Back in 2004, I
celebrated my 25th year at The Poynter Institute by writing 50 short
essays, each one describing an important writing strategy. Readers from
across the globe helped me perfect these tools and encouraged me to
develop them into a handy, inexpensive book. The result is "Writing
Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer," which is about to be
published by Little, Brown and Co.
My editor, Tracy Behar, has inspired me to expand these strategies for
the widest possible audience; and the publisher is pricing the hardback
at $19.99 (Amazon is offering an early discount -- you can find it here), making it affordable for students and professionals alike.

Work on the book is completed, but not my search for effective writing
tools, or for interesting examples of good writing. Enter Writing Tools: The Blog.
It will make available, at no charge, the "Quick List" of Writing
Tools, exactly as it appears in the book. Then, three times a week,
I'll offer a new example, a new tool, or a variation on one of the
original 50.

As with all blogs, this one will be a work in progress. As you helped
me sharpen the 50 tools, you'll have a chance to join the conversation,
to offer your own favorite strategies, and to ask questions about the
craft. (Click here
to send me an e-mail with your suggestions.) Just for fun, my alter
ego, Dr. Ink, will weigh in on occasion with his/her bombastic point of

In the beginning was the word, then came the book, then came the blog.