In today’s modern world of social media, blogs and self-publishing, anyone’s writing is available for all to see and critique. Unfortunately, at the same time the importance being placed on spelling and grammar is being diminished.
Is this right?
With the invention of text language, many people shorten words and use abbreviations that quite often need a translator to decipher. This new speech is having a direct impact on the use of spelling and grammar in everyday life. Unfortunately, many people are choosing to ignore fairly basic rules.
Spelling and grammar are the basic building blocks for the construction of speech and writing. It forms what we say and how we say it. Spelling is obviously much less of an issue with the spoken word, but the lack of grammatical skills can cause confusion. When it comes to the written word, if either spelling or grammar is not there, the intended meaning may be completely lost.
Ultimately, the importance a writer places on spelling and grammar comes down to how serious they want to be taken and how successful they would like to be. If a writer is being paid for his/her work then they have a responsibility to do it to the best of their ability. However, even if they are not getting paid but hope to self-publish a book, bad grammar and incorrect spellings could be the difference between success and failure.
Everyone makes mistakes and it is virtually impossible to ensure that your own writing is 100% error free. However, there are editing services available to everyone regardless of the standard of their writing and in order to become a successful writer, the skills of an editor should certainly be considered.
For many people, the odd typo is expected when they read and it is easily forgotten. However, if a sentence or section doesn’t make sense after reading it over a couple of times, there is a chance that they will read no further and could put them off reading any more of your work. Remember that no best-seller would ever have become one with bad spelling and grammar!
The more serious you take your writing, the more importance you will place on spelling and grammar and the more serious you will be taken. Ultimately, you have the chance to earn far more money with good grammatical skills.
If you would like to improve your spelling and grammar, there are steps you can take:
- Read, read and read – the more you read, the more you will improve your vocabulary. You will also become more aware of spelling and grammar rules.
- Always re-read your work – once you have finished a section, take a break and re-read it. It may surprise you just how many mistakes you unintentionally made first time round.
- If you are not using an editing or proofreading service, once you have finished the book, take a break and read the entire thing before publishing. Make sure your facts are accurate, your writing is consistent and you catch as many typos as possible.
- Ask for help – asking a friend or family member to read over your work will also be of great benefit. A fresh pair of eyes will spot mistakes that you may not be able to see.
- Read out loud – this may sound strange, but one of the best ways to see how your work sounds is to read out loud. You will be able to hear when the spelling and grammar is incorrect.
If you are self-publishing, why let yourself down with spelling and grammar. It will be noticed by your readers and could affect your future career. No matter what career or skill you are pursuing, everything starts with learning the basics. In order to write well therefore, it is vital to understand the fundamental core of writing – grammar and spelling.