Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Insecure Writer’s Support Group: First Wednesday of the Month Blog Hop


Believe it or not it's the third first Wednesday of the year already! I'm trying not to blink because I'm sure if I do, it will be summer. My apologies to those of you snowed in on the east coast, longing for summer, but for me, I just want the year to SLOW DOWN.

A HUGE thank you to the incredible IWSG team and our March hosts, Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence. You can learn more aobut IWSG, or join in the IWSG fun, here.

This month I'm fretting over the small stuff. I know you're not supposed to sweat the small stuff, but we all do. By small stuff, I mean grammar. Is it a colon or semi-colon? Dash or em-dash? Oxford comma or not? I have read a plethora of books on this matter, consulted with my court reporter friends, who continually argue among themselves. This makes me worry more for if they, who make a living with grammar, can't agree, how am I supposed to figure this all out? 

Since I don't think I'll ever have all the answers on this matter, I will continue to defer to the professionals, and live by rule #17 of the small stuff guide...

How are your insecurities this month?Are you sweating the small stuff? Choosing to be kind? Do you have a favorite quote from Richard Carlson's Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff?


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've heard the quote before. I did an entire post on the Oxford comma. I don't feel very confident on my grammar skills.

Chrys Fey said...

I am right there with you with those comas, semi-colons, and dashes. No matter how much I try to learn which one is appropriate when I still manage to get it wrong. ;)

Kai Strand said...

Punctuation, grammar - my weaknesses. I've studied the heck out of them too, and then when I go to apply the info, something gets all squirrely in my head. Ack. Editors are my friends.

LD Masterson said...

I'm totally with you on slowing down this year...and we're one of those snowbound places. I was reading for February and I'm even less ready for March. As for punctuation, I once had an English professor ask me if I finished a writing a page, sprinkled on some commas out of a shakers, shook the page and where ever they stuck is where I left them.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a great saying.
If the suggestions are all over the map, then maybe it doesn't matter what punctuation you use. said...

I should probably worry over my grammar, because I'm pretty sure I'm not using it entirely right. But it sort of falls second to the actual writing part. I need to get that done so the editor can look for all those misplaced dashes and commas I've sprinkled around evily.

Terry Lee-Rosing said...

“we need to break the habit of overreacting because of our speedy assumption and judgments”
― Richard Carlson

This is my Richard Carlson pick:) And I love the one you chose. I haven't divided by thoughts/concerns into the small and large things, they all seem to be lumped in one big heap (sigh).

Stephsco said...

Ah yes, grammar. I'm continually learning grammar rules as I write. I do think it's important to get *most* of the rules right, but being kind to yourself when you realize you'll never be editor-level awesome at recognizing comma splices, that's a good rule to live by.

Here's my March IWSG post

Nick Wilford said...

As an editor myself, I quite enjoy it. There's something quite satisfying about a well placed semi-colon, although as a rule, they take away from fast-paced writing. I'm proud to be a grammar nerd; public signs with misplaced punctuation annoy the heck out of me! There's a sign in my town pointing to the "sport's centre". Really? They only practise one sport there??

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Susan, the oxford comma... yet another evil tool of grammar torture.

Chrys, thank you for letting me know I'm not alone.

Oh my gosh, Kai, that is a perfect description of what happens in my head, too!

Haha, L.D., that made me giggle :D

I like the way you think, Alex.

C.G. Coppola, yes, the writing must take priority.

Terry Lee, another great quote. Thanks for sharing.

Stephsco, that is great advice. I'm aiming for most of them.

I know what you mean, Nick. We've seen those grammatically incorrect signs, too. Sadly, one of them was at Disneyland :(

cleemckenzie said...

We have to follow the rules and know them well, so we can break them for effect.

I'm so busy with the big stuff that I can't find the small stuff. :-)

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