American English? (Robert C. Pooley, 1946); many other teachers and commentators have agreed that ?indefensible it certainly is not? (George P. Krapp, 1969). If it?s good enough for Shakespeare, Keats, authorized translators of the Bible, and Robert W. Burchfield?who wrote in 1922 that ?the distribution patterns suggest that the long-standing resistance to this nippy little word is beginning to crumble as a new century approaches??the conjunctive like is good enough for me. ?Like Scarlet O?Hara, my sister vowed to think about everything tomorrow? many be informal English, but I will not edit it as as. Conversely, I will not edit as to like in a conservative context?I?ll leave what?s there just like it is, as it pleased its author?s ear.

6.While to although or whereas. Hypercorrect editors insist that while be used only to denote the passage of time; for years, I?ve dutifully swapped it for although or whereas. But as Garner points out, ?While is a more relaxed and conversational term than although or whereas? and is a perfectly fine replacement. Relaxed and conversational writing is appropriate in many contexts where whereas would sound stilted. (Side note: Though is acceptable for although in all but the most formal writing?and when the ear wants it.)

7.On the other hand. I am universally told that if on the other hand is used, it must be preceded by on the one hand. Tell it to Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Dirda: ?At a local used-book warehouse I seize upon a lovely copy of the English edition of John Collier?s His Monkey Wife. ? Alas, it?s the second printing. On the other hand, it?s only $7.? Do you seriously want to tell Dirda that his meaning isn?t clear?or that his phrasing is incorrect?

Although a caring managing editor could convince me to make the seven changes for her publications, I?m adamant about the three that follow. I?m not hard to work with?really?but I simply refuse to follow these ?rules? any longer.

You might think that most editors stopped following these nonrules a long time ago, but supervisors and reviewers routinely still insist on them:

8.?You can?t start a sentence with and, but, so, and because.? This groundless superstition is based in a belief that starting a sentence with words like and or but will result in a sentence fragment. It doesn?t. Moreover, some of the most beautiful writing in the English language uses this convention. I give you Emily Dickinson, for example: ?Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me.? And F. Scott Fitzgerald: ?So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.?

9.?You can?t end a sentence with a preposition.? One of our most important concerns as editors is to ensure that writing is clear and understandable. So I prefer ?He?s the one guy I won?t go out with? to ?He?s the one guy with whom I won?t go out.? Both sentences are correct, but the second is less clear?and would sound natural only coming from the mouth of a Jane Austen heroine. If her heroines used the word guy, that is. Or went out with people.

10.?You mustn?t split infinitives.? You can find two whole pages of commentary on this topic in Garner, but I?ll summarize here: ?? the rule against ?splitting an infinitive? contradicts the rules of grammar and the practice of our best writers.? I couldn?t agree more, but many writers still insist on this rule. In fact, I once attended a seminar by a Famous Editor who said that he still teaches his students to follow this rule. His justification? Other writers might think that his students are incorrect if they split an infinitive?even though they?re absolutely not.

That?s the kind of logic that I want to eradicate. This logic frightens us into upholding nonsensical or dated rules lest we appear to be ignorant. It tells us to horde our editorial rules, however trivial, as proof of our competence.

I no longer believe that they bring any value to a manuscript; on the contrary, I think making these ?fixes? wastes editorial time, alters an author?s text unnecessarily, and often creates stilted prose that?s not in keeping with the author?s style or intent. But, take heart, readers: The style book of one of the companies I work for includes the no?split infinitive rule and a few of the other rules listed above that I don?t follow?and haven?t for four years now. And the company still employs me. The lesson I take from that? If you?re a conscientious editor, your clients are going to hang on to you?even (or maybe especially) if you explain your commitment distinguishing spurious rules from sound contemporary ones. Clients come to us because we?re professional editors?and few clients would willingly publish old-fashioned?sounding content. Don?t they deserve the best of our professional editorial practices from us?

Many clients and editors still cherish what Fowler called ?sacred superstitions.? As more of us make an effort to educate clients about why we?re resisting them, over time they?ll continue to lose traction; that?s the only way they will. And when that happens, we can pay more attention to the things that really matter.

My Two Favorite Mothers Day Gifts That Cost Next to Nothing

I used to stress over what to get my mom for Mothers Day. For years it was flowers, cards, clothes or even decorative items for her house. As I got older, I noticed that the things she kept around and bragged on most were the things that cost little or nothing but came from real love. You know the ones, the hand print in plaster and/or paint, the photo mug of us together at the zoo and the hand written card all covered in glitter that said nothing more than "I Love You Mommy" on it.
OK, so I'm not a kid any more, but I still noticed that what mom's really like best are the gifts that create or retell of fond memories together.
It was at that very moment that I knew I had to do something different in my Mother's Day gift giving. I needed more of me and us in it and a lot less of it's just for her. Mom's aren't about taking, they are all about giving... especially in giving of themselves to the ones they love most. I needed a Mother's Day present that showed not only that I appreciated all that she had done for me, but one that reminded her that our time together really meant something that couldn't be lost.
Now that I know the real secret to what Mom's really want for Mother's Day, it's become one of my favorite holidays and one we both look forward too each and every year.
Here's just two of the ideas that have kept my mom bragging for months to her friends and the rest of the family.
Mother's Day Gift Idea #1 - The Memory Letter
I got this idea from the old glitter covered card she still had from my school days. I just took it to a new level.
Very simply, I downloaded some free stationery pages to use as the decoration. I then sat down and made a list of some of the really great times I've had that my mom played a large roll in. Vacations, shopping trips, long drives to get me to sporting events, anything that brought a vision of my mom in my head. Bad times that she made better for me were even better.
I then just sat down and put those storied in writing. You know... "Dear Mom, Remember when..." and I filled several pages with those vivid memories. At the end, I simply wrote: "Mom, it's the little things you did that I'll always remember most."
I then printed the stationery pages out (I have lousy handwriting so I typed them) on the stationery downloads and sealed them in a nice envelope that read: "To Mother With Love - Don't open until Mother's Day" and placed that envelope inside another one to mail.
I'm told the tear's of joy fell for days after and she reads the letter again several times a year. I got the biggest hug in the world the next time I was home for a visit.
Mother's Day Gift Idea #2 - The Photo Memory Journal
The idea for this one came from the photo mug I had made for her as a teen. Again, I just took the basic idea and stepped it up a few rungs on the ladder.
This one happens in two parts. Part one, pick up a cheap diary or journal book from your local retail or book store. If you are really short on cash, you can also download some free digital stationery page templates, print a few pages and bind them with some ribbon or lace. Your mom isn't going to care how much it cost as it will be part two that makes the gift.
Part two:
This is what really makes it special. Plan for a day (rain or shine) that you both have off, preferably just a few days after Mother's Day. You can do it before, but I think it's better if part two happens afterward. Pick some place special such as a garden, park, tea room or other photogenic location. You can even plan an afternoon tea followed by the trip to the tropical gardens etc.
On the fist page of the journal, you'll put the planned date, the time you'll pick her up and a note to dress for rain, dress for casual or dress for formal. Nothing more except for the Happy Mother's Day Mom and your signature.
The anticipation will build over the next couple days until the event and that serves to set the mood and ingrain the memory. If your area is prone to rain/spring snow/ or other such weather, be sure and have a backup planned if it's not an indoor event.
The real key is that you are going to do something special together and you will take photos and write memories in the journal to go with them. I even had the rest of the family show up at the end and had professional photos taken of the whole family... first time in 10+ years. My point is that you can do this for next to nothing or you can, if you have the means, spend a little cash and get professional help. The result is the same... Joy and a new treasured memory you made together that will be remembered for many years to come.
Now that you get the idea, take a look around your mother's home and in her closets... ask her if she still has any of your childhood gifts or art projects. Then, take a little imagination and turn that into an updated Mother's Day she'll soon not forget.
One last note.
We filled only a few of the pages of that first journal with memories and photos. Now, we plan little trips a couple of times a year together so we can fill in the rest of the book. She treasures these times more than I can tell you and one day when she's no longer with me, I have no doubt I'll be treasuring the book even more.
Happy Mother's Day Memories...