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7 tips to clean up your dirty first draft before you publish

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Photo by hannah grace on Unsplash

There’s a coffee mug I bought last year inscribed with the words, “Write drunk; Edit sober.”

And that pretty much sums up the best advice out there when it comes to getting your pieces ready for publication. The quote “Write dunk; Edit sober,” is often attributed to Hemingway, but regardless of who actually said it first, the point is valid.

When you write a post for publication, your job is to forget every piece of advice you’ve ever learned about writing. That includes the grammar rules you memorized…


Why didn’t I think of that?!

What a brilliant idea. One of Medium’s missions is to build community among writers and readers. Mary DeVries’s new publication Story Second Chances does both.

How many times have you written a story that you put your heart into, only to have it virtually ignored by readers? Story Second Chances is a pub that encourages you to republish your piece and ask for feedback from readers as to why they believe your story fizzled out after publication.

The key to making this publication work is for readers and writers to actually read other writers’…


Why didn’t this story take off?

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I submit this story for your review and feedback in an effort to improve my work here on Medium.

I thought a story about gratitude fatigue would hit a nerve for a lot of people because gratitude is so over suggested that it has become a cliche. We’ve all been overexposed to the idea that a daily gratitude practice is a cure all for every emotional ailment out there.

I used to have a daily gratitude practice but I burned out over the past year with the pandemic and the feeling I was stuck in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

In…


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I have to leave my cats behind when I move to South Korea


Because women benefit from female friendships

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Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

While greeting card companies and florists will put all their marketing efforts into celebrating Feb. 14, women everywhere secretly know that the real celebration this month is Feb. 13: Galentine’s Day.

“Oh, it’s only the best day of the year!” — Leslie Knope, “Parks and Recreation”

What is Galentine’s Day

Galentine’s Day is actually an unofficial, made-up holiday that spotlights female friendships. It became a buzzword in 2010, after an episode of the sitcom “Parks and Recreation.” In the episode, character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, explained the meaning of Galentine’s Day while throwing an annual bash for her friends.

“Every February 13…


Sin City Never Sleeps

One Night in Las Vegas

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Photo by Glad Doggett, Bellagio, Las Vegas

If you want to feel like a high roller on your birthday, make an overnight stop to celebrate in Las Vegas with dinner and drinks at Hell’s Kitchen.

My husband really goes all out for my birthday every year, but I don’t think he will ever be able to top last year’s adventure. On our way to a weeklong stay in Hawaii, he booked an overnight layover in Las Vegas just so we could celebrate my birthday in style.


One small shift pays out huge results

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Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

If love is a universal language, why do so many people have such a difficult time translating it?

Well, it’s complicated.

At least it was complicated for my husband and me before we learned how important it is to know and acknowledge the way each of us prefers to feel loved.

We learned the secret to speaking each other’s love language at an Army-sponsored weekend marriage retreat. The primary message the two-day course taught us was how to understand and interpret each other’s languages. That retreat was more than 16 years ago, and we’re still using what we learned there.


Solo Travel

The trip that transformed me into an international traveler

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Photo by Glad Doggett, View of Guanajuato, Mexico, from the winding path I learned to love.

My relationship with traveling is complicated. Traveling simultaneously triggers all my insecurities and delights me to the core.

Wanderlust flows through my veins, yet, on the onset of every new trip, I’m anxious and filled with dread.

What I love most about traveling is what you learn about yourself when you visit new places, share unique experiences, explore, and immerse yourself in different cultures. What intimidates me is the unknown, uncertainty, and the chance of things going wrong.

Travel is the best exercise in self-discovery there is. If you truly want to push against your personal boundaries, preferences, and biases…


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Photo by Glad Doggett, Phoenix, Arizona

Glimpses of moments in Phoenix, Flagstaff & Sedona

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