THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN I’D ORIGINALLY THOUGHT

For the past week, I’ve had the urge to opine at length in a blog post, but, I’ve let my blogging wane to almost nothing, so I’ve hesitated.

When I began blogging, I was excited to write. The concept of dropping my ideas in a well and seeing what kind of echo came back was terribly appealing. I didn’t do it because I thought what I had to say was fascinating. I didn’t do it because I believed my opinions to be more accurate than others. I was just telling stories about myself, and I realize it was an exercise in developing my writing style and maybe, in getting to know myself.

I had also wanted to build a platform in hopes of gaining potential readers for my books. In that regard, I do believe blogging has been useful, but not to the same degree as the time it took me to study blogging, learn how to create websites, and figuring out what to say and how to say it.

In the dawn of my blog, my vision of writing was far different from it is now. If anything, I’d say it was cringe-worthy. I essentially clung to the theory of let-it-rip-writing. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar be damned.

I willingly admit, I’m not naturally good at spelling, punctuation, or grammar. It completely eludes me. I have to work very, very hard to write well. My husband tells me he can just see how things are supposed to be spelled. I cannot. Others have told me they just know, almost instinctively, how to punctuate. I do not. Writing has become something I desperately want to do, but almost fear. I’m sure I’ll get over this malaise, but for now, I’ve got writing fever and ague. Give me time. I’m bound to recuperate.

And so, I go about my craft in this new way: I write a sentence. Dissect the sentence. Rearrange the sentence. Then delete the sentence. I’ve turned into my own worst enemy and critique.

Although I may cringe at mistakes in memes, emails, or Facebook posts, I don’t judge—yet, they do irritate me. So, I guess I’m becoming a very different writer than I used to be. Different… and yet, I can almost promise the second after I hit publish on this post, I’ll see a mistake in my writing. Maybe you’ll point it out to me. It’s part of being a writer—humbly accepting criticism because we know it helps us grow.

This is why I attend writing conferences. This weekend is the Spring Conference for the Nebraska Writers Guild. If you’re a writer in this region, or want to be one, you should consider attending. I go to learn about the craft of writing, as well as business, marketing and promotion. I also go to visit with others who are wiser and smarter than I, to make friends, and to network with like minds. It’s always great to see the people I’ve come to think of as family, and I usually go home with pages-worth of ideas, some of which I actually implement.

If you’re interested in attending the NWG Spring Conference, go to the website to sign up today. http://www.nebraskawriters.org/. I’ll see you there!

4 thoughts on “THERE’S MORE TO IT THAN I’D ORIGINALLY THOUGHT

  1. I’m sort of a compulsive editor. I’m pretty natural with punctuation and grammar, although spelling is another matter. My brain doesn’t store all those illogical English spellings well. I have trouble NOT seeing problems in what I read, and unfortunately they do bother me. They’re just distracting. At the same time, I know that self-editing is very hard, because your brain sees what SHOULD be there. What you meant, rather than what you said. Happens to me all the time. So I’m very tolerant of the occasional glitch in a blog post. And just so you know, Gina, this one was really clean, so I’d say you’re doing well!

    On the use of singular “they”, apparently there has been some change in the recommendations in the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. This is what I gather from the chat on the list-serve of the Editorial Freelancers Association. That particular style manual now allows some situations where “they” can be used in place of “he or she”, but I haven’t looked at the specifics.

  2. I don’t judge when I see grammatical or punctuation errors out there either. I figure he/she who is without sin, right? I always proof my comments, tweets, etc. before I post them, and I still occasionally find an error after I’ve hit the ‘post’ button. Grrr. Humans. We’re error-prone! 🙂

    • ginabarlean@gmail.com says:

      It’s become a bit paralyzing for me.
      I read something somewhere that said we can now correctly use “they” in place of “he/she”. Have you heard that? Did I dream that? I’ll have to do some searching.

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