Image by tanakawho via Flickr
I got an interesting email this morning - normally, after posting (like I did the other morning), I'd wait a couple of days, but this one just couldn't wait.
I was talking about rejections yesterday, and I wasn't entirely clear or accurate. Most of the pieces I'm currently having rejected are later accepted by magazines further down my submission chain.
But there are just some places I CANNOT get into - the elusive areas of fiction writing that would really make a huge difference to my morale, my goals and possibly my writing career.
Where does the email fit into this?
Well, yesterday I got a rather sniping email asking if I realised I was making 'smelling mistakes' (I'm assuming they meant spelling ;)) and that no American author should make the mistakes I do.
Well, for a start, I'm British, not American. We use the Queen's English instead of American English. Both are perfectly valid language variations in my opinion - and there's no reason to say American English is derivative, because both languages, in my opinion have evolved since splitting paths. I'd probably have etymological students up in arms right about now, but to be honest, for me, it’s splitting hairs. And if you prefer the look of color without the U, that's great! I can't write that though without my brain screaming 'WRONG!'
Secondly, I'm mildly dyslexic. I also rush when I'm writing blogs, because, to me they are very 'immediate'. I have spelling and punctuation problems, but I don't rely on Word to check them, and that's something I'm trying to teach myself to get over. Most of my favourite bloggers make the same mistakes as me ;). Its not an excuse though, so I'm trying to fix that.
Blog posts, for me though, aren't the same as the writing I'm sending to my editors. Both are equally important to me, for different reasons, but I *really* don't view what I'm saying on blogs as the same as what I'm sending to editors. The immediacy issue aside, I also feel that no matter how you cut it, blogs are less formal - they don't require nearly as much editing, and while that can lead to sloppy writing, it's more likely that the poster is just in a hurry. Again though, that's not an excuse for making spelling and grammar mistakes (my most common one is 'it's' and forgetting the apostrophe ;))
I am however making a few changes.
I'm going to 'slow down' - I'm going to write posts in Word and hopefully, I'll see a pattern in what mistakes I make - which will tighten up my writing, and feed my perfectionist streak.
And yes, I know, it sounds odd saying I'm a professional writer that makes all these mistakes – so I’m going to start removing them, just to make sure that I’m presenting exactly that. Though my blog posts and my fiction writing are two completely separate things, there’s absolutely no reason for me to handle them differently.
What do you think?