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Why clichés can be good for your writing

You know you shouldn't use clichés, right? They're the enemy of all writers, according to some experts, and using even one cliché will make you look lazy and unimaginative. And you've sucked it in like water in a sponge. You know you should avoid clichés like . . . well, no, not like the plague… Read More

Conquer your fear of writing with small steps

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.—President Franklin D. Roosevelt Overcoming fear requires effort no matter what you're afraid of. It could be anything from a full-fledged phobia—of spiders, for example—to feeling nervous around someone like your boss or a celebrity. Fear can be healthy. If you’re afraid of a shadowy figure… Read More

The secret trick to mastering commas

Did you take the Simple Writing comma quiz? If not, you might want to give it a whirl before reading on. As of today, the average score for 245 readers who tried their luck—or exercised their knowledge—is 60%. Since the quiz has 20 questions, a score of 60% means 12 correct and 8 incorrect. And… Read More

10 ways to write awesome introductions

The blank page stares back at you. Suddenly, smacking your head against a wall sounds like a good idea. You rock back and forth. You rub your chin and start picking at cuticles. Maybe you crack your knuckles. And the minutes tick by as you ponder the meaning of writer's block. How do I start… Read More

How to avoid gender-biased language in your writing

Avoiding gender bias in your writing might be the last thing you’re worried about. You’re not biased about anything, right? Wrong. We’re all biased, and sometimes we’re not even aware of it. “Bias” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. It can simply mean having a preference for one thing over another—a leaning, an outlook, an… Read More