Great Story, Poor Grammar

Recently, the grammar police passed by my blog to offer their two cents. I am always open to constructive criticism, and that is not my main concern. It is for the future bloggers who may never tell their story because of the fear they have of being ridiculed for grammar.

I have spoken to several inspiring individuals who have stories of survival and wish to blog about their experiences. They have chosen to remain silent, and not share their stories, because of the risk of being judged and ridiculed for grammar. This makes me sad; their stories are inspiring and contain hope and promise for others experiencing abuse.

My opinion is great books and stories are weighed and measured by their style and matter, and not the trimmings and shadings of their grammar.

There is a difference between a storyteller and a writer. Judging by book sales (and therefore what publishers look for) it seems that far more people read for the story than for the writing.

For me, the story is the key, and knowing your audience. A poor story is a lost cause. I believe in writing what you want and enjoying the process.

Said No OneBefore becoming critical and condescending, take a step back. Lift your critical hands from the keyboard. Stop and think, what is your purpose and tone in being critical of another story or blog? Unless that blog is a corporate blog wishing to sell a product, or a copywriter looking for business, maybe don’t be so quick to judge, maybe understand it’s the story and not the writing that matters most.

Most of us who blog do not hold a degree in English or Journalism. We do, however, have a life story to tell that may be helpful and inspiring to others. That story may not come across in perfect spelling and grammar, but that doesn’t stop it from coming across in perfect inspiration.

During my 16 year career in the event industry, not once was a contract I wrote for NIKE, Microsoft, or even a Presidential event denied because of my poor grammar. I never had an editor look over a contract I wrote for a television series, or the movie Twilight, and criticize my grammar. I got the jobs, and the clients signed on the dotted line.

Beautiful writing with no story behind it quickly becomes boring. For pieces of work being considered for publication, it is undoubtedly the content that is more important, and glaring errors are fixed by an editor. This is a blog with a story behind it, a story of abuse and survival. It’s not about prefect presentation.

Everyone’s grammar expertise is not on the expert level, but everyone is an expert in their experience. Everyone is different. Everyone’s style is different. All of us have a different targeted audience.

Obviously from the number of visitors to my blog in just a short 5 months I am doing something right. I receive a minimum of 15 emails from oppressed individuals and adult survivors of child abuse each day looking to connect and share, which has been one of the purposes of this blog. I have a neighbor who would be ripped to shreds by the grammar police, yet she has over fifteen thousand visits to her blog each month (if you would like to visit her blog site and read her story, email me).

In closing, please have a bit of kindness for others. Should the grammar of a blogger just appall you, then stay away from the blog, or bind your hands and bite your tongue, or consider your tone and offer your assistance with respect and kindness, not judgment and anger. It’s not that we don’t want to improve, it’s that we won’t be belittled into it.

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35 Responses to Great Story, Poor Grammar

  1. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Bring it Becki!! xo I would love to read your friend’s blog! xo

  2. Paula says:

    I agree! Grammar police suck, and I have an English degree. There is a time and place to worry about good copy editing. A blog like this should be the last place we concern ourselves with proper punctuation, word placement and even spelling. It’s what is expressed and conveyed that matters the most. 🙂

  3. Paula says:

    Reblogged this on Paula's Pontifications and commented:
    Just tell your story. Don’t worry about proper grammar and punctuation. 🙂

  4. Mickey says:

    Your true friends know you and what your purpose is right now. Ignore those
    people that are taking up your time with what you should be doing blogging a out your story. Tell them to do their own blog if they want to correct grammar. Just keep real to yourself.
    Loves & hugs

  5. Normal is boring! So I heard! says:

    Is it not the content, not where the comma is placed? Because I rather read a great story by my 12 year old daughter about how much she loves me, spelling errors and all – then some BS subpoena her dads attorney sent me, which is perfect! Find happiness in the small things people!

  6. As a professional freelance editor, I appalled that you or any blogger has to suffer the “holier than thou” attitude of the grammar police. You are a storyteller–and that’s something to be celebrated, not berated.

    • I just hope that the grammar police don’t stop others that are not as thick skinned as me from telling their story. I am celebrating the freedom of not having to stuff the pain and truth any longer.

  7. RFL says:

    Good story telling is always more important than perfect grammar. I’m sorry (and amazed) that someone would read your story and focus on the grammar.

    • The grammar police have paid me several visits. If they are focused on grammar they have come to the wrong place. If it makes them feel better to analyze my pots then maybe they will stay away from others that are not as strong.

  8. Melanie says:

    When any of these inspiring individuals convey their (very real) fear of their grammar or writing abilities, point them to the support you receive for telling your story. It’s more common to receive kindness than criticism here in the land of WordPress. It’s part of what makes this place a great place to tell your story.

  9. Anya says:

    Obviously the person criticizing your grammar and/or spelling felt a need to bring you down a “notch or two”. When people are insecure they may try “leveling” the person they view as better than them in some way to raise their status; so I would take no notice of anyone petty enough to ignore the content and focus on insignificant details. If you were publishing for The New York Times or Chicago Tribune, Washington Post etc. then it would matter. Personal bloggers should be able to write in whatever style and manner they please. We’re not getting paid to do this and it’s something a lot of us do because we want to help others through sharing our stories and knowledge.

  10. I write professionally, but I often blog & comment on my phone (like right now). Plus, I tend to go more free style when I blog & it’s liberating.

    Grammar nazis have a place, but it’s not on my blog space.

  11. genext13 says:

    OCD English teacher types do not live by the maxim ‘it is better to be kind than right.’ They feel that they are doing you a favor when they are really just reducing their own anxiety about the fact that your grammar does not meet with their standards.

    • Usually they darken my blog late at night so they must be losing sleep over the poor grammar being used in this universe. I wish that’s all that bothered me. They do get somewhat vicious its kinda scary :).

  12. positivagirl says:

    The beauty of wordpress, is the reality of people. Behind an anonymous screen. That cannot be found.

    What is grammar also? I am English, so my grammar is often different. Someone said to me, wow you write like you are writing in Victorian England lol….. so what?

    My blog, is where I write and post….. and then move on. Often I go back and re-write a post sometimes quite a lot of times. But often I write fast and leave it there. I write far too much.

    If anyone said that to me – i would say — JOG ON…. ::)

    Stay the way that you are!!! I love the imperfection of wordpress. If i wanted perfection I would buy a book!!! 🙂

    (When I edit for publishing then I really do edit) but not on my blog)…..

    • I agree so what ! I also edit several times on the same post. Thanks for the support. I also love the imperfection of WordPress. I only wish these people would realize that my writing is not a reflection of them. They don’t have to worry if my grammar is correct. I appreciate that they are passionate about the English language, but geeze unbutton the top button and relax a bit 🙂

  13. positivagirl says:

    I meant that cannot be found elsewhere 🙂

  14. I agree with you completely. People criticize quickly and do not realize, often, what they are, actually, reading. I have had a few articles or stories that I did not get all out of that I could have because the grammar bothered me, but they were few and I still didn’t criticize that.
    If you have people who would write their story if the grammar was checked and not criticize, just helped, please feel free to offer my services as a beta reader and editor. I wouldn’t charge and it would be wonderful to know that I may have helped, in a small way, to get someone’s story out there.

  15. Scott that is so kind. I will pass on your offer. I also get help from different writers. Some of the posts are to difficult emotionally for me to go back through and edit. In fact on two posts I could not even write . I made a phone call across the country and shared the post and a friend wrote for me. Scott you are a wonderful writer , I so enjoy your blog and always look forward to your posts. Have a beautiful evening…. oh shoot I guess its morning where you are 🙂

  16. Lori V says:

    I am finally catching up on your blog. I’ve been meaning to stay current and fell behind. I’ve always wanted it to be a quiet moment so I can take it all in. Staying up late works:-) I still just sit here, Becki with my jaw dropped. I know I’ve said this before somewhere, but for as long as I’ve known you I had no idea all you’ve been through. I can certainly see how you wouldn’t want to focus on your past and look to the future. I have always seen you as such a strong, beautiful, funny, positive, fun to be around, professional woman. Still am amazed you have been through so much. I never knew the depth of it all!! I only knew a tidbit, of course, with Amanda, but holy cow, I thought that was more than enough to handle!! You continue to amaze, me!! Keep blogging, I’ll keep reading and I can’t wait to read your book in the future! Your story will certainly help others. And honestly if someone reads these posts and comments about grammar they certainly aren’t taking in what they should from blogs. They need to grab some text books and find a corner!! God bless!

    • Lori,
      Thank you so much. I think we have known each other about 15 or 16 years. All of this was to be kept to the family. However Mandi and Anthony decided to continue to harass and use the past against me, so I left my career. I always attempted to keep a professional appearance and trudge through the daily crap of their continued threats and abuse. For a couple years I just worked to pay lawyers as you probably remember. The last incident was enough for me.. It was my place to share if I so chose. I have yet to really get into all of it. But I will !! I don’t think they are going to be to happy with what is going to be told. I am not going to worry about the grammar police and just be a storyteller. The goal of my blog was to take away these vicious children’s power and help others. All they could do now is kill me. Thanks for following me and catching up. When you come this direction lets get together for lunch.

  17. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for alloy

  18. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity,
    Guess I will just book mark this site.

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