On this blog, we don’t talk about words very much. We’re focused on making money from our words, so it’s understood that you know how words work.
What if you don’t? Some of us (me, for example) didn’t pay much attention in English class. I didn’t pay attention because I was reading under the desk. I found English class boring. I knew all that stuff already, because I knew I’d spend my life writing when I was eight.
If you’re uncertain about language and grammar
We’re getting paid for our words, so we MUST know the basic rules of grammar. It’s not optional. Seriously. So, if you’re in any doubts about grammar, study it. It’s easy, I promise.
Go to Amazon, and under Books, do a search for “grammar”. You’ll find basic books, as well as books for people who already know the basics.
If you want to get copy editing jobs, or other jobs which need real grammatical know-how, you need to understand conjunctions, tenses, and the subjunctive. Get a book or two.
Buy a book, or get a book or two from your local library. Study the books. Make notes — YOU WILL NEED THEM.
To repeat: words are our tools. We not only need to know how to use them, we need to love them.
Do you read for pleasure? Dean Koontz once said that the primary pastime for writers is reading. Read. Read good stuff, as well as junk. I read a lot of novels purely for entertainment. I also read worthy books — literature. If you read a lot, you’ll absorb English grammar rules, and word use, by osmosis.
Teaching isn’t what it once was. Over the past 20 years, teachers have shifted their focus from basic grammar. This is a real shame. It means that you’ll need to learn now. You can’t get highly paid writing jobs if you don’t know your basic tools… words.
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