“The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.”
— Thomas Mann
“Parallel structure means putting ideas of the same rank in the same grammatical structure. Your writing and speech should have parallel words, phrases, and clauses. Parallel structure gives your writing many admirable strengths, including the following:
Parallel words share the same part of speech (such as nouns, adjectives, or verbs) and tense (if the parallel word are verbs).
Parallel phrases create an underlying rhythm in your speech and writing…
Parallel clauses can give your writing balance as well….
If you’re an author, and lots of you are, you are going to sign books. Here’s a trick my friend Robert D. Smith taught me.
Always sign in blue sharpie, not black. Why? Well, the publisher can publish in black. Sometimes books are printed with a signature. If you sign in blue though, readers know with completely certainty that you actually signed it. It’s a small thing, but small things can be awesome.
State your name and job title, or the title of the position you’re seeking. “Hi, my name is Miranda Mechanic, and I’m a licensed automotive mechanic who writes how-to articles for women who don’t want their cars to get the best of them.”
Don’t beat around the bush. State what you’re after. “I’m interested in placing some of my articles with your magazine, Auto Care for Everybody.”
List any degrees, writing credentials, training or experience that relate to what you’re seeking. “I’ve been taking mechanical things apart since before I could walk, and I’m the owner-operator of my own body shop.” Be sure the qualifications match your stated goal. Saying you want to write an article on mechanics and then listing your degrees in early Russian literature won’t help. If you’re unable to come up with any related experience, name qualities or skills you possess, such as attention to detail, passion for the subject and so on.The key is to be brief and memorable. You’re looking for that special something that separates you from the crowd.
You can do a great job selling yourself, but if you don’t follow through by asking for what you want, you’ve wasted your time. Take a deep breath and go for it. “I’d like to show you copies of my articles, including ‘How to Change a Tire When It’s Twenty Below Zero’ and ‘How to Add Oil When You’re Wearing a Power Suit.’ ” The call to action is what leads to further interaction. Don’t neglect this most important step.”
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