Woe is I

It’s time to revisit the craft – the craft of writing. Yes, I’m a craftsman. Actually, I’m not, I’m a hack. So I’m reading this book to make improvements. In fact, I’m adding Woe is I to the list of books to have around if you want to improve your writing.

Right now, if I look at this little space on my shelf that I keep reference materials, I have:

  • The Elements of Style (aka Strunk and White)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • On Writing Well

I will add this to the shelf because it’s worthy. It’s short and has bulleted hints, tips, and explanations. It has a Strunk and White feel but is more focused on grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation. They’re good complements, I’m glad I have both.

In fact, I may get Strunk and White in hardcover, just because.

I loved the chapter on clichés. In fact, I had a tag line for my business that encapsulated all aspects of Steffen Consulting that I wanted to convey, but the tag line was listed in the cliché chapter as overused. And you know what, O’Conner was right; it is overused and I’m not going to use it (btw, it was “leveling the playing field”).

The question is, how do I use these books in real time while writing? I do most of my writing when they’re outside of my reach, so even though I have questions, I usually just reword the sentence or jump through hoops to avoid the issue. This needs to change. Also, I haven’t gone through the The Chicago Manual of Style yet. Gail seems to think that one encompasses all of the books. Maybe I just haul that one around, but it’s massive.

I need time, time to concentrate. I need to rework things.