Monday, June 21, 2010

Leave Me Alone

Leave me alone about my grammar and punctuation.

I blog for fun. My blog posts are "freewrites." I rarely edit them. I blog because I enjoy it and most of my readers enjoy it. Blogging is not work.

Blogging helps me develop and store ideas. I also get feedback on content, rather than the technical aspects of writing. Many of my blog posts eventually become polished essays which go through several revisions. That's when I put the effort into proofreading. Proofreading and polishing is work. I don't particularly enjoy it, but I do it for my more formal and professional pieces. I don't want my blog posts scrutinized the way my "real-life" writing is. I need a break from that.

Consider my blog posts as writing exercises or early first drafts. They are deeply flawed pieces of writing, but I need to get the ideas out without worrying about editing. I need that freedom for my creative process. Worrying constantly about errors cripples me. It takes the joy out of writing. I don't want to write without joy.

Several of my published pieces began as blog posts. The final drafts barely resemble the originals. 

Free-writing is a common writing technique. I know writers who have managed to write entire novels this way because it's the only way for them to get their words out without being paralyzed by self-editing. The difference is that I choose to make my free-writes public. Most people aren't complaining.

Last, I speak with terrible grammar. I come from an uneducated lot. They also speak a unique dialect. I grew up hearing this dialect and I often resort back to it because I find it amusing, unique, comforting and well, very much how I sound. On my blog, I write like I speak when I am speaking to my family and close friends. Again, I need that freedom. It also represents an intimacy with my readers. I like letting my readers hear the real "me." Most of them really appreciate it.

If you don't, then either ignore it or go read some more formal, published writing which has gone through a more extensive editing process by several paid editors.  

I find that reading comprehension is a far greater problem for most people than minor grammatical errors. I'm not a grad student. I graduated last year. I am a teacher. I have colleges and universities beating down my door to teach writing classes for them. I have to turn down teaching assignments. I've won awards for my teaching. 

I am a good teacher because I am passionate and creative. I engage my students. I am easy to relate to and my students learn in my classes because I don't intimidate or bore them. I don't nitpick at them or make them feel ashamed when they make mistakes. I give them the freedom they need to experiment and to find their own creativity. I give myself this freedom as well.


The Hosta Chronicles said...

Damn straight! :)

Shannon Culver said...

What in the world ...??? Who's bothering YOU about grammar/spelling or anything else? I enjoy your blog because it is a conversational stream of consciousness, much like sitting down with a good friend who has a great story to tell.
We're here - we're listening - and have no complaints about your style, grammar, spelling, stories, or anything else. Keep up the great work (please!).

mcgrimus said...

I'm a copy editor, and I can honestly say you have a very natural writing style that feels spontaneous, but also not like you're just spewing words. What errors I do find are mostly just typos, and there are surprisingly few of them. I can't believe someone would bother to point them out. These are the same people who probably are crippled by an internal editor when they write, if they do write. But mostly they just want to show you how much smarter than you they are. As an editor, I apologize on their behalf!

catherine said...

I love the way you write. When I read your blog, I hear your voice in my head, and not in a crazy way, LOL...
Don't let the grammar nazis bother you. Just pity them. Their life is so meaningless and pathetic that they resort to picking apart an anonymous blog as they sit in their dank,dark basement apartment, cheerless.... friendless....and souless.

(hows that for creative writing?) ;)

Lorian said...

Don't worry, most of us come here because we love you and your writing. I may spot the occasional typo, but your storytelling is just so lively that I normally don't even notice instantly.
Keep up the good work and don't let anything get to you! This is YOUR blog and nobody can tell you what you should or shouldn't do!

rosie-b said...

You just need to ignore those people. I took a writing class once and we had to get into small groups and critique each others work. I was hoping for some ways I could improve my story-telling, instead they were all arguing about how many spaces I should have used. If they can't see the forest for the trees then you need to just leave them behind and enjoy your stroll through the woods on your own.

Cliche I know, but hey, I only took the one writing class :)

Suffer Kate said...

I love your writing! I love the way it feels like catching up with a friend [what errors???]. I'll bet you're an awesome teacher, too.

♥ Calamity Anne ♥ said...

For the love of they're picking on you for grammatical errors! Some people really do need to get a life! The reason I follow your blog IS because of the way you write...I can tell your writing comes from your soul!

Deneen said...

Somebody needs to get a life. I am a person who sees typos and grammatical errors simply because I can't NOT see them and my first reaction was "What the hell? We can't be talking about *this* blog." Your writing is beautiful, don't let the bastards get to you.

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