My Greatest Writing Weakness
Last year I wrote a blog post about my writing strengths and weaknesses. Then, my strength was description ( it still is) and my weakness was dialogue. I am so proud to say that since then I have been getting better at dialogue. But I have also found another great writing weakness that needs to be addressed
Now, grammar has been a very noticeable and influential writing weakness lately.
Since I figured that this weakness was hurting my writing I have been very intentional about lessening my grammar mistakes. So, I am much better at grammar than I was a month or two ago. But then I realized how common grammar mistakes are for all writers. I am not perfect and mistakes are bound to happen when writing. But if these mistakes distract readers from the story then this mistake has got to be dealt with. Because when I publish a story ( and soon a novel ) I want people to read my story and enjoy its events, not be distracted by my grammar.
To be clear I have many other writing strengths and weaknesses. But the reason I am addressing my grammar is that my grammar mistakes are stealing the show and leaving no room for my plot and story to shine. And thus, I have the opportunity to share some of the things that have been helping me to decrease my grammar mistakes.
Noticing The Problem
I noticed my huge grammar problem while looking through old blog posts I’ve already published. And I was really surprised. Before I publish any blog post I go through it and edit all the mistakes. Well, at least, I try. I thought I was doing a good job until I re-read a particular blog post and found great difficulty getting through its content because all these grammar mistakes were in the way. And as you may expect, I didn’t get very far due to the many spelling mistakes, grammar errors, repeated words and letters, missing words ( that I probably wrote in my head ), and so on.
These ‘mistakes’ made it really hard for me, the writer, to care about the things that I WROTE. And what’s worse is that I didn’t notice them until months after publishing. Which means that I probably also miss the same kinds of mistakes in every other blog post and any other thing I write.
So, here are 7 tips to improve your grammar and make fewer grammar/writing mistakes. These tips come from the very things that I now apply to my writing so that even I can continue to let my work shine by lessening my grammar mistake
7 Tips to Improve Grammar
- Double, Triple, or Quadruple check your work. (Whichever is necessary)
- Double, Triple, and quadruple-checking work is a simple and easy way to get rid of grammar mistakes. Check as many times as you need to, comb through your work and remove all mistakes you catch mistakes. Sometimes checking your work once is not enough.
- Check Slowly
- Don’t just run through the work with quick skimming. Instead, comb through your work slowly and carefully by taking your time to re-read all of your work. Every sentence should be under your scrutiny. Checking your work in this slow and thorough way can also help to reduce the number of checks you need to do.
- Use Grammarly or any other great spell checker
- Using Grammarly or any other great spell checker will help to catch all the mistakes you can’t see. They could also be great for checking your work the very first time. Grammarly and Microsoft Word’s spell check are the best spell checker I know of.
- Read it out Loud
- Because I write the same work that I am checking, or you the writer of the work you’re checking, even if we re-read it 5 times, there are some mistakes we won’t catch using repetitive and familiar approaches. Like missing words that II did not write, but read in my head because I know what I intended. When reading our writing out loud helps us consider how it might sound to other people. Thus giving us an opportunity to catch mistakes that do not sound right, because they probably were not written right.
- Have someone else read it
- Similar to reading it out loud other people can catch mistakes we don’t see. I love this way of checking work because it’s honestly less work for me. Hiring an editor or asking a skilled friend or family member really helps me achieve mistake-free work.
- Write well and write well more
- But what if I can’t ask someone to read my work and can’t read my work out loud ( maybe because I’m in a public setting)? The only solution is to write better. You and I will make fewer mistakes the better we write. And that is a tip/strategy that can’t be beaten. So, practice better writing.
- Write Slower
- I’m not the best typer. But that doesn’t stop me from typing fast whenever I’m trying to catch up with my thoughts. When I look up at my screen, finished with the race my fingers and mind had, I almost always have a crazy load of mistakes. Some people can type incredibly fast and make no mistakes. But other people ( like me ), cannot avoid mistakes when typing/writing fast. So, slow down. And practice making no mistakes at comfortable speeds of writing/typing. Writing speeds can be increased as fewer mistakes are made.
Preventing These Mistakes
I think the biggest and best tip I can give for making fewer mistakes is to learn good grammar. One of the main reasons I have been able to improve my grammar ( some ) is because of a grammar class that I started taking this year. Learning good grammar is the most efficient way to make fewer mistakes. Because I am preventing them with knowledge and good practice. So use these tips and if nothing, don’t forget to learn good grammar so that your work can shine.
BTW if you notice any grammar or writing mistakes in this post… just comment them below.
Until my next words (on here that is)