Catch More Writing Mistakes With This Underutilized Proofreading Trick

chess pieces - pay attention to every little detail

Proofreading is simple.

That may seem like a sacrilegious statement coming from someone who spent years justifying that proofreading is a specialized skill to condescending critics.

But I want to show you a simple proofreading trick, so you are able to review your writing like a professional proofreader — even if you only have time to proofread your writing once.

This underutilized technique will help you spot and correct errors in your digital content that you’ve previously glossed over.

Read More…

How Bestselling Author Austin Kleon Writes, Part Two


New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon has been called “one of the most interesting people on the Internet” by The Atlantic magazine, and he stopped by The Writer Files to chat about creativity and the writing life.

Austin is the author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work!. They’re guides The Writer Files host Kelton Reid recommends to all writers seeking insights for tapping into your endless reserves of creativity and innovation.

In addition to being featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS’s Newshour, and The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Kleon speaks about “creativity in the digital age” for organizations as varied as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and The Economist.

Read More…

7 Common Mistakes Writers Make When Pitching to Editors


Do you have pet peeves about human interactions? What types of behavior absolutely drive you nuts?

You could hate when someone doesn’t say “thank you” when you hold a door open for him or become extremely irritated when someone chews gum too loudly.

Editors are humans with pet peeves, as well, so if you’d like an editor to review — and possibly publish — your writing, there are certain actions you should avoid.

Read More…

How Neuroscientist Michael Grybko Defines Empathy


Have you ever wondered why great writing creates an emotional response in readers? Welcome to another guest segment where The Writer Files host Kelton Reid picks the brain of a neuroscientist.

Research scientist Michael Grybko — of the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington — returned to the show to help Kelton define empathy from a scientific standpoint.

Mr. Grybko sheds some light into the darker corners of our understanding of how to tap into the hopes, dreams, and fears of your readers.

Read More…

Reminder: Webinar Tomorrow on Avoiding Product Fails

free webinar - how to avoid product failure

Just a reminder that tomorrow Chris Garrett and I will be leading a webinar on The 3 Reasons People Fail When Creating Products Online.

Chris and I have taught lots and lots of folks how to build successful products and businesses on the web — and we’ve also seen some patterns that consistently result in frustration and failure.

We’d love to help you kick all of the “Fail” parts to the curb, so you can get on with the good stuff: creating and marketing products that your audience will love.

Read More…

Writer Porn: Standing Desks, Binge Reading, and James Patterson’s MasterClass


This week, award-winning, globe-trotting travel journalist Adam Skolnick returns as guest host of The Writer Files for another edition of Writer Porn to discuss pertinent, writerly paraphernalia.

Adam is the author and co‐author of 25 Lonely Planet guidebooks. He has also written for publications as varied as the New York Times,, Men’s Health, Outside, and Playboy.

He recently finished his first narrative nonfiction book — based on his award-winning New York Times coverage of the death of the greatest American free diver of all time — titled One Breath (slated for publication in January).

Read More…