The Reluctant Writer

My mom has been telling me my whole life that I should write. I don’t like listening to my mom, however I will say she is right about things more often then I would like to admit. I was taking stock today and thinking about all the writing I do. I write for four blogs at present, and I write documents, emails, social media posts and more for work. I actually write more than I don’t write these days. How did this happen?

I liked writing stories and journaling as a kid. English class was always where I did my best  work surprising myself at times. And then, somehow I ended up as a English major. But in recent years I have found myself a little shy when it comes to putting my writing out there for the world.

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You may laugh about the image above, but I have to tell you this exact thing happened to me. A few years ago I mistakenly used “you’re” instead of “your” in a comment on friend’s Facebook post. I know the difference; I’m also human. Would you believe me if I told you that a stranger, a friend of my friend, somebody I don’t know at all, felt the need to point out my error and smugly inform me on the correction in a comment below my comment. Wow. I was blown away. We all see people make grammatical errors and we may correct them because it is our job, because we are helping someone edit, or because we just noticed they overlooked something and we want to be helpful. But where is the value in pointing it out just to prove we are smarter?

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The good news is despite my fear of the Grammar Police I power through. I choose to express myself, to refine my understanding of the rules, and to try and add value with the content I create.  It was my mom who gave me the book Writing Down the Bones; I think I was 17 or 18 the first time I read that book and much of it has stuck with me. The book offers many simple but powerful tips: keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, just get it on paper (or on your macbook), doubt is torture; don’t listen to it.

Yesterday I came across this which I found terribly refreshing. The article points out that so many “rules” are actually matters of style. What I take away from all this is that to be a better writer the best thing one can do is keep writing.

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