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Fine Tuning Your Writing on HubPages - Three Quick Tips

Updated on December 27, 2012

Don't Click that "Publish Now" Button Yet!

By the time I pull a Hub together, all I want to do is click the Publish Now button, pour a Scotch in celebration of my hard work, and sit back to wait for the comments to stream in and for my new Hub’s score to go through the roof. (Does that desire ring a bell with you?)

That’s what I want to do so very, very badly. Instead, I use my left hand to slap my right hand away from the mouse, and thus away from the Publish Now button, thereby foregoing the euphoria that instant gratification bestows.

“How could you be so cruel to yourself,” you might be asking. I ask that same question of myself, every time I get ready to publish a Hub. And I always come up with the same clichéd answer: No pain, no gain. You see, I have a more important objective in mind, and I have to go through the pain to get there.

Reading Should Be a Simple Path

Here’s what I want.

I want readers to travel through my Hubs without any kind of logical, grammatical, syntactical, or spelling obstruction. I want them to enjoy a clear path from start to finish: no potholes to fall into, no fallen trees to navigate, no faulty trail signs to follow. I want people to read my Hubs, leave their insightful comments, and ultimately share my writings with others. And, of course, I want my readers to keep coming back for more.

Here are three quick tips for fine-tuning your Hubs so that readers don’t stumble so often and so badly that they click the back button to venture out on someone else’s trail.

Don't let your reader stumble over obstacles you place in your writing. A clear path keeps the reader's focus.
Don't let your reader stumble over obstacles you place in your writing. A clear path keeps the reader's focus. | Source

Tip 1 - Use Those Writing Tools, Again

Use That Spell Checker

Even if you used a spell checker religiously while you drafted your Hub, use it one more time. It's so easy to make a mistake when your Hub is on the final lap to the finish line. Go through the pain again to catch any mistakes you made in the final editing process. And for Pete's sake, don’t ever publish your Hub with this wrong spelling.

Use Your Brain

Also, use the tool that is your brain. Spell checkers are not context-sensitive even though some claim to be. Put effort into looking for ware vs. wear, their vs. there, its vs. it's, whole vs. hole, rein vs. reign, and all the rest of those tricky homonyms.

Use a Word-count Application

Don’t underestimate the power of numbers here, because if your Hub falls low in word-count, it's a sign that you should be looking for content that you didn’t develop in your early drafts. In other words, are you giving the reader his money's worth, not in terms of exact number of words, but in terms of the fullness of your thoughts?

Please Visit the Twilight Zone by Yourself

Use a Grammar Checker - Or Not

If you feel you have to use a grammar checker, then either you need to take a writing course (or five or ten), or you are the person whose grammar is fine but who likes drifting off into the convoluted dimension a grammar checker will lead. This journey will not contribute to the success of your Hub; in fact, it will lead you to the Twilight Zone of wasted time, bizarre grammatical constructions that lead you to doubt your normally good sense, and ultimately, to an unproductive writing process.

Tip 2 - Re-examine Sub-headings

Sub-headings create a map of your Hub. Readers want to know, starting at point A, how to get to B, to C, and to the end. Many studies have shown that Internet readers scan sub-headings (or link text) before they delve into full-bodied text, because they want to know if it's worth their time. Look for these two things in your own Hubs to keep readers on the right path.

Make Sure the Title of Your Hub and the Sub-headings Tell a Story by Themselves

Think about the contents of a book. When you read the well-written contents page of a book, you should get an excellent idea of whether it's worth your time to read the whole book, because the contents page will show you, like a map, where you will start and where you will end. Apply the same thinking to your Hub’s title and sub-headings.

Where I Learned To Love Writing

I learned to love writing through my graduate work at Arcadia University, where my heart became full with the desire to communicate, to do it well, and to use communications skills to make a difference.

Arcadia (aka Beaver) has one of the finest English Masters programs in the USA, perhaps in the world. That's because the university committed to integrating American life with international life, even before the name change and even before "global" was a well-known concept.

Arcadia University used to be called Beaver College. With the advent of the Internet, the college had to change its name, because a search on "beaver", well, do I need to say more?

Check that Related Sub-headings Are Consistent in Syntax and Grammar

Strive for consistency in the syntactical and grammatical forms of related sub-headings while keeping your reader’s goals in mind. In this Hub, all of the sub-headings related to the three tips are in the same form: Do (something). What if I had written sub-headings like these:

  • Writing Tools Work to Your Advantage
  • Examining Sub-headings
  • Look for the “So what?” Factor

I think I would have given you enough of a headache for you to head out on someone else’s trail (unless you are a loyal fan of mine who is willing to put aside painful moments for my sake).

Also, I could have written the sub-headings this way:

  • Writing Tools that Work to Your Advantage
  • Techniques for Examining the Effectiveness of Sub-headings
  • More Techniques for Keeping Your Reader's Attention

These are all consistent in form and syntax, but they are boring as hell and therefore have little value for your reader. Who wants to follow this boring path?

Strive to engage your reader with the promise of an exciting journey’s end.

Tip 3 - Re-read for the “So what?” Factor

When your reader finds himself saying “So what?” as in, “So, what’s the point?”, or worse, “Why should I care?”, then you’ve lost him. If you leave a passage in your writing that triggers this response, I guarantee that the rest of your work will not be read, and the back or forward button will be clicked.

Here’s an example.

Brilliant fall colors greeted me as my car made its way up the rugged road to my uncle’s cabin. Fall colors include reds, yellows, oranges, ambers, and browns. The glorious colors punched a hole in my heart, precisely in the place that missed him so much.

Hey, who cares about what the characteristics of fall colors are at this point in the telling? I, the reader, want to get to the uncle-love, to the point of the story. Now, thanks to this digression into the characteristics of fall colors, I’m outta here.

The digressive, off-the-cuff words that don’t contribute to the message you want to deliver need to go. If they don’t go, then your reader does.

Off-the-cuff thoughts are important in developing your drafts. They are the ways to examine yourself in order to come to an ultimate meaning. But in your published Hub, these ramblings are not only superfluous, they are also a sure-fire way to send your reader down any path other than the one you intend.

Your Hubs Will Be Fine-tuned and They Will Be Read

If you follow these three simple steps, your Hubs have a better than good chance of being read and shared.

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment below to join the discussion on this Hub and share your thoughts. Let me and other members of the HubPages community know what you think.

If you are not a HubPages member, you can sign up here topublish your own articles and even earn some money. It’s free to join!

© 2009 Sally's Trove. All rights reserved.

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    • rohanfelix profile image

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      I just love that you believe that sub-headings must tell a story of their own. I've been through countless painful hubs without sub-headings or sometimes, even paragraph breaks! Hats off for great writing! I'm voting this up and following you :)

    • profile image

      webwatcher 4 years ago

      Enjoyed reading this posting. I am going to bookmark your site, so I can come back and read more later. Take care of yourself. Regzooka

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @Stephanie Henkel, thanks so much for emphasizing the tips in this hub, for voting, and for sharing.

      I am sad to say that when people with great ideas and an engaging voice don't pay attention to these points of spelling, grammar, and logic, I leave the article. Agreed, we all make mistakes from time to time, it's only human, so that's all the more reason to sit back, take a breather, and then return to a piece for another review before you publish. Putting time between writing and publishing can make the difference between being read or not.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for this common sense reminder. It is so easy to push that publish button too soon! I find that even after I read back through my hub and published it, I still find little things I change. I agree that it is worth going back to older stuff to look for revisions or improvements. Voted up and useful.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Julie, I think it's worth it to go back to older stuff and take a look to revising. Not so much that doing that makes any points with HP, but it does solidify your reputation online. The nice thing about HP is that we can do that--go back and revise. I think that's a gift when we've put something out there in a bit too much haste. Thanks for your awesome comment. I think lots of folks can learn from it.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @Specialk3749, write on!

      @moonlake, so glad to see you here. It's really hard to be our own editors. :)

      @LetitiaFT, one of the things I like about HP is the communication among members, where one's experiences can prompt ideas for another. Write that next hub about leaves changing colors in the fall. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Deb, cheers to you! Scotch is good. :) Thanks so much for the sharing.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Richard, we are talking the same language. "Does it really matter" is the same as "so what." Once we allow a reader to ask that question in the middle of reading our words, we've lost him. He'll go fishing or take a snooze or turn on the TV.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Michael Tully, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and votes. Welcome to HubPages. You've got a lot to say, and I'm looking forward to hearing it.

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Sally.

      You are absolutely right about the temptation to hit the 'Publish' button sooner than is necessary. I too curb my temptation to hit that button and proofread at least twice before actually publishing my hub.

      Sadly, just as you mentioned, I find so many people getting confused with the homonyms. Great tips to follow Sally. Sharing it everywhere. Cheers, Rema.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      These are such important tips and guidelines for fine tuning your writing! Spell checking and proof reading should be #1 always! Even some of my favorite writers who have excellent writing skills sometimes publish a hub too quickly with multiple spelling errors. (I've done it myself!)

      One thing I would heartily advocate is to read and re-read all titles and captions in the hub for spelling errors. Spell checkers don't work on titles and headers. So many times an excellent hub gives a poor impression because there is actually a spelling error in the TITLE or in one of the big, bold headers!

      Your tip on the "So What" factor is a good point, too. Adding pointless information is a sure way for readers to lose interest. Excellent advice over all! Voted up and Tweeted!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Sherri, as always a useful hub which gets straight to the point! I'm still learning this hub lark but am getting better at revising before publishing. I should probably go back to the start and check out some of my older hubs against your 3 tips....all I need is about a week!...or two :o)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      @mary615, it's almost impossible to catch all of our own mistakes, because after a while we just don't see our own words anymore. We've lived with them for so long that we become blind. I'm always amazed how easily I pick up someone else's typos, but not my own! Thanks so much for the votes and the good words. :)

      @nanderson500 , thank you for reading, commenting, and voting.

      @bdegiulio, that's the trick...waiting before we click publish. It's never too late to start controlling that need for instant gratification. Thank you so much for the votes. :)

      @Millionaire Tips, I have to chuckle at your comment about the grammar checker. Like you, I wonder about its accuracy from time to time. Some of its suggestions can be kind of nutty! Thank you for the votes and the good words.

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

      This is really terrific advice. I love your "so what" factor, though I must admit, I think you've given me an idea for a new hub: why leaves changes color in the fall! Thanks for sharing this. Bookmarked and voted up.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Good advice and information. I'm one that really needs to follow this. I make more mistakes I have to correct. Voted uP!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      This is great advice. I will share this. Also, I love the thought of you celebrating a new hub with a glass of scotch. : )

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 4 years ago from Michigan

      Very good information! I will use your tips in writing my next hub.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Great advice. You're "so what" is my "does it really matter" checker. I know my grammar needs a touch up, and write with an old high school grammar book beside me. It's been years since I've done any writing with quotes and such, so it's to the book when necessary. Great Hub!

    • Michael Tully profile image

      Michael Tully 4 years ago

      Sally, this has to be some of the best advice I have yet encountered in my brief journey as a Hubber. I also admire your way of presenting it. Bless you for sharing. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      This is a well written hub explaining how to write well. I do use my grammar checker before publishing - it often catches those weird typos and double words, although once in a while, it will make me wonder about its accuracy Voted up.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great advice. Wish I had read this 8 months ago but I have started resisting the publish button and it does help. Thanks for sharing. VU, sharing, etc..

    • nanderson500 profile image

      nanderson500 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Very good points about fine tuning and proofreading our hubs. Voted up and useful.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I really enjoyed reading this Hub. Hopefully, info such as this can only improve my writing. I can go back and reread my work and am amazed at the mistakes I find.

      I voted this Hub UP, shared.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      sgbrown, I agree that a positive aspect of writing on the HP platform is that it allows editing after publication. I believe most of us who publish here work alone, as in, without the help of an editorial staff. And sometimes when we revisit a hub after some time, we see it with fresh eyes--almost as if we were a person other than the one we were when first we wrote the piece--eyes that tell us a change needs to be made.

      Thanks for your votes and good words. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Danette Watt, I see I have company in the excruciating pain department! The aspect that causes me the most pain is making sure I've delivered to the reader's expectations, meaning that I've given what it was I promised in the title. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph in a piece of writing must support that promise. And the only way that can happen is if I put myself in my reader's shoes.

      Thanks so much for sharing your "pain" and your focus on revising your hubs to clearly show the reader your direction. You are not alone. :)

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I try to do all of the above before I publish. I always hesitate before finally hitting that publish botton, afraid I have forgotton or missed something. I do go back after a little while and re-read and usually find some little word or phrase that I want to change. I love HubPages because you can do that. Great advise here, voted up and useful! Have a great day! :)

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Great tips here. I can so appreciate the "reach for the Scotch" feeling after writing a hub. Sometimes they're excruciatingly painful to write because you want to get everything just so. I especially liked your point that a hub's title and subheadings should let the reader know the direction you're going in. I need to keep that in mind as I review and revise my hubs. I suspect I'm not doing a good a job on that as I should be.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Stephanie Henkel, first, thanks for taking a second spin around this hub.

      Second, I so know what you are talking about regarding desert and dessert. Such a simple mistake, we all can make it no matter how skilled we are. That's what proofreaders are for, God bless them! Unfortunately, writing indie-like on the web, most of us don't have that expertise at hand.

      The outcome of confusing desert with dessert is disastrous. As in, here's a great recipe for a strawberries and chocolate dessert...but woe be to the searcher who's looking for that when the article is using the keyword desert.

      No one told you because, mostly, I think, no one cares. You do and I do, but people whose lives have been conditioned by what's on the net don't.

      Point so well made.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Even the second time around, I still think your hub is very worth while reading with great advice. Spell checking, word check and grammar checking are definitely the top three things that people should do before publishing!

      May I add that the spell checker does not capture spelling mistakes in titles - do look at them carefully before hitting that "Publish" button! I once caught a spelling mistake in one of my hub titles where I spelled dessert as 'desert'... I didn't catch it for months! Ugh, why didn't someone tell me?

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      DanaTeresa, you are so lucky to have a skilled friend take a look at your work. From time to time, I can call on two skilled friends to take a look at what I do before I publish, but it's not like having an editor "on staff". I value their input, as you do your friend's.

      I never thought about stripping half the words out of a piece, but that approach makes sense. We have a tendency to spew and then rely on our internal editor who happens to be very good at keeping words like treasured shells in a collection, meaning, our internal editor is far from being non-prejudiced.

      Thanks so much for sharing your expertise. For sure, I'm going to follow your suggestion and see what happens. That will be new to me...sort of like cutting off body parts? :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

      GREAT ADVICE! and nicely presented.

      I suffer from the habit of "premature publication" myself... Thank you for stressing spelling and grammar. I have a friend that is insanely good at finding errors. I sometimes have her edit my work for me.

      I would like to share some writing advice for those who tend to be over wordy, or those simply wishing to condense work to the essentials.... After you write, go back and take out HALF the words. Obviously, you wont meet that goal, but you can be sure every non-essential word is stripped. It works for me.

      Nice job.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL Sunshine! So pleased to come to the aid of your head. :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Slapping your hand is a GREAT idea...I've been slapping myself upside the head! My head thanks you!:) Very good tips. If we don't understand what we wrote how is anyone else going to! Thank you for sharing!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I'm glad you commented on the "so what" factor, Stephanie. We do fall in love with our words. After all, we gave birth to them. But leaving extra and pointless words in a writing does the reader no good. It's hard to shave them off.

      A writer's job is to engage the reader, and thus a writer must have empathy for the reader in order to make a connection. It's always a challenge for the writer to spill the beans but also keep in mind how the dish will be served.

      Thanks for your awesome comment.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

      Your tip about re-reading for the "So What" factor really struck me. Sometimes I think we just fall in love with our words too much-it's hard to cut them even when we know we should! Good all around advice, thanks!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You are very welcome, Alladream. Glad you found this useful!

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      Some very solid advice.Thanks for the hint on 1000 words being a good for a hub,I usually target 500 only.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thank you!

    • Cameron Dean profile image

      Cameron Dean 6 years ago from New York

      Excellent tips, Cheers!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Glad you find it useful, Tony. Thanks so much for the good words!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Loved this Hub! Thanks Sally, it is a useful and helpful read.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      HubCrafter, thanks so much for your good words. No one's ever called this a "gem" before, so I'm delighted!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Granny's House, I'm so pleased you read this and found it useful. Thanks so much for your comment.

    • HubCrafter profile image

      HubCrafter 6 years ago from Arizona

      Hi Sally:

      I just found this little gem of yours. I was chasing through Granny's House's Hubtivity and found her comment.

      Your introductions to each section are so very refreshing and readable.

      Now that I've discovered you, I'll be sure to come to the well more often.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great hub and thank you for all the tips. I will rate up and bookmark

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Hola, Elena! What a wonderful compliment coming from such an accomplished writer.

      There has been excellent advice from time to time here on HP about the value of "twitching" Hubs, and I, as you, have been taking the time to do just that. What a learning experience HP has been and is!

      So very nice to hear from you, as always.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

      Oi, Sally! How do you do, ma'am? I caught this in Feed, and thought to stop by to say I've been busy lately twitching old hubs :) My original comment here is over one year old, but I'll say, I could have posted it yesterday. The same can be said about this article, it's totally ageless :-)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      And thank you, Habby, for the good words. My reward for writing articles like these is when I hear that readers find them helpful. I'm very glad you took the time to read and comment!

    • Habby profile image

      Habby 7 years ago from College Station, Texas

      Sally's Trove, wow!!! It's obvious from the number of comments on this hub that you've struck a nerve. I definitely want to be a better writer, and these three quick tips will help me do just that. Thanks for the hub!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You are right about the Internet having so much to choose from. Readers will find the presentation that stands out from the crowd, but will they stay for the read? Dorsi, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      Very good information Sally!! You are so right about getting and keeping the readers attention,especially here on the internet where readers have lots to choose from. I have bookmarked this hub because it's got great advice and would also be helpful for new hubbers!

      Thumbs up!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      slock62, welcome to HP!

      The racoon does have quite a voice, just as you and I.

      HP is a great place.

    • slock62 profile image

      slock62 7 years ago from Florida

      The racoon says it all! Great article and good advice on technique. I will keep all this in mind as I proceed. And the best is, you can even make corrections to your comments. Is this a great site, or what?

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      AEvans, you are welcome. We all need refreshers now and again, and I'm glad this one was helpful.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Lesson learned with my and spell check is my friend! Thank you for the refresher I needed to read this one. :)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      That's the nice thing about HP, jstankevicz, you can come back and modify, improve, your Hubs any time. As you know, this is not the case in other venues.

      As for the next tastings, let them be laced with Scotch. Cheers to you while I thank you for reading and commenting!

    • jstankevicz profile image

      jstankevicz 7 years ago from Cave Creek

      Great thoughts. You had me with the mention of scotch as a reward for writing. Agree totally with your points. Would add that, at some point you are going to release that Hub into the wild. Your points still apply 3 days, or 3 months later. One of the beauties of online publishing is that your article never has to be finished. A great recipe can be refined for the next tasting.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      lovelypaper, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you find this Hub worthwhile. Oh, and I see you joined HP just a few days ago, so welcome!

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for the great advice. The more writing advice I get the better.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      LOL, The Rope. I'd love to make this and a number of other excellent writing tip Hubs that were written by many talented Hubbers mandatory reading. However, there is a certain "free spirit" to the Hubber, yes? That's why there's something called a "HubMob"!

      Thanks so much for your good words.

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

      :) Can we make this required reading for new hubbers and mark it as a part of a refresher course for the rest of us! :) Great advice and well written. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
      Author

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Camlo, I agree completely with you about the confusion grammar checkers can lead to, although for some people they can be useful, or at least entertaining enough to risk being confused.

      Thanks for sharing your writing process. It's good to know we have company when it comes to the challenges we deal with in putting out a quality piece of writing.

      Best regards, Sherri

    • camlo profile image

      Camlo De Ville 7 years ago from Cologne, Germany

      Hi Sherri!

      I used to use a grammar tester, and got COMPLETELY confused in the process. They don't help anybody.

      I also do the 'So what?' test. That really does help.

      And I always publish too soon.

      Subsequently, I spend 7 to 14 days editing on-line, having probably already lost the majority of my potential readership before it's done.

      At least I know it's a common problem -- now I've read this Hub.

      I suppose it's a question of not seeing my own work objectively, and this absolute craving to press 'Publish Now'.

      An interesting Hub, with good, sound advice.

      All the best, Camlo

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, carltonsbooks. I'm so glad you find this Hub useful!

    • carltonsbooks.com profile image

      carltonsbooks.com 7 years ago

      Great Hub! This will be used to improve my hubs.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      There is something to be said for delaying gratification...I swear, the Scotch always tastes better if you have to wait a bit.

      Peg, thanks so much for your good words!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Loved this hub! For the newbie or experienced hubber, this article is loaded with helpful reminders of why we should postpone our rush to push the button. This was entertaining to read and always useful.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      abcd, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad this Hub is a help.

    • abcd1111 profile image

      abcd1111 7 years ago from Glen Ellyn, IL (Chicago suburb)

      Sorry...I hit "Post Comment" prematurely.

      Word to the wise for us all, thanks!

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      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Yes, we are saying much the same thing in our two Hubs, Duchess, although in different ways and with different flavors. I think we can both say that our "tips" are strongly focused on creating reader- or audience-centered writings.

      Yeah, that urge to hit the publish now button is pretty hard to resist, isn't it?

      Thanks so much for reading and for the very complimentary words.

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      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      Sally, I loved your opening. It's almost word for word what I think and feel. The honesty grabbed my attention right off.

      I like how you laid out this hub. It is so much better than my own attempt. Basically we are saying the same thing - I think?

      Reduce, Revisit and Remove.

      You have a wonderful way of communicating, so the education you received certainly was well worth it. (In my own humble, and perfectly correct, opinion)

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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      ZsuZsy, how wonderful to see you! LOL about the hurry to get to the Scotch. I mean, hey, it's hard work writing a good Hub, and we deserve that reward as quickly as possible. :)

      I know what you mean about the Must Read Pile. I've been terribly neglectful lately.

      Thanks for the greetings to Mom, I'll be sure to pass them on. Back at you and yours with the same from me.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Sally once again a great hub. Super advice that we all should follow especially when in a hurry to get to the Scotch oops I meant to say to the publish now button.

      I'm just getting around to reading hubs that have piled up in my Must Read Pile. Yours was at the top.

      Hope your well, greetings to you and your Mom

      Zsuzsy

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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Now you're making me think that the title of this Hub should have been "Four Tips...", the fourth being to reward yourself with a sip of spirits for a job well done, with the appropriate warning to not touch the stuff while you are working on the other three tips. As for Jack, that's a thumbs up from me. Check out their awesome website at http://www.jackdaniels.com/.

      Why not start a thread in the forums to talk about a topic not related to a Hub? Or join in a conversation that might be going on there already? It's a great way to engage with the HP community.

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      sabu singh 8 years ago

      Well yes that is sad ST. My personal favourite is a brand called Ardbeg - ever tried it? No I guess you'd better not. Its among the smoky and peaty ones. I also enjoy Jack Daniels - it has a flavour very different from the Scotches (is it ok to discuss things other than the hub?)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Sabu, many thanks for the good words.  About single malts, I enjoy the tastes very much, but for some reason they don't agree with me.  I have no idea why taking more than a sip or two results in an instant headache.  Isn't that sad? :(

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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      prasetio30, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

      MM, so nice to see you! I'm glad you find this Hub informative. And thanks for the nice fan mail. :)

    • sabu singh profile image

      sabu singh 8 years ago

      That was a very useful hub ST. I am sure it will help me improve the quality of my hubs.

      Are you a single malt fan by any chance?

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      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      All very good points, Sally's Trove! I've always been a huge fan of subheads but now you've got me wondering if mine are aligned or a mish-mash of sentence structures.

      Glad I followed Prasetio30 over here! Hope you're well. Best, MM

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      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Thanks for nice tips. it will improve my writing skill.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Dayzeebee, it's always a pleasure to hear from you! Thanks so much for the good words. Be assured that I learn a lot from you, too, and I'm looking forward to catching up on your wonderfully inspirational Hubs.

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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      eonsaway and santoion, thanks so much for reading and commenting.

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      dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Sally, oh I simply love the way you put things in perspective with punchlines in appropriate places. Thank you for another wonderful lesson on writing. I still have much to learn from you and am looking forward to more. God bless:)

    • santoion profile image

      santoion 8 years ago

      Very good hub.Thank You !

    • eonsaway profile image

      eonsaway 8 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      Great writing style and good information, thanks.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Iphigenia, you and I have similar approaches. I also write in Word first, using the word count and spelling features. And I use the Preview feature at every addition or change, because for me, the final visual impact of the Hub is as important as the text.

      As I write, I AM enjoying that Scotch. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments and good words. Cheers!

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      Iphigenia 8 years ago

      This is excellent advice - when I've finished a hub I leave it unpublished for a short while (dog walk, meal) then go back to it. At that point I view it the rough the 'Preview' feature - it's amazing what small mistakes and layout problmes come to light at that stage.

      I also tend to write in a word document so that I get the word count as I go along and later I break that document up into text capsules and work out appropritae headings.

      I guess that every writer has their own way of doing things and its good to share ideas. Thanks for this. Enjoy the scotch !

    • langson profile image

      langson 8 years ago

      Thank you Sallys

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Langson, thank you for your kind words.

      For advice on your Hub, visit the Forum and start a new thread under "Extreme Hub Makeover". You should get good advice there.

      Welcome to HubPages!

    • langson profile image

      langson 8 years ago

      Hey you don't know me but i want to say thank you so much for the information on you hub its so helpful.

      i also invite anyone to make any suggestions on how i can make my hub more presentable

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Hi Eddie! Guess what? We all need that, even if we think we don't. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

      Sally,

      Excellent – Thanks I needed that.  ~ eddie

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Thanks Peggy W for commenting.  Teresa is helpful to all of us. 

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Good advice, Teresa! (Notice the exclamation point?) Ha!

      This is truly an informative hub filled with good advice. I will hold off publishing for a few days as you suggest. In the past, I have had to go back and edit. Now I will try editing prior to publishing.

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      AEvans, you are so welcome. And let me say to you, it means a great deal to me that you find some value here. I like to think that I give that. THANK YOU!

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Teresa, I so identify with your words.

      Online communication has its challenges. We can't see each others' faces, we can't see the body language, so we resort to exclamation marks and smiley faces. It's the best we can do while in a hurry. Hurry, hurry.

      I'm so glad to see that you are here to get to the bottom of what's going on. Perhaps you will lend more insights into this. In fact, I know you will.

      It's a broadband failure of human communications, but a great broadband success of broadband communications, for its own sake. I hope that makes sense.

      About good-humored feedback, I believe that if you open a door to others who want to express their views, and don't put any critical slant on what's going on, then the feedback will be positive. I like to think I open the door.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I love when you give us tips as I know that I can use them and sometimes I have to brush up and re-write. Thanks soooooo much!!!!!:)

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I hope your foot tastes good.

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Ah. Finally got to the bottom of all these comments! Glad your hub has generated such feedback, and such good-humored feedback at that. I am assiduously trying to get out of the American habit of qualifying every single statement with an exclamation mark -- as if we don't really mean it unless we punctuate the hell out of it?! But as you can see, it's difficult. . . .

    • Sally's Trove profile image
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      Sherri 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Rochelle, I will be thinking of you when I next slap my hand. :)  I took a quick look at your latest Hub, and I already know I am enchanted by the text and the photos.  I will be there later.

      Instant gratification (the publish now button) is encouraged here, and it's fostered online in general.  It's a tintillating, good-feeling thing to do.  Get that out there, no matter the quality, because someone's going to read it and act on it, no matter how pukey it is, because they want another fan or another backlink or another hit on a sales site.

      What you and I learned in school, about reading and writing and the importance of getting thoughts across to another human being, seems to have little relevance to the stuff that's out here.

      Well, I could go on...maybe that's another Hub.