Be Passive The Writing Must Not

[found on; by Judy Cullins]

“Stop passive sentence construction.

When you write in passive voice, your writing slides along into long sentences that slow your readers down, even bore them.

Before you put your final stamp of approval on your writing, circle all the “is,” “was” and other passive verbs like: begin, start to, seems, appears, have, and could. Use your grammar check to count your passives. Aim for 2-4% only.

Instead of, ”Make sure that your name is included on all your household accounts and investments.” Passive culprits include “Make” and “is included.” Create more clarity with this revision,” Include your name on all household accounts and investments to keep your own credit alive after your divorce.”

For more tips on writing from Judy Cullins, click here.

[found on]

Struggling with lie, lay, lain, laid, lying, laying….?

When do you use them? And HOW?

Here is a simple breakdown to guide your pen:

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 7.09.52 PM

How does this correlate to the page—in the real world of writing?

Let’s take a look:


      • I am going to lie down on the floor.
      • Henry lay his book on the floor.


      • Yesterday, Henry lay in the hammock before dinner.
      • Yesterday, I laid the book in the hammock before dinner.


      • He had lain in the sand two hours before they left.
      • He had laid the lunchbox in the sand two hours before they left.