I published a blog post with grammatical errors. I have to admit it wasn’t the first time or will it be the last time. I make mistakes. Writing has been a life long struggle for me. I seem to do a much better job with my words when I speak than when I actually slow down to capture them on my blog. My mind seems to flow faster than my fingers can type the words down. I often make mistakes. Frequently my mistakes come in the form of word replacement: such as typing “so” when I mean “some”.
My wife frequently asks if I proof read my work? Of course I do re-read my work. My brain still contains the original wording. Often during a quick re-read my mind skips over the errors inserting correct word, missing the error. My proof reading improves if I set the writing aside for a day or two and re-visit it with a mind free from the original writing process. I should take a pause in the writing process and give my work more time. Errors still occur but I usually catch the glaring issues.
I blog to take ideas and put them to paper. I don’t blog to be perfect. The great thing about modern technology, when I find mistakes I can correct them even after publishing a post. Recently some readers have commented on my errors. I appreciate their corrections, I strive to do my best. What disturbs me is that some value perfect writing over quality ideas. When I read ideas take center stage. I frequently notice minor error in what I read. I don’t let it distract me from the overall purpose of the writing. Ideas drive the world not perfect writing. Writing errors surround us in all formats of writing. Authors don’t intend to make the errors they just happen. In my writing I attempt to be timely and respond to events in the world around us. This means I don’t often take the time needed to make it error free.
In my classroom I want to be a model for my students. Someone who has flaws but constantly tries his best to work through them. In the past I have focused too much on students’ grammar and not enough of the ideas presented in their writing. The “red” ink seems to discourage students from writing or even sharing ideas. Teachers need to encourage more writing, errors and all. When we read our primary focus should be on the ideas presented. Grammar is important, especially in published works, but should be secondary focus behind ideas.
I was personally discouraged from writing for many developing years due to my grammatical errors. Every paper was returned with so much red ink, I barely noticed the comments about the quality of my ideas. As educators we need to encourage writers sharing feedback that focused on the strengths of ones writing with side notes on the weaknesses.
We all make mistakes, don’t shut learners down by being too critical of them. Thank you for excepting me errors and all!