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Grammar is Not a Weapon

Recently, a friend of mine said, My mother always wanted to be a writer, but she was embarrassed by her grammar. 

I hear this a lot from people who want to write, but are embarrassed by their command of spelling and grammar. When I was a teacher, I worked with so many students who were scarred for life by teachers who used grammar as a weapon. Often, when I would tell one of my students how great their essay was, they would respond with, No one has ever told me I’m a good writer before.

Do you remember feeling your stomach drop when you got back a paper in English class that was covered in red ink?

Did you ever have a teacher who made you feel like you were a bad writer, or just not good enough?

I’ve lost count of the number of people who told me that a teacher’s discouragement turned them off of writing.

Even though I love grammar (grammar nerd in da house)it breaks my heart to hear about and meet people who aren’t writing because they’re intimidated by it. The truth is, everyone has stories to tell, and anyone can be a writer if they practice. I don’t believe there are “good writers” or “bad writers.” (It’s all subjective, anyway.) 

If you want to write, just start creating.

If you need an editor, you can hire one to help you polish your piece when it’s done.

The truth of your story is what makes it powerful.

Focus on writing it down.

The clean-up can happen after you’re done.

 

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