This week at work, I was assigned a new article for the Towson alumni magazine. The publication has a pretty big distribution -- about 100,000 -- and writing for an audience that broad ain't easy. I really have to be on my game when I write these pieces.
But this week I wasn't on my game. At all.
My subject was interesting -- a former undercover agent with the FBI who had tons of great cloak-and-dagger stories. It had the potential to be a great article. But I just couldn't pull it together. It wasn't terrible. It also wasn't great. Tepid would be an apt description.
So, channeling Sin and Syntax I tore into that sucker and underlined every place I found some form of the snore-inducing "to be." Then I replaced as many of them as I could with more engaging words.
It worked really well. Now my article's loaded with the action befitting an undercover agent. And I don't have to switch careers. (So, bonus.)
Just something to keep in mind the next time you hit a writing roadblock.