Thursday, September 17, 2009

Painless Writing

That's an oxymoron in itself -- painless writing. Tell that to Neil when he has to write an entire sentence or paragraph. By the look on his face, you'd think his arms were going to fall off. Or tell it to a writer who's struggling with a manuscript and is worried the revisions are taking their story in a completely different direction. Or say it to me, after I've hunched over my laptop for hours. As I sit up straight and hear my back crack, painless isn't exactly what comes to mind when I think of writing.

I bought our first Barron's book a few years ago when the girls were taking algebra. They kept Painless Algebra on hand as a supplement to their other curriculum. When I saw Painless Writing, I knew I had to add it to our collection. The books were written with middle school and high school kids in mind, but adults can benefit from them as well, especially if you're a writer. The book is full of ideas how to improve your skills -- from writing more vividly to adding rhythm. I got my copy at Costco for under $10. I'm not sure how many more I'll get, as our school language program is really good, but I do see a Painless Speech book. Since Nicole is taking Speech in college, she might benefit from that. Hopefully, I can find that one at Costco too.

In other news -- Dilly has a book review up! Check out the Zooprise Party blog for a review of A New Job for Dilly. I'd love for you all to leave a comment on the blog. There's a lot of other great entries on there, so check them out, if you can. Thanks to Joy and her group of bloggers for taking the time to feature my first picture book. Lisa Oakman, 4RV Publishing, Dilly and I really appreciate it -- thank you!


  1. This makes me think of one of my favorite quotes about writing:
    "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead." (Gene Fowler) How true!

  2. This looks like a good book for Isaac. He will do anything to avoid writing a word even. If the language book says " Write whether the noun is proper or common" he puts a "c" or a "p",it's that bad!I dread it when we start doing term papers later on in the year. Thanks for the idea.


  3. DJ -- Gosh, isn't that statement true. Sometimes I'll sit down all ready to write and nothing happens. Then in the middle of the night I'm flooded with ideas. What's up with that?

    Leanne -- Nathan does that a lot too. For the most part, I don't mind so much, as long as I know he has the concept down. It amazes me how sloppy and careless he can be with some of his schoolwork, but then he'll write up a story on his own and it's all perfect.

  4. Ooh, I'll take the algebra one for Emily. I like to read, but I don't like to write but I'm glad other people do!


  5. Ohhh I don't usually sit up and write - too distracting. I usually have my laptop in bed with me, late at night - very peaceful in my house - which is usually full of kids (well my kids who are really adults) and their friends.

    But I remember my Mom, when she was brushing my hair when I was little, used to say "You have to suffer to be beautiful" my motto would be more like "You have to suffer to write a good story".