Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby Writing Mistakes

This is part one of a five-part series on writing mistakes.
The best way to destroy your credibility and send your writing career to an early death is to make simple, entry-level mistakes in your work. Obvious spelling, capitalization and grammar errors are inexcusable, especially when spellcheckers and grammar checkers are now available with almost all word processing software programs.

There are many people, especially in the blogging world, who will disagree, arguing that you don't need to be so rigid in a world where immediacy, or the quality of your ideas, takes priority over things like how well you spell or whether you put periods on the end of your sentences.

Of course the quality of your ideas is important. And yes, the internet has helped create an environment where the speed and immediacy with which you deliver your thoughts is more important than ever before.

However, this misses the real point: every time you post an article on your blog, send a short story off to an online magazine, or even hit "send" on an email, your credibility is at stake. If you value your credibility and you want others to value it too, take an extra minute or two to remove glaring spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Don't let baby writing mistakes make you look like less of a writer than you really are.

The thing is, everyone makes these errors. But successful writers strip out 99% of them before anyone sees their work.