Grammar and spelling are important. Everyone knows that, right?
If you want to become a professional freelance writer, you've got to have a solid base. I'm not saying your grammar and spelling have to be perfect, but they do need to be pretty darned good.
- routinely mess up on your and you're
- have a habit of switching there, their and they're
- capitalize every word in your sentences, or miscapitalize in general
- have a comma addiction
- be oblivious to the differences between verbs, adverbs, nouns, proper nouns and adjectives
- ignore the proper spelling of words in hopes that "spell check'll catch 'em"
If you don't know what any of those things mean, you might not be ready to start yet. You will get there if you're serious - and if you're not, then maybe freelance writing isn't the right career choice for you at this time.
These things are important because they're part of what set freelance writers apart from the masses. We know these little rules and how to apply them. We know why they're important. That's why people are willing to pay us for writing.
I don't know how to make gourmet dishes without setting a kitchen on fire. That's why nobody will ever pay me to prepare food. I do, however, know how to create gourmet documents - and that's why I can pay my bills.
If you want to become a freelance writer, you need to learn the basics of the trade. If I wanted to become a chef, I'd have to learn where they keep the fire extinguishers (I think that's one of the basics, isn't it?).
Did you ever struggle with grammar or spelling? I still learn new things about grammar here and there - does anyone have a quirky little rule about English to share?
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© Angie Papple Johnston, 2010; if you are reading this anywhere but on FreeFreelanceWritingTips.Blogspot.com, it's stolen.
Freelance Writing Tips by Angie Papple Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at freefreelancewritingtips.blogspot.com.
"School" image courtesy of CRondeau at stock.xchng.