“Writing” is the writing prompt today.
I normally talk about writing fiction, but nonfiction must also be written word by word, thought by thought, letter by letter.
Both must then be revised. Nonfiction especially requires profesisonal editing.
A typo in a story is annoying to both Writer and Reader, but not the end of the world.
A typo in a textbook, essay, or other work of nonfiction could spell disaster if it’s part of a vital formula, equation, or piece of explanatory text that must be absolutely clear and free of errors.
(I’d better revise this blog post carefully, so that you won’t notice that I haven’t had it professionally edited!)
In a medical text, a typo could be life-changing, and not for the better.
If you want to entertain your Readers, educate them, or both, you need to write a lot of drafts, do a lot of revising, and if you get professional editing, work through an Editor’s suggestions, comments, changes, and advice.
If you self-edit, you have to do a great deal of work to ensure that your work is as good as it can be.
You can spend hours reading writing advice, but ultimately, the only Writer who can write that great book is you. There’s no software or other resource that can do the work for you. Spellcheckers and dictionaries are good tools, but grammar checkers aren’t human and were programmed by humans who had a specific idea of what was and was not good grammar. Spelling is complicated enough, punctuation can be stressful, and grammar can be a minefield of strongly-held personal opinion, but it’s up to you as a Writer to learn them yourself, and not depend on software to fix them for you.
Don’t take a spellchecker at face value. You may have typed “ttwo,” and your spellchecker would probably suggest the word “two,” but you may have meant “to,” or “too.” If you know what each spelling means, you will catch that and know that the suggestion of “two” is wrong, and your manuscript will not read: “Let’s go two the movies,” but “Let’s go to the movies.” In other words, take charge of your writing. Grab the information you need to succeed as a Writer.
You should have a punctuation book, a dictionary, and either a computer with a word processor or a pen and some paper. That’s it. Everything else is extra.
Tell your story. Don’t let bad spelling or weird grammar filter out the good in it. Know the difference between a verb, a noun, an adverb, and an adjective. Know how to use a semicolon, even if it hurts.
No computer can tell a story like you can, so start writing now. No software can put together that wonderful essay you have in mind, so what are you waiting for?
Get to work.
To brute-force, soul-searching, life-changing (in a good way), spiritual, uplifting, hard writing.
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