Skip to content

Write like you speak? Yay or nay.


Writing Etc. – December 3, 2013

ISSN: 1545-5580

Make Your Writing Sparkle. Write Killer Queries, Get Published.

Join the brightest, most ambitious, and talented group of writers on the ‘net.


To subscr*ibe to Writing Etc. and receive the fr*e e-book, “Power Queries,” surf here:

Forward Writing Etc. to all your friends! They’ll be glad you did.

You can easily manage your subscription to Writing Etc. by clicking the links at the end of this e-mail.


In This Issue:

Notes from Minnesota: Bad luck/good luck. Is it a matter of perspective?

Write like you speak? Yay or nay.

2013 Action Plan to Jumpstart Your Writing Career


This issue is sponsored by:

Last week: Check ‘er out: Now you can get all three of my novels during this pre-holiday special. I’m cleaning the storage area and need room for upcoming titles by some AWESOME authors.

The tale grabs my interest from the beginning, and keeps me reading. This is an entertaining story, just real enough to make me think, “Well, I guess it could happen,” and just improbable enough to set my own imagination to spinning daydreams.” Andrea Chester,

It’s first come, first serve. Check it out here.


Notes from Minnesota:

Welcome to December! I’m expecting up to six inches of the white stuff. Good thing I’ve got a cup of hot chocolate in my future. I love watching seasons change.

So… I just celebrated my six month cancerversary. I was chatting with my son, musing about what a bad-luck year 2013 turned out to be. He disagreed.

“Mom,” he said, “do you realize if they hadn’t caught your tumor, today your cancer would be spreading? In just over a year from now, you would have been inoperable? Just think, I could be planning my mom’s funeral before I turned thirty.”

I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t thought of that. I guess 2013 turned out to be one my luckiest years ever.

Which brings me to you.

You’re not immortal, either. Are you writing? Are you pursuing your dream? I had a big brush with the grim reaper this year and it changed a few things.

Today, I work on projects I enjoy and jettison the annoying ones.

I don’t write for reviews. I keep my reader in mind, but I write what’s on my heart, not what I think people will give a big “thumbs up.”

I play with my dogs more. I drink hot cocoa with my family. I hug my nieces and barely notice when they deposit an ooie-gooie on my shirt. (Well, I notice but I just clean up without a fuss.) 🙂

When bad luck strikes, I don’t immediately label it as such. I just may find a gem in that bit of news.

What would you do if you only had a couple years left? If I were you, I’d suggest working on it today. Right now. Life can get quite interesting in a New York minute.

Onward and upward,



Off topic? Kinda, sorta. But not really. As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for tasty treats that won’t grow my tush. I sit too much and don’t need snacks that sabotage a healthy lifestyle. So, while I was recuperating from my cancer escapade, I worked on this little gem. Supported by all my docs as well as my oncologist, I now bring this project to you:

When we embarked on our heart healthy lifestyle, lowered our cholesterol, lost around 200 pounds (total between the three of us), one of the challenges we faced was finding healthy, whole grain, tasty baked goods we could make fast. Who likes to come home to an empty kitchen, exhausted after work, only to find nothing to eat, no energy to create a full meal… it’s frustrating.

That’s why I developed a healthy mix that’s super easy to create (clean up is a snap) as well as 50 recipes plus 24 single serving recipes for those times when you really don’t want an entire batch of cookies enticing you in the freezer.

So, what can you make with this simple, healthy mix? How’s this for starters: Ginger Snaps, Cakes, Pancakes, Waffles, Cherry Swirl Coffee Cake, Muffins, Velvet Coconut Nut Cake, Oatmeal Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Glazed Donuts (super easy, btw), Agave Apple Bundt Cake, Frosted Chocolate Cookies (yup, you read right), Cappuccino Bars, Dumplings, Pizza Crust, Pot Pies, and much more.

Best of all, every recipe is whole grain, low fat, and helps us effortlessly maintain our collective weight loss. The ingredients for every recipe are incredibly easy to find… nothing exotic or rare to find here.

Plus, when you order direct, I’ll throw in a private cooking class DVD as well as a fast cheat sheet so you can make many of our favorite recipes in a flash. That’s a lot of info for just 9.95.

Plus, all these taste tested recipes have received an enthusiastic “thumbs up” from the students of our cooking class and are selling like hot cakes around these parts. We’re just now introducing it to our Internet friends. Super cool.

We don’t have an official sales page yet, but you can get your hands on one by clicking here.

Buy It From CCNow

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Feature Article ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Write like you speak? Yay or nay.

By Beth Ann Erickson

I’ve often advocated the mantra “write like you speak.” By doing so, writers can theoretically communicate in a natural style, create messages where words become invisible and communication is king. It’s supposedly a way to allow the writer’s personality shine, allow their unique style to sit up front and center.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

However, something has changed these past few years. Lately I’ve been presented with a number of projects that resemble this guy’s speaking style. Note: overt flirting ensues. If you’re offended, you may want to skip this one. May I introduce you to Ricky:

While they’re presumably under the impression that their speaking style (hence their writing style) resembles this person’s oratory skills. Here’s Tommy Lee Jones:

Now… I’m not sure what has happened to our fair profession, but sheesh…. It’s one thing to communicate in a conversational style, it’s another to spill words onto a page without nary a thought to word choice, logical flow, and just a few grammar rules.

Which leads me to my point: I’m updating my advice to writers. Please write in an intelligent conversational manner.

Here’s an example of this new technique: Suppose you just had an argument with your spouse. You’re angry. You’re not eloquent. You’re stuttering, stammering, trying to drive home your point. After the altercation completes, you walk away and for the next few hours, you’re ruminating over the event, constructing the BEST sentences, FABULOUS arguments, bullet proof points ever imagined.

Those thoughts are the ones you want to capture on paper.

In the heat of the moment, we all sound like a doofus. But your eloquent self emerges during those moments of self-reflection. That’s the person you want to be in print.

So… proofread. Read all your writing aloud before you submit. If you stumble, you’ve written a sentence that’s too complex. Revise. If your mind wanders, you’ve likely written something boring. If you need a breath before the end of the sentence, shorten it.

Cut all extraneous tangents that don’t adequately support your message.

Make your writing as streamlined, readable, and eloquent as possible. Write conversationally, but do so illustrating your communication style at its best.


Want a ton more ultra-effective techniques that’ll give you an incredible edge in the over-crowded freelance world? Click this link .


2013 Action Plan to Jumpstart Your Writing Career

This week I want you to eaves drop. Listen to the people around you as they speak. Analyze their communication style. What do you like, what could they improve? Listen to yourself, become aware of your tenancies, dialect, and habits (good and bad).

Make note of when you find a “Ricky” versus when you encounter a “Tommy Lee Jones.” Perhaps you possess qualities of one or the other. Make note of this.

It’s a fun exercise. Try it.


To subscr*ibe to Writing Etc. and receive the fr*e e-book, “Power Queries,” surf here:

Forward Writing Etc. to all your friends! They’ll be glad you did.

You can easily manage your subscription to Writing Etc. by clicking the links at the end of this e-mail.


You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:

This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.”



I Recommend:

Writing For Dollars! The FREE ezine for writers featuring tips, tricks and ideas for selling what you write. Receive the FREE ebook, 83 WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WRITING when you subscribe. Email to -*-

WRITERS FIND MARKETS EASILY – Worldwide Freelance has a NEW fully-searchable Markets Database. Discover writing markets from North America, Europe, Australia and other places. It’s free, so come and try it out



Please recommend this newsletter to anyone you know who’d like to learn how to make their writing sparkle. Just click on “Forward” in your email program and hit send.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: We will not distribute your email address to anyone. Ever. Period.

Please send your news items, ideas, comments, etc. to

Writing Etc.

Box 326

Kandiyohi, MN 56251

Maurice and Beth Erickson, Publishers

(c) 2013

Published inWriting Etc.