Good writing allows the writer to be taken seriously, and being taken seriously is always important in communicating ideas. If a person’s writing is awkward and clumsy, readers get the mistaken notion the person is that way, too. (“Seriously” doesn’t have to mean “serious” though, so you shouldn’t feel compelled to make things sound “official” or stodgy.) Borrowed from Write Away – Learn how to become a better writer.
Some of the very best writing I have ever read is humorous, delivering the punch in such a way it leaves me thinking over the issues quite seriously. That would not be quite possible if the writing is riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes.
Admittedly, when writing on a deadline, it is quite easy to make repeated mistakes. Sometimes, even when you are taking your time to go over your work, you might not see a mistake until it has already been sent out to your editor.
My mentor has taught me a number of things over the last few years, from taking my work seriously to exploring subjects I normally would shy away from. But one thing he has taught me, by his own example, is that it is always a good idea to do the first, second and perhaps third draft, then leave your work to rest overnight.
In the light of a new day, without the fatigue of rewriting your work, it is much easier for you not only to see grammatical mistakes, but also to have a chance to review your writing.
Don’t get into the habit of allowing your writing to be ‘cleaned’ up by your editor. Editors are notorious for cutting up your script, changing words and so on to make your work fit into their specifications. You can minimise the loss of your voice by cleaning up your work yourself. As a matter of fact, this is one reason for last week’s note on ‘word count’.
I will mention my mentor once again. I have watched him agonise over word count so many times, even though he usually submits his work to reputable newspapers. If he goes over the word count, then he stands the chance that his work will end up looking like someone else’s work – the editor’s. The same thing goes for grammar and spelling.
Do you have anything that you know for sure will help other writers with regards to this? Please post in the comments section of this post the things that have helped you personally.
And with that, I usher you into this week’s readings.
Do you know what teenage boys and girls do during those all-night wakes at funerals? Linda Musita has taken us into a discovery of her own in Boneyard Attraction.
Here’s is a story about betrayal, child abuse, and forgiveness. Or is it? The Road Less Taken by Chrispus Kimaru
And what of the Slogan ‘Yes, we can!’ Enock Shirandula tells us of one person who truly believed it in You too Can Make it.
A child is born, and it might make it or not. But what can be more beautiful than the birth of a child? Impossibly Beautiful by Beatrice Wainaina.
That refugee in Kakuma Camp, what have they been through before they ever get there? Dear Mr. Death, Hurry Please by Julius Rutere.
And lastly, Boys will be boys. Of the lessons boys learn, here is The True Tattoo by Isaac Ndune Keah.
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