I know, the title should be you’re, not your going to make grammar mistakes. I once published a blog with, “There ready to help you.” It should’ve been “They’re ready to help you.” A co-worker pointed out my poor grammar, and I changed it. I know the difference, but I missed it. I missed it more than once. I missed it when I wrote it, and when I edited it 24 hours later. I missed it when I read it aloud, and I missed it when I reviewed each sentence one at a time, beginning from the end of the post. I missed it when I ran it through an editing app, and I missed it again when I read it before I clicked publish. My point is you should know the rules, complete edits, and do your best; however, most of us will occasionally make mistakes.
You should know the rules or at least be able to find them
I can’t keep track of all the rules. I reply on online sources such as Grammar Girl when I’m at a loss or have a question. I keep a copy of My Grammar and I…Or Should That Be Me? As well as a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing at my home office, where I do most of my writing. Many writers refer to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and still others rely on style guides such as the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style. The more you study these sources, the more you’ll learn and retain, but you’ll still make mistakes so have a plan to find and fix them.
Make deep edits
I find and fix many mistakes during my editing process, but I don’t find them all. I’ve published more than 2000 blog posts, and there…I mean, they’re far from perfect. I review older posts two to three times a week. I don’t always find copy mistakes. I find missing images, broken links, and formatting issues, which I repair. I find bad sentence structure and poor word usage, which I don’t always change, but I take note and learn from them. (Yes, I sometimes end sentences with prepositions and begin them with conjunctions!) And I occasionally find grammatical errors, which I fix.
Don’t put it off because it’s not perfect
Several years ago, I worked with a company on a blogging and social media plan. I spent three hours facilitating a brainstorming session with six sales and marketing team members. We identified four blog topics, outlined eight ideas, assigned social media networks, and decided to publish one new blog a week. The team decided to begin by getting ahead of the game. They hired me to write five posts. The organization invested nearly $1000 in this effort and took time out of their busy schedules.
They had good intentions, but they published no posts. In fairness, there was a marketing management change. Still, I suspect some of the procrastination was due to multiple departments looking for the perfect post before publishing. It’s an easy trap to fall prey to.
Who needs grammar, or is it whom?
You do. Please don’t take what I’ve shared to excuse you from publishing the most grammatically correct post possible. Edit your posts, learn the rules, and commit to deep edits because even the best can make mistakes. At the same time, don’t let fear of failure stop you from publishing your posts. And please let me know when you find errors in my posts. I know there out they’re.
My friend and editor Andy Hollandbeck added this
The other trap to avoid — the one that can really keep you from blogging — is listening to the trolls. Some people will pounce on a grammatical or spelling error and call you (on the friendlier side) an idiot for not seeing it yourself, using it as proof that you’re a worthless human being.
Though the error they found may be real (and that isn’t always a given), their conclusion is not. When trolls do this, they’re really only showing their own insecurities about writing, editing, grammar, and usage. If I can lower someone else, that puts me higher, right?
Experienced and professional writers and editors know that perfection is always unattainable. Accidents happen; errors make it in. And it’s not the end of the world. Whenever I discover that I’ve let an error slip through into the outside world, I take solace in the story of the non-word dord, knowing that the English language didn’t fall apart, and Merriam-Webster still makes good dictionaries. Ghost Word – Merriam-Webster Ask the Editor.
How Can I Help You?
Let me know if I can offer any help or advice. If this post struck a nerve, you might want to check out my book, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever. The book is full of action plans to create a blogging/writing system that works for you.
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash