Friday, March 04, 2016

I Love Red Pens

Red pens make me happy.
Last year, I blogged about celebrating National Grammar Day and I'm thinking it's a good trending topic for me, being as I'm kind of a stickler for grammar, so here is my second annual National Grammar Day celebratory post!

Once again, I'm serving as the Book Doctor for the 2016 Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc conference, which means that I get to work with writers on shaping their writing. And that's my dirty little secret: I love editing. I mean, I really like writing but editing? I sort of love it.

Yes, I'm totally letting my geek flag fly.

OKWB Mini-Con

Last weekend, I spoke at the OKWB Mini-Con about writing, and the importance of writing well. I know, I know—people think of online writing as not as big of a deal, but it totally is. You are sharing your view, your voice, your reputation through your word choice.

When so much of our life is spent in the public eye, the words we use (or don't use) on our social media matter.

I encouraged the participants in my session to consider what they want from writing—what do they want to accomplish, what do they want to show others, how can they do that better? I gave them a sheet to take away:
  • I'm unique because ...
  • I'm good at ...
  • I need to be better at ...
  • I want to know more about ...
  • I can teach others about ...
  • I can let go of ...
I offered advice for great writing that applies to blog posts and beyond:
  • Be authentic to yourself and your story.
  • Don't force yourself into writing to a formula that someone once told you to follow.
  • Be yourself and use your own voice—don't try to copy someone else. You do you.
  • Use good quality images that you own.
  • Connect with your readers in real life, social media or your website.
  • Know what you're talking about. Claim to be an expert only if you are.
That last one is hard for me. I'm one of those people who don't always feel like I'm an expert, even if I really do know what I'm talking about. But one of the biggest takeaways this weekend?

National Grammar Day

So, what does National Grammar Day have to do with any of this? Well, the nice folks at Grammarly sent me this super cool infographic, all about celebrities and their online grammar usage.

In fact, Grammarly did a whole study about celebrities and their grammar usage, finding out fun facts like:
  • The top 3 grammatically-correct celebrities attended Harvard.
  • Two of the top 10 speak English as a second language.
  • Age matters—older celebrities tend to use better grammar (with people in the 60-69 age group making half as many mistakes as those in the 20-29 age group). Those in my age group (neither of those quoted) make about 5 mistakes per 100 words, so I'm feeling pretty good about my personal usage.
See! US Magazine is right—celebrities really ARE just like us! What they say matters, too. And if you feel about words like I feel about words, then you want to be following the celebrities who know how to use their words.

Grammarly Celebrity Writing MVPs for Grammar Day 

Thanks to Grammarly for sending this fun info—because good grammar can be fun! Really!
I hope you choose to celebrate Grammar Day along with me! 

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