There is never a good reason to write bad English — no matter what they tell you.

Let’s first start with that supposed rule about never ending a sentence with a preposition. That rule came about because a 19th century grammarian was trying to establish that the same rules were used in English as were used in Latin. It’s perfectly true that one shouldn’t end a Latin sentence with a preposition. However, that is simply not true in English.

To quote from the Oxford Dictionary, “There’s no necessity to ban prepositions from the end of sentences. Ending a sentence with a preposition is a perfectly natural part of the structure of modern English.”

So stuff that rule…


They own all your copy, regardless of whether you win or not, for a year. No payment for you!

I read all the comments and I shrink inside me. What is so exciting about pitting your skills against someone else? It scares the hell out of me. I have always hated competition. I can only win when I demolish someone else. Someone else can only win when they demolish me.

In the past, when I was doing well in sales jobs (generally running well ahead of others), my security in my job came to an end when competitions were announced. I would resign shortly afterwards. Management never understood why, and I didn’t either. I just didn’t want to be…


In the sixteen months I’ve been on Medium, I’ve never been able to bring myself to read a single article in any of the official Medium Publications.

Having encountered yet another of these badly written essays this morning, I began to analyze why that was. I looked at the topics, and I looked at the writing. So here are my conclusions.

  1. The editors of these magazines, all of whom probably have some sort of equivalent English or communications degree, don’t appear to be able to recognize good writing.
  2. There is the assumption that just because one has an English degree or a communications degree, one is adept at language and has the ability to write well. Nothing could be further from the truth. …


Don’t miss it! It’s on Youtube.

San Diego Comic Con, for whom I worked as a staff volunteer for 10 years before leaving the States, goes live tomorrow on Youtube. For three days, you can watch panels and seminars on how to do things (from writing to making movies to graphic design, etc., plus watch new releases, etc. If you’ve never been been to SDCC, put it on your bucket list.

Here is the schedule.

And here’s everything else.

And this is where you watch the fun!

Here’s some of what I’m going to watch (all Pacific Time) on day one:

  • July, 23rd 10 am


It’s not just about telling your story — it’s about getting traffic.

I’m going to take it for granted that you can write. I, personally, do not believe that creative writing can be taught. I believe that if one hasn’t grasped the A, B, Cs by the time one is twelve or thirteen, then it’s pretty much pointless trying to learn them (to a publishing standard) later. So, as I was saying, I take it you can write well. Here’s what you need to know if you’ve just started writing on the web.

  1. Everything on the web is driven by things called algorithms. They determine whether your stuff is good enough or…


25,000 years after she died, she came back to find her lover.

23,000 BCE

I am Ayesha — she who must be obeyed. I will only enter this world again at the next dawn of Aquarius, many millennia from now. Thus I must write my story, so that I may remember when I return. The land around me is sinking rapidly. Everywhere is water. Where once stood palaces and doorways to places of power, now there is only a vast ocean.

Those that peopled this place are either dead, or they have fled. Only I remain — on the peak of a mountain that is slowly sinking into a sea of liquid…


During the past 30 minutes, I’ve stopped reading several articles within two paragraphs. Let me tell you why. It’s because they are written in a creative non-fiction style, and if there is anything that irritates the hell out of me, it’s a piece with an intriguing headline that doesn’t capture what is written about in the first pagraph.

Creative non-fiction is non-fiction that uses story telling techniques. Story telling means putting the hook in the first paragraph and only giving the answer right at the end of the story. …


I know I’m going to be shot for writing this, but creative writing is a combination of intellect, art and skill, and neither the art part nor the intellect can be taught.

So you want to sing like Elvis Presley, but you were born with a croak in your throat. No matter how many classes you attend, you will never sing like Elvis Presley. Or you want to paint like Da Vinci, but you get no further than drawing a stick figure. You cannot understand why the girl next to you is effortlessly sketching the teacher. So you ask her for her process , because you erroneously believe that if you understand her process, you, too, can draw like that. You dream of being the next Einstein, but algebra doesn’t make sense…


I’ve been published for 60 years (check my portfolio), and I think twice before I share something. I know just how much is luck!

You will notice that there are a lot of people on this platform who are minting money because they come up with headlines like “How to get 10,000 followers in a few months,” and then they tell you to use the ‘follow-for-follow’ method. Just so that you know, that worked fine in 1999. People don’t follow you just because you follow them. Even worse, even if they do, that doesn’t mean they are going to read you. And writers get paid because they are read!

There’s a lot of very bad advice given to people who would like to earn…


You do not put your links to your writing on another writer’s stream.

I’ve just been following the antics of a writer as he went to each of my articles, highllighted some lines, and then made a comment that had more to do with the article he was linking to than anything to do with what I had written. Naturally, the link was to his writing.

Considering that each writer on Medium (and on any other content site) works hard to get readers to their stream, it is the height of rudeness and ruthlessness to attempt to steer those readers to their site. It is also extremely unprofessional. As writers, we understand just…

Tessa Schlesinger — Born to Write

Without the writer, the singer has no song, and the actor has no words.

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