Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Four

Good morning!

10 Deadly Habits is back on track with the fourth “deadly” habit. Have you been enjoying your summer? I hope so, because it’s well on its way out the door, and autumn is in the air. For many of you, the kids are back in school, and for the younger crowd, you yourself are returning to the halls and classes which will envelope your schedule for the rest of the year. In light of all this responsibility, this next DEADLY habit seems suitable.

Let us begin!


(…) = replace word with a better/more descriptive word

abc = remove word/s

4. Set a bedtime routine
You need to make a bedtime routine and stick to it. This includes showering, brushing teeth, going to bed and the like, in order to get your body accustomed to it, since only then (will it will) be able to send you signals that you are ready for sleep.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with this paragraph, I would like to take some time to build on it. It’s lacking scientific evidence to back its theories, and I feel the wording could be more smooth and clear. It is also important to offer suggested methods so your readers can walk away armed and ready to conquer whatever it is you want them to do (UNLIMITED POWER, MUAHAHA!)

Easy now…

The best way to prevent ignorance is through education. Trite, but true. Readers don’t know what you don’t tell them, and change doesn’t happen without clear steps to implement.

4. Set a bedtime routine. 

Sleep may come easily when we are young – especially for teenagers who sometimes can sleep all day if allowed. However, as we age, every-day stress and anxiety can play a significant roll in disrupting our sleep. Sleep doctors recommend a variety of methods for promoting a healthy sleep schedule, as stated in Healthy Sleep. A few ways we can do this is to maintain a regular sleep/wake schedule, even on weekends and vacations, get at least 7 hours of sleep, establish a relaxing bedtime routine, such as read, drinking caffeine-free tea, shutting off phones, tvs, and other distractions, and avoiding large meals before bed. If you are looking for more ways to improve your schedule, Sleep Education has a lot to say on the matter.


I personally like to be in bed between 10:30 and 11:30pm. Now my fiance has a terrible weekend schedule, because he wants to stay up all night long, but he can sleep at the drop of a hat, so go figure.

Sleep well tonight!

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Three

Good morning, readers, writers, and adventurers! Today we dive into our third incredibly deadly habit and disover what spelling errors, run-on on sentences, or lack of explanations we might find there. Let’s remember to check our spelling, site our sources, and write in clear, concise sentences. Shall we begin?


(…) = add word/s

Strike = delete words

3. Avoid using a laptop or mobile phone

(Some) People often have a habit of to check(ing) their social network accounts on their laptops or mobile phones before going to bed, but that moment he (can) take much longer (than expected, keeping you awake past bedtime.) and you fall asleep late. So avoid using them in the bedroom.

Some people have a habit of checking their social network accounts on their laptops or mobile phones before going to bed, but little do people realize how harmful the effects of our technology have on our brains. This sleep study by the Sound Sleep Institute revealed that the blue lights from smartphone, tablet, and laptop screens reduce melatonin (the natural occurring hormone which puts our body to sleep) and tells our brain to stay awake. Continued use can have a lasting affect on melatonin levels, prohibiting sound sleep even when we aren’t using our devises. Furthermore, dings and pings from email and game notifications can disturb our slumber without our realizing it, so it is recommended to keep all electronics, even the TV, out of the bedroom.


Okay, while this still may not be deadly, it is certainly harmful. Even I fall into the bad habit of using my phone at night, because I keep my charging station in the bedroom. Today, I make a change. I’m going to set up a nice, little charge station in the living room and go back to using a tradition alarm clock. Just as soon as I acquire one…

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part Two

Hello again! 10 Deadly Habits is an ongoing series of editing tips. My pet project is an unfortunate blog post I stumbled upon which shall remain nameless since the author did not ask to be critiqued. I’m shameless, I know.

Let us begin!

The blog post lists ten habits people might have before retiring to bed. I, like many other readers before me, was intrigued to see what I was doing which could be so deadly that I should stop these habits immediately. What I discovered were a few harmless things most people do which may or may not affect their sleep patterns, and a few other things which would be good to consider at least curbing. They were not as “deadly” as the post made them seem.

Honestly, the fact that bloggers and magazines can knowingly lie, exaggerate, and exploit the truth of a matter all for the sake of sales and reads irritates me to no end. It’s utterly asinine! But this is a soap box for another post.

Part two of this series will take a look at the second Deadly Habit.

(…) = Edit/add word/s

Strike = Remove word/s

2. Don’t nap during the day

Some people have a habit of napping (during the day), but this should be avoided because it will interrupt the natural cycle of the body and you won’t be able to get (prevent) a decent to (night’s) sleep. at night. This will affect your health and sleeping habits.

Perhaps my biggest pet peeve is the lack of information and research in these posts. As I edit, I will also present positive and negative comments for the sake of argument.

Some people have a habit of napping during the day. While this can be beneficial when prescribed in sleep medicine treatments (as sited: Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp 227±235, 2003,) many people nap in a manner which can negatively effect their natural sleep cycle. For example, taking an hour or more nap puts the body into deep, non-rapid eye movement (sleep,) whereas a nap of 30 minutes or less allows the mind and body to relax for a short time without negative side effects. It should be noted that napping two to three hours before bedtime is not recommended, as it may cause you to be too much awake when it’s time to sleep. Also remember, napping isn’t for everyone. Read more at Napping Do’s and Don’ts.

Here you have it, readers. If you are going to be so bold as to offer advise or criticism in your writing, it is always a good idea to back it up with one or more agreeing sources. If your intention is to truly educate, then educate yourself first and be willing to give your readers sound advice.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

10 Deadly Habits – Part One

Hello, dears! Guess what my boyfriend did. No, you really should guess. The headline says it all…

Late last night, I received a message titled “10 Deadly Habits We All Do Before Bedtime,” ironic since it was “late last night” and using your phone was one of the “10 Deadly Habits.” Yes, my dear, darling boyfriend gets suckered by the cheap, unsited, floating statistics that haunt our internet surfs. Normally, I read them for funsies or jokes. I don’t particularly put any stock in them. Anyway, the short story is, I read it and even at midnight, it was surprisingly atrocious. The spelling errors! The grammar! The monotonous writing voice! I MUST interfere!

So my summer pet project is to work this blog post beginning to end with editing critiques and rewriting. Join me on another adventure – to boldly scratch the surface with red ink and provoking thoughts, to seek out sited sources, to rip first drafts to shreds and uncover the amazing verbiage beneath!

DAY ONE! LET US COMMENCE!

(…) = replace word with a better/more descriptive word

abc = remove word/s

Okay, I’m not going to reveal the publisher of this blog because that is just rude and thoughtless. They did not ask for this critique, they’re just trying to save the world one sleepful night at a time. And I’m just trying to save bad writing…

First on our list is the title. Now, we all know a catchy title is imperative to getting read in this world. However, there are some rules I feel are necessary. For one, you must not lie. I do not approve of lying. Secondly, the title must be quick and concise. Too many words in a title bog down the reader. This one breaks both of those rules.

TITLE:

10 (Deadly) Habits We All Do Before Bed Even Though They Seriously DAMAGE Our Health

“Deadly” is an extreme adjective. Yes, sleep is important, but not ALL of these habits would be considered “deadly.” Take napping (which we will focus on in a later segment.) My great-grandfather napped every day of his life, and he lived to be 101. My great-uncle naps every day of his life, and he’s 82 and still kicking. My mom naps – okay, yes, you get the picture.

“10 Unhealthy Habits We All Do Before Bed”

There. By changing “deadly” to “unhealthy,” we automatically eliminate the need for the wordy second half of the title. Besides, the second half also goes against my first rule about lying. Most of these habits do not “seriously DAMAGE” your health.

INTRODUCTION:

Sleeping is a process that provides energy for our body for the next day. Therefore, it is good to have a healthy sleep (habits) (and not) wakeing up before it’s time to wake up or have some harming habits. Here are some things you (need to) stop doing in order to have better sleep.

There are a few typos and some places in this paragraph that do not read smoothly. It is important to write sentences which are easy to read. You don’t want to trip up your readers with unnecessary words or confusing sentence structure.

Sleeping is a process that provides energy for our body. Therefore, it is good to have healthy sleep habits without waking up before it is time. Here are some things you should consider stopping in order to have better sleep.

Editorial Notes:

  • Sleeping is a process that provides energy. We don’t need to know it provides energy for the next day. We already assume it provides energy everyday.
  • “Without waking” offers a smoother transition rather than “and not wake.”
  • While “it‘s time” is technically correct, when read in the sentence, it almost sounds like “it’s” is taking possession of “time.” To avoid confusion, I  recommend using “it is time” instead.
  • “…to wake up or have some harming habits…” Eliminate unnecessary wordage when possible. This isn’t NaNoWriMo. You don’t get points for high word counts.
  • Need to” – don’t tell your readers what to do. Period. Just don’t do it. I’m serious. Don’t.

BODY

Moving on to the first segment of the blog, we will go through all 10 habits in a 10-part segment over the course of the summer. Updates will be posted every two weeks as usual, so it will take five months to finish the project. Whip out your red pens…we’re in for a bumpy ride.

1. Do not drink the water

Water is essential for the body to maintain normal functioning and to lubricate the joints as you move. But if you drink water just before bedtime, you will wake up not just once, but several times to urinate, interrupting your sleep.

I don’t have much of an issue with this one. I would appreciate a lengthier explanation and maybe some links to sources and scientific study results. The one issue I DO have, is in the second sentence. How does this blogger know water affects EVERYONE that way? How can the blogger know you’ll be up MULTIPLE times? Is the blogger STALKING us?

1. Do Not Drink the Water

Water is essential for the body, since your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature, as sourced by our very own WebMD. However, drinking too much water before bedtime can cause you to wake up and have to urinate, which will interrupt your sleep. For such people, it is best to drop drinking water 2 hours before bedtime. For more information, you can read directly from New Health Advisor.


 

And that concludes this week’s segment! Come back for more “ripping on helpless bloggers for the sake of my blog” – and boredom. Mostly for boredom.

Cheerio!

Fanny T. Crispin

Writing Prompts

The Dreaded Writers Block

Credit: inspireportal.com

It may shock you to learn that even seasoned writers encounter the debilitating block of creativity and drive which is so commonly known as “writers block.” If you’re experiencing writers block while reading this, you are probably agonizing to discover that it isn’t something you simply grow out of. “Will I never be rid of this curse?” you may think. 

Well, pull yourself out of your pit of despair, because I do have some help for you. 

This will be a short lesson, because the trick I learned from other masters really is the most simple of tricks. In fact, it’s so simple, you might discredit it completely. You will probably finish reading this and incredulously dismiss the lesson as a cheap farce. Really, I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I myself wave off the solution when I’m in the throes of a particularly stifling block. But it works. I’ve proven it over countless times. You just have to do it.

Are you ready? Are you writing this down? 

Okay. Here it is…

Get a timer. Set it for 5 minutes. Then write like your life depends on it and don’t stop until you hear that buzzer. 

Writers are desperate people. When they stop being desperate, they stop being writers. 

Become desperate.  

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin