My Book Editor Suggested Grammarly

As a hobby blogger and beginning writer, I started using Grammarly (affiliate link) at the suggestion of my editor, Debbie Simorte.

And here’s why.

It does not matter if you are the best or worst grammarian in the world, you will make and overlook mistakes. It goes with the territory of writing. You can hire an editor to read and check everything you write, or you can trust that you will catch everything yourself. If you are ok with either of those options, you do not need Grammarly.

editor

Maybe You Do Not Need An Editor

I wrote for years without either an editor or Grammarly.  YEARS! When I started blogging, spammers told me that my site was “rife with errors.” I laughed because they were spammers. As time went on, and I started different blogs I wanted to reuse and expand on some of my material. By that time I had one book published by a traditional publisher and was working on the second book. My indie book publisher recommended Grammarly. So, I tried the free version.

Fast forward a few months. Going back through some of my posts embarrassed me. I realized that the spammers had some cause in their evaluation. Grammarly and I both found errors.

Maybe you are not as prideful as I was am. I hate making mistakes. I do not like them pointed out to me. When my husband does it, and I get defensive and grumpy. He “walks on eggshells around me after he reads for me.” He does not want to tell me when a sentence does not make sense, usually because I’ve cut and pasted one too many times.

Not because I do not write clearly – heaven forbid!

Grammarly Works Better than a Loved One

Grammarly has no compunction about letting me know what it thinks is the correct way to write. When I do something wrong, there is a little red circle or a tiny yellow dot in the bottom right corner of my post, and Grammarly also highlights the mistake. Usually, I forgot a comma or have an extra period. Sometimes I type the word wrong, or I don’t know how to spell it.  Grammarly is not careful with my feelings. It lights up in red.

When things are going well, the Grammarly symbol stays green, and I am happy. To be honest, when I first started I did not like my progress reports – “Grammarly has corrected 150 errors this week.” I am competitive. I wanted to improve each week. I did not always make progress. I think I opted out of those reports. I got grumpy at Grammarly.

Let Grammarly read your work first, then give it to your loved one or editor.

So What, I’m Not Perfect

Why should anyone care if I use an editor or not?

The truth is, no one cares how many mistakes you make on a rough draft. The important thing is that you correct them before you hit the publish button. If you do this, your site will not be like mine, “rife with errors.”

You can correct errors in the body of your post, but do not forget your headline. I can’t tell you how many times I spelled Gravatar with an “i” instead of an “a” after the v because that is how I pronounced it. The sad thing was that the word was in my title, and when I changed it, it still showed up in social media, even when I republished it.

I tried deleting the post from social media and reposting the corrected version, but the mistake still appeared when I pasted the link manually into my social media accounts. Another option would have been to create an entirely new post with a corrected title and republish it. The problem with that is that you lose any comments on your post. The comments from people who write, “You misspelled a word in your title,” you might rather erase. True but embarrassing, right? But I hate losing the thoughtful conversations that come from engagement with the heartfelt thoughts I’ve expressed in my article.

Here is another simple, but a pervasive problem I have discovered through Grammarly. Some of my education and practices are outdated. YIKES! I can’t believe I said that out loud!

Seriously, I Am Outdated?

In the dark ages when I learned to type after we put a period at the end of the sentence, we put two spaces. NO!  In the world of Twitter, every space counts. Why use up extra ones for no good reason?

My book had 200 + pages of double spaces to correct. I still sometimes forget and space twice. Then my writing is not consistent. Debbie taught me to use the markup version of Word that shows every space as a blue period. I go blind! I barely can see the black periods, let alone the blue ones. It is much easier on my vision to relax and let Grammarly remind me that I have an extra space somewhere I do not need it!

I tend to overuse passive tense. Now I write differently. Styles change. Grammarly tells me when I forget. Sometimes I think passive tense works best. Then I use it. ON PURPOSE.

editor

Marsha, you should try Grammarly.
Hands off! My writing is fine!

Grammarly Is Not For Me

Some people do not like Grammarly or other computer editing programs. There are times I may not agree with Grammarly, but I have the advantage of knowing what it thinks about my writing. I can still click ignore and follow my leanings.

It does not take away my ability to think for myself. Nor does it make my content deeper, more thought-provoking, controversial, or funny. (dang!) I use it as an assistant reading over my shoulder who has my best interests in mind. I’m still the boss of my words, but he checks with current practices and correct spelling to make sure I look good to the public.

The moral of my tale is that it is better to make sure that your rough drafts do not end up published. Readers love you if they love your thoughts, your kindness, and your interest in them. They will overlook your mistakes. People listen to you and respect your opinions if they are well thought out. Grammar is more than the icing on the cake, but it is not the cake.

Using incorrect grammar is like buying a beautifully iced delicious cake, putting it in a fancy box to protect it on the way home, and then scraping off parts of the icing as you take it out of the box. The cake still tastes great, but the polished effect is gone. Don’t let a box ruin your icing.

If you want to try Grammarly, click here.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Six months ago I upgraded Grammarly, and it does correct more mistakes. I have recommended it in earlier posts as a user, not as an affiliate, and Grammarly emailed me and thanked me and asked if I wanted to become an affiliate. I said yes, and the Grammarly team rejected me.

SERIOUSLY! It was when Daniel was working on my site. Your website can’t be under construction if you want to be a Grammarly affiliate. So you know that affiliates are not fly by night spammers. They might be your friends on WordPress. 🙂  Or they might be your book editor. By the way, I have made corrections and inserted affiliate links in those posts if you want to check them out.

As a teacher, as a writer and blogger, I recommend using Grammarly. You can use the free version forever, and it catches mistakes that WordPress or spell check does not.  You can upgrade, like I did, to find more subtle errors.

PS, can you guess which baby in the featured image is me?

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