Writing Tip Of The Day: You don’t Need To Know How To Spell To Be Successful

True story. When I was in third grade my teacher Mrs. Gordon asked me what I wanted to be. I told her I wanted to write stories but I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t very good at spelling. She gave me the best piece of advice I had received to that point and for a long time after. She told me it didn’t matter. She named a few authors who were terrible at spelling. I want to say she said that was what spell check was for but I’m not 100% sure there even was a spell check yet. I do know I said it more than once when retelling the story.

Spell check may not catch everything and every now and again it tries to make me use the wrong their, there, or they’re but really it can get you to the point where people can understand your story. If you are a perfectionist, run spell check, print it and read it out loud (this helps with grammar sometimes. you can hear the problem where you may have missed it if you were reading to yourself) and then hire a copyeditor before you send it to your agent. Or before you query if that is where you are in the process. I cannot wait to query. Honestly I will probably not do the copy editing thing. I will have my mom and Sara read it and anything they don’t catch will end up going through till we hit the editing stage after finding an agent.

I’m not the best with grammar either. Though with Sara constantly correcting me I have learned a few things. 🙂

I guess the real tip of the day is simple. If you love to write, or even just enjoy it. Do it. It might not be your only job or you may even consider it a hobby but don’t think you can’t make it just because of spelling and grammar. A good story is a lot more than that.

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About MCFrosch

I am a wife and mother of two boys. My children are almost exactly two years apart in age and the oldest is four. I am a full-time student earning my Bachelors Degree in Marketing. I am working towards becoming a literary agent and have recently decided to help a friend as she endeavors to found a small indie publishing house. I also have two dogs and four cats. My husband and I also brew our own beer and hope to give wine and mead a try.
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One Response to Writing Tip Of The Day: You don’t Need To Know How To Spell To Be Successful

  1. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway was illiterate? Whenever his newspaper editors complained about it, he would say, “Well, that’s what you’re hired to correct!”

    I recently took a post that I had proofread myself, and used it to test a few of the free grammar-checker and proofreading programs available on the internet. Then I sent the same post to a professional proofreading service I use every now and then and compared the results.

    I can tell you, without a doubt, that there is no substitute for a professional proofreading service. Most of their proofreaders have masters degrees and will find grammar, spelling, punctuation and style and sentence fragment errors the free programs cannot pick out.

    Of course, we can’t afford all that, but it might be beneficial to use one for maybe that one particular post or query letter you think may be the BIG one. A 500 word post usually cost around $15.00, and they send you back a clean (newly-written) copy and a detailed, analyzed one with all the errors and changes. It’s kind of like spending 15 bucks and getting a priceless, english lesson back in return.

    Although I try my best, I don’t fret over a spelling or grammar error I may have missed after hitting the Publish button. After all, we’re all only human, right?

    Good post.

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