There are elements of writing which make us unique from one another. The two most important are style and voice. When you are going for brand, you want to be different, especially when you have a quality product. No woman wants to show up at the Ball and find another woman wearing the same dress. You want to stand out and be noticed, because your brand is what defines you. You might feel differently if you operate in a country which makes money in the mass production of rubber dog shit.
Unlike style and voice, grammar is the one thing where there is no standing out for the better, only for the worse when you do not comply. We all need to unite under the same rules which dictate proper grammar. There’s no doubt I am one of those people who would need to hire an editor to comb through my writing.
I know what you are thinking: I’m a writer, not an editor! I say you should learn how to edit. Learn proper grammar. If I were an editor reading gross grammatical errors in the first pages of a manuscript, I’m going to miss the story. Why? Because I would be horrified at how much work lies before me in the next 200 pages. Brand is important to your image, but grammar is important to your integrity.
Brand : clothing :: grammar : hygiene
It is difficult to accept criticism, but if we are to improve our skills, we have to rely upon our fellow readers and writers to give the feedback when there is a problem. I have been reading and writing in many different forums over the past 15 years and I can tell you some of the more common reactions from writers when they are given negative feedback on their work. However, I won’t. Why? Because I’m a positive person and I believe in sharing positive things, with the exception of the big, black woman who beat myass.
Instead, I want to share the most positive reaction to criticism, and that is grace. Have the grace to accept the criticism. You are not agreeing with the criticism when you accept it. There is a magical thing which happens when you accept criticism with grace. You discover a funnel of information by which you can choose to apply to your future work. Ta da! This leads to our next topic.
The biggest transformation in me since I’ve been writing is the gratitude I feel toward my fellow writers. The number of critiques I have received from both of my writer groups and from those of you out in the blogosphere have helped me to improve, not only my writing skills, but also the way in which I share with all of you.
This gratitude I feel is what keeps me contributing content in this wonderful world we share. And thus was born this idea for a blog post dealing with the letter “G”.