When I first started writing stories, I sucked at spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
This was all my fault. I never read over my writing after the first draft and never took the time to understand sentence mechanics. But I was embarrassed by this and let it get in the way of doing what I love.
When I finally came back to it, I still sucked. Even worse, I had let 15 years pass without working to improve it.
Yet, this time I asked for help. I hired editors to make my words look better and slowly learned what I was doing wrong. I also started teaching writing and had to go through students' scripts. Slowly, over time, I got better.
Still, I use a variety of tools:
- I ask friends and family to read it for me.
- I run it through Grammarly and ProWriting Aid, AI-assisted tools to catch mistakes.
- I text my editor things I suspect are wrong and get her input.
- And I go to the old standards of reading it out loud with fresh eyes (at least a day after), reading it backwards, and doing it over and over again.
Yes, you may suck at grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Yes, it may get in the way of people enjoying your writing. But you can improve with readily available tools, so don't let this be the reason that stops you from sharing your stories.
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