Category Archives: Working Words

On Being Preoccupied with Words


The tagline for my company, Working Words,  is “Getting right to the point.” It’s a promise to clients.

When I started this blog post, I wasn’t sure if “preoccupied” was the right word. I considered using ‘”obsessed.” The words are close, but slightly different. “Preoccupied” means that you are so absorbed in thinking about or doing something that you forget everything else. On the other hand, “obsessed” means that you never stop thinking about something. I chose “preoccupied” because once a writing project is finished, I stop thinking about the words I’ve used.

I can spend an inordinate amount of time with synonym and dictionary tools. The synonym feature in Microsoft Word is my best friend and I use it all the time. Right-clicking on any word (on a PC, anyway) brings up a list of word alternatives. If I change one word to another, I can click again and get another list. This can turn into a fun vocabulary game that I play for too long and forget everything else. The phone can ring, the dryer can beep, but I ignore (or is it “disregard”?) these distractions. I think this qualifies as a preoccupation.

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Filed under Editing, Working Words, Writing

On Being Unemployed and Trying to Write

Keeping a freelance business going without income is like exercising without seeing any results. You keep at it because
it’s good for you, but after a while it can seem pointless, certainly frustrating.

Since I left Microsoft four years ago and started Working Words, I haven’t had much of an income. It’s been tough to keep freelancing, but during this time I have learned invaluable web skills.

At Dogspired, I learned about blog writing and editing, web publishing and design, and site management. With these skills, I thought it would be easy to find good web writing jobs.

I spend hours every morning searching through job boards, applying to likely jobs, and trying to network. In between these efforts, I keep writing. I also spend time keeping up with technology and writing trends by following websites that inspire me.

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Filed under technology, Working Words, Writing

Tips for Writing Web Content with a Human Voice

I read something the other day that went like this: “Being human is the new black.” I think it’s true. With all of the social experience we’re sharing online these days, communicating in a human way is almost the expectation.

This human-like approach made me think of Siri, the human-like voice that came with my new iPhone. Siri tries to answer whatever question I might have. Before she responds, she considers my voice query with a thoughtful phrase, such as “Let me check on that” or “Let me think about that”–something to give me confidence. If she can’t dig up an answer, Siri admits it by saying, “I can’t answer that,” and then dumps me into my browser so I can do my own searching. Technically, I know she’s relying on a huge database to help me out, but her friendly tone doesn’t give that away, and I appreciate the effort.

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Filed under Behavior, technology, Working Words, Writing