Writing Tip Wednesday: Be Your Own Siri

I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been working on something long enough, I can’t tell if it’s good or not. I get tired of looking at it and I begin to see it as the best thing I’ve ever written simply because I just want to. be. done.

So I read it out loud. And that’s my advice for you, too. Read your writing out loud and listen for the awkward places—words, phrases, sentences that just don’t seem right. If it sounds awkward when you hear it, there’s a good chance it’ll sound awkward to your reader. Reading out loud forces you to slow down and think about each word. It’ll help you catch misspellings, misuses of punctuation, run-on sentences, repetition, and redundancies. No matter what you’re working on—emails, term papers, articles, novels—this simple trick will help you self-edit.

And yes, reading something out loud can be weird when you have an unsuspecting audience. I sit in a cubicle at work, and I do most of my blogging at Starbucks, so I understand. Print it out and take a walk, or whisper it to yourself. Sometimes just mouthing the words is enough to show you where your writing needs improvement.

Okay, so I don’t have an iPhone and I don’t really know what Siri does, but I suspect “she” can read things to you. If not, hopefully you still get my point. And if she can, maybe she can even read  your writing for you.

Obviously I’m a writer, not a techie : )

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