This might shock to some, and seem pretty obvious to others. Me editing grammar not good! He! He! He! Not to say I could not pass first grade writing, but my editing skills are eh! For me blogging is a way to share my passion. Editing my work, seems like an exercise in disappointment. How can I marry the two, so readers get a well-crafted educational masterpiece that flows effortlessly? This will be what we examine today.
I have always approached educational approaches with a quirky view most find frustrating. As a kid, I would take a test after cramming for the exam, and forget what was on the test by the time I left the room. English seemed mundane, until I got into Mr. Venegoni’s AP English Lit course. There I would discover Joyce, Keats, and so many other great English literary greats. I still remember to this day spending 2 days of class on the Grecian Urn.
However, I personally still need to do a better job editing my work. When I started blogging three years ago it never occurred to me to learn proper grammar etiquette.
Over the last 6 months, however, my goals began to change. One of them is to have a better command of the English language so I could improve my always educational and entertaining articles. I yearn for better grammar choices. My blogging has come to a point where I believe I actually need to improve upon my grammar to get to the next level. While, my writing has never looked like a drunk man out on the town, I do not portray a Harvard grammarian either.
So, here are some basic steps I took to improve my grammar over the past few months.
Removing The Insanity of Editing!
Pro Writing Aid is a free tool, Grammarly has a monthly membership for some of their services. These services are awesome, because I can copy & paste my work into their systems to see how well I did. They let me know of mistakes I made in everything from word choice to sentence variation to passive writing and more.
Second, Microsoft Word has a great Grammar & Style checker. While most people use Word for writing, not enough people review the options available in their Grammar & Style options. I set my options as high as possible, so I can see as many mistakes as possible.
Third, when that is not possible do it yourself. With my acute sense of editing dystopia, how can I reach my writing utopia? Well, this might sound crazy. Heck! If you read this far, you probably expect a certain amount of insanity.
I use children’s grammar games. Yep! Heck Yeah! No misunderstanding here. I go to sites like Houghton Mifflin. They have a number of multiple choice questions for different grammar lessons. Also, I like the games from Marks-English. They are a bit old-fashioned and basic, but the lessons are pertinent to English grammar. The last thing I want is a repeat of boring middle school English textbooks.
Fourth, this is my ultimate dream! I want to find someone who can review my work immediately before I publish. I tested out a few services, but am still looking for my editing princess with the magical edit fitting slippers.
Just a quick word of caution/advice here. My wife has mad grammar skills. She constantly asks how I can write a blog, and have the writing style of a child. So, we did a test. She would edit my work for a day, and I would pay her for the edit. And the test did not last the day, because we decided for our marriage’s sanity we should not work together. Sometimes strangers are a better option.
One of the best sources I found is Odesk. While I still need to a permanent solution, Odesk (Affiliate Link) has some great options. This is the Virtual Assistant network I have used a lot over the past few years from everything from web developers to SEO experts to social media help. They have some good editors.
Whatever options you use for your editing, the main thing is to edit your work. Every time you edit your work, your skills will improve. While, I am by no means perfect. I can only expect people to respond with the obnoxious amounts of grammar mistakes I missed in this post, I am working to improve my grammar. After all, editing is the process of improving what you have done in the past. What do you do think? How me’s editing skills?