I hope you had a great Christmas! I'm back to work already (sadly, Christmas vacation is pretty limited as a grown-up) and hoping to get a lot done while half my office is still out on break.
One of the easiest ways to make your writing fresher is by using only the active voice. Not sure what active voice is? Here's an example of the opposite (passive voice): I spent Christmas at the home of my husband's parents.
Obviously, no one talks like that. If I were telling someone where I spent my Christmas break, I'd say, I celebrated Christmas at Andrew's parents' house. But if you wouldn't say it in conversation, why would you write it down?
There are times when passive voice is necessary. You can't write a legal document in active voice, and you can't exactly assign action to certain objects (The SUV hit Karen vs. Karen was hit by a car). But most of the time, active voice is a way to make your writing easier to read and understand.
What are your writing pet peeves? I see passive voice far too often at work, and sentences just sound so much more inviting when they have great verbs. And yes, I do realize how nerdy that sounds. :)