Working as a writing instructor and also serving on the board for the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association, I come across a lot of great writing resources. So, I thought I’d share a few of them as they come along. Please feel free to pass along any gems that you’ve encountered!
- Monthly Writing Schedule : This is the schedule I wrote for NaNoWriMo, but it works for any writing deadline you have. If you’re familiar with Excel, just change the equation from 2000 to whatever your desired word count is for the day. And you’ll need to change the dates on the calendar, of course, for whatever month you’re in. Make sure you regularly update your progress, each day, so the projected goals mean something.
- Diana Hacker’s Website: Hacker writes my favorite grammar books, and she has an excellent website to supplement the textbooks. You don’t need a textbook to use it, though. You’ll find lots of exercises to help you with tricky writing rules you struggle with. But she’s also got an excellent section on citing sources in different documentation styles.
- Tracking Changes: Microsoft Word has a great tool for editing your work on the screen. It’s called tracking changes. The free, open source word processing program in Open Office also contains a similar feature. I’ve created tutorials for using this feature in these programs. If you use a version of Word older than 2007, use this tutorial. For 2007 and newer, this works. And for Open Office, choose this one.
- Copy Editing Symbols: If you’re more the pen and paper style writer, you can learn copy-editing symbols that will help you edit your work directly on the page. It can also help you give feedback to others, when you only have printed versions to read. The University of Colorado at Boulder has provided a free online resource to learn this handy tool.