Happy Easter Saturday, guys! Ahh, isn’t Saturday wonderful? I can almost smell the procrastination in the air! Today’s Reader/Writer Confessions is about writing — and more importantly, spelling and grammar (and punctuation.)
I’m a writer, yes, but I’m not a very good speller. Sure, I correct people’s (very obvious) errors, but when it comes to spelling, I’m not that great. Given, becoming a writer has certainly improved my spelling/grammar, but when I started writing, I was horrible.
Take the words ‘Your’ and ‘You’re’ for example. Embarrassingly enough, I didn’t know the difference. I mean, yes, I suppose that if I really had to think about it, I would figure out the difference and fix it — but more often than not, I had to use spell-check to notice my errors so I could fix them. I eventually stopped using spell check, and figured out which I needed on my own. The same goes with the word ‘Definitely’. Predictably, I’d always spelt it ‘Defiantly’. After realizing I only had to add the letters ‘ly’ onto the bulk of the world, ‘Definitely’ … Well, that made things a lot easier.
My punctuation was, marginally, better than my spelling and grammar. Though only slightly.
There was always one errors I made every single time as a writer — and it took me years to try to figure out what I was doing wrong and why. It was only when I took the time to research it that I realized my errors.
Punctuating my dialogue confused the heck outta me when I first started writing.
When was I supposed to put a comma? A period? Did I just leave it, and put nothing there? SO MANY DECISIONS.
Anyway — I figured out the basics and applied that to my writing. This was how I learned it: A comma belongs before a dialogue tag, a period before an action tag, and if there’s neither a dialogue or action tag, then you use a full stop. Simple, once you’ve got it, but if you don’t learn this stuff when you write you’ll find yourself getting confused.
But once you’ve mastered the basics, they’re hard to forget.
Now, as a writer, I don’t make these basic errors as much — but that still doesn’t necessarily mean I am good at spelling or grammar. Sometimes I get confused about when I should use a semi-colon, but let’s face it: The English language is as confusing as hell.
As a writer, do you struggle with grammar and spelling? Let me know in the comments below.