Writing is one thing, but preparing your writing for readers is another.
With so many writers now being given the wonderful opportunity to publish their work, there are many who are either sloppy and lazy or are lacking in the grammatical and orthographic fundamentals necessary to write well.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a poem, a short story or a blog post, accuracy is essential. Whether it be for print or for Internet posting, the same care and effort should be taken to ensure that a writer presents them self as competent.
Of course it’s easy to say that writers should use an editor or reliable proofreader, but in reality, much of what a writer writes does not warrant these services. For a well-presented writer’s blog, poetry submissions to websites or short stories published online, it is the writer who needs to take responsibility and check their work meticulously.
This means reading, checking and double checking before any text goes out. If a writer relies purely on a spellchecker, the results will be extremely poor. Spellcheckers just cannot find the errors that ruin a piece of writing. The classic errors of their, there, they’re or its, it’s or has, had, will never be found. Most word processors also have auto text. This tool is a sure fire way to let your computer make mistakes on your behalf and I would always suggest turning it off.
Another deadly tool is cut and paste. During the writing process, it’s a handy tool, but it is also an easy way to make errors. I have seen so many errors with verb agreement and singular and plurals that were clearly a result of this. By all means use cut, copy and paste but make sure you check carefully when proofreading.
Lastly though is that writers take pride in what they produce. Of course, there will be the odd error that slips through, but a good competent writer will keep these to an absolute minimum. A good writer will also feel extremely annoyed with themselves when these errors or typos escape because they take great pride in the quality of their writing.
There is no doubt that the advent of self-publishing has allowed anyone to become a writer. Unfortunately, there are many who are publishing sub-standard material. Or even worse. The way to stand out and rise above this is, of course, to write well, but also to be meticulous in the way texts are checked, double-checked and triple-checked.
Don’t be a sloppy writer.