Daphne Gray-Grant

Daphne Gray-Grant is former features editor at a major metropolitan daily newspaper, Daphne Gray-Grant is a writer, editor and writing coach. Follow Here For Her Website where you can sign up for her free weekly newsletter or buy her popular book, 8 1/2 Steps to Writing Faster.

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Are you the type of person who writes a sentence and then spends 10 minutes thinking about it? "Is that the best word?" you wonder. "Does this flow from the previous sentence?" "Is that pronoun in the right place?"


Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? Here are 10 ways to tame that monster!



If your writing is blocked or too slow, even though you've scheduled lots of writing time for yourself, then try something different. Tell yourself that you are allowed to write for only "x" number of minutes per day or per week. (You, of course, get to decide what X represents, but make it slightly smaller than you think reasonable.)


If you’re reading this column, you’re likely already a fan of the Internet. But do you use it to full advantage for all your wordsmithing? Here are a few sites I highly recommend:



Will all of these specific tips work for you? Maybe, maybe not. But invest an hour or two in getting your hard drive better organized and I guarantee you'll see your productivity soar.



Here’s a question I get at least a hundred times a year. Why is writing so damn tough?


I’m more inclined to agree with Stephen King who said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt.” He continued: “What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” Hard work is what I want to talk about today. Many people seem to think that writers are always "born" rather than "made." No way!


The advantage of scouring your writing for these phrases is simple. If you focus on a few phrases -- with the passion and precision a 16-year-old girl might devote to applying her lipstick -- your brain will start to become attuned to other unnecessary words. It's been said it takes 21 days to form a habit. I don't know about that, but I do know if you work on ridding your text of a few common needless phrases, you're likely to develop the habit of eliminating all needless words.


When you're undertaking a big writing project – such as a book – or even a medium-sized project, like an essay, it's easy to get overwhelmed. The usual advice, which I'm sure you've heard several million times before, is to break the work into small, manageable chunks.

Mark Twain once famously said: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter -- ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad there’s someone out there who can still laugh about grammar!

Negative thoughts will not only hurt your writing; they'll also make writing slower and more painful. Don't let the devil get away with it. Fight back.



In a dark and gloomy pit, deep in the bowels of the earth, a large and strongly muscled man rolls a heavy boulder up a steep hill. The task takes him the entire day. But when he gets to the top, ooophhhh, the stone escapes his grasp and rolls right back down to the bottom. So the next day he must begin all over again.



Like many ex-journalists, I pride myself in being skeptical. But I also have a Pollyanna streak that leads me to believe that being kind is one of the keys to success. A recent York University study found that people who performed small acts of kindness — every day for five to 15 minutes for a week — increased their happiness and self-esteem.


When I have a hard time understanding a piece of writing, I often discover the author is dipsy-doodling in "height." He or she is going from big ideas to small without giving me enough warning.

Is Your Writing Clear Enough That People Can Understand What You Are Trying To Say?


I know the feeling. You really, really, really don't want to write. You're blocked. You've hit the wall. The words just won't come. You're bereft of inspiration.


I recently started and finished a tiresome editing project that had been hanging over my head for about two months. In my defense, I can say the delay was the result of some holidays and also some excruciating back pain. But, if I was honest, I'd also have to admit I was, well, procrastinating.

Writing is a little bit like giving directions. As the writer, you know the landscape. You’ve had the benefit of doing the research, conducting the interviews, pondering the material and then, actually writing it.


"Why should I want to write quickly?" That gauntlet, thrown down by a colleague recently, caused me to sit back -- rather like an astronaut pressed into the chair by G-forces. But for me, the only force was astonishment.



This week's column is about mistakes and I am supremely well qualified to write it. I'm the idiot who once let an email subject line read, "Why you should ignore your grammer checker."



Have you ever encountered a four-year-old who hasn't eaten enough? It's not pretty. It almost always involves a tantrum with screaming and tears -- and maybe even kicking and punching. But offer some apple juice, fishy crackers and a cheese string and, voila, the problem is usually solved.

What happens to you when you've written an article, chapter or report and it feels wrong or "off"?

People frequently ask me how many times they should rewrite. I try to dodge this question because, in truth, there is no easy answer. Pieces of writing are like snowflakes; each is unique. There are, however, some questions you can ask yourself for guidance


Daphne Gray-Grant Contributes Her Thoughts Concerning Three Writing Resolutions For 2012

Daphne Gray-Grant Contributes Her Thoughts On How To Being Your Sentences In A Winning Way

Daphne Gray-Grant Thoughts On "Darling" Writing



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