By Estelle Erasmus
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So, I haven’t posted here in a while. At first I thought that I’d post after the 2017 ASJA conference in May in NYC, where I was chair and also taught a workshop on pitching. Here is a link to my post on the experience).
Estelle’s Publishing Wisdom
The Thing about “Thing”
My students often write the word “thing” in their essays and articles, and when I edit them I always cross it out and ask them to find a better word.
In writing, the more descriptive you are the better. Think about it: if someone says, “I loved that thing you did, “wouldn’t you want to know what it was exactly that they loved? Wouldn’t it be better if they had told you, “I loved the way you sang that song”? Of course, it would.
I always teach my students and clients that as writers we need to get more specific.
Here’s a great example.
When I think about the things we used to do together, it makes me sad.
Now, isn’t it better and more interesting to write it this way:
When I think of how we used to go out dancing, and sip milkshakes from the same straw, it makes me sad.
See the difference? Its a big one.
So bottom line; Use specific verb/nouns (sip milkshakes) and verbs (dancing) to make a sentence clear so it will resonate with the reader. It elicits emotion, which is what you want. Most people can relate to dancing and milkshakes, but they can’t to the word “thing.”
In July, I stepped up my writing coaching business with international and national students (you can see their testimonials here), and got out a few pitches resulting in these articles which I’m proud of
Finding Purpose in a PreRetirement Trip to Ecuador (Next Avenue/PBS)
The Buzz on At-Home Microneedling Kits (Zwivel.com)
And because of my beauty background I was asked to write these pieces
Plus, I have a print piece coming out in Brain, Child this month and one in Family Circle next year.
In August, I spoke at the Writer’s Digest Conference on personal essay writing (see pics below)