Punctuation and grammar pedants

I have not socialised with other writer’s offline and not too much with them online either; the reason for this is unclear, I do try hard to socialise particularly in the Facebook writer’s clubs but they seldom reply to me direct unless offering criticism to my lack of punctuation or grammar.

I have often reminded members of these clubs that I have had very little education, due to being home-schooled and I have never gone into higher education and that most of what I know is self-taught; it is for these reasons that I lack confidence in creative writing, particularly when it comes to publishing anything on my blog. I have been told by many people that publishing things on my blog can be detrimental to my future of becoming a published writer because blogs are often considered too personalised and once published in an online media, it is considered published anyway.

When I have been active on these groups, I have never actively criticised another person’s work unless to praise their efforts, I seldom post any of my own work because of fear of plagiarism and it being noted as being published online. Perhaps this is the reason behind having so few writing friends?

Because the majority of those who talk to me about my writing concentrate a lot on my grammar and punctuation, I have become self-conscious of my writing, enough to start reading books such as “Eats, shoots and leaves” by Lynne Truss, “Improve your punctuation and grammar” by Marion Field and to try online punctuation and grammar games. I have been so affected by the criticism of the polishing of my work that I have even considered spending out more than I can afford for software called Grammarly, which I may have to put on hold for a while.

Despite trying to educate myself more on writing professionally I really don’t think it’s sinking in. I know I shouldn’t worry too much about it because if I was to approach a publisher they’ll have editors to help me in this matter, but for some reason or another it is a big issue for people within the writing communities online.

A friend of mine (who is a lecturer for Leeds University) feels that there isn’t too much of a problem with my punctuation, though some of it does need brushing up – but they feel that my critics are pedantic beyond need, as writers groups are generally there for socialising and for fun, not shooting down other members lack of abilities.

My blog may become quieter for a short phase because I am trying to brush up on these inconsistencies.




Filed under About my work

5 responses to “Punctuation and grammar pedants

  1. And now I can see that my first reply is actually there, so I’ve made a numpty of myself. This will be my final response.

  2. Hi, I wrote a really long winded reply to this earlier but it seems to have disappeared in to the ether. The main crux of the story was, don’t worry too much about it, and in my experience the intracacies tend to come mostly with practice, as long as you knew the basics. Chin up and don’t let the bastards grind you down. Cheers

  3. Hi, the only advice I can give, though it sounds like you’ve already heard it, is not to worry too much. I haven’t had a lot of formal training in the intracacies of English since high school, but in my experience an understanding of the basic rules and functions is all you really need to get by, the finer details just sort of seep in with practice. Eventually you can just look at your writing and think that comma is or isn’t necessary there. And I wouldn’t put too much weight on what these so called community types are telling you either, most of that is to brush their own grammatical egos. As you said if you get a deal, you’ll have editors that’ll help you when it matters, but I would say the basic undestanding I mentioned, will be necessary for you to get that far. I’ve published a few short stories on my blog, but these are just for fun, and to make people aware of me and to anticipate any potential future releases, so I don’t worry too much about the spelling and grammar with these, just the story and wordplay. I can’t comment on whether it’s a positive or negative thing as far as getting published goes, but personally I won’t publish anything on my blog that I hope to be legitimately published later, so as I said, it’s just the for fun, ‘look at me, look at me’ stuff. If you do happen to publish something here, I lol definitely read it for one, and certainly won’t take offence at the little errors. Cheers and good luck.

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