Writing is a subject most of us were forced to take at school, especially when we were tiny young things coming to grips with our own language. In lessons, the rules of grammar are drilled into you, but are they really that important?
It’s a common misconception that a writer should always have perfect grammar. However, perfect grammar should not stand in the way of writing something meaningful and emotive that really connects with an audience. If you can do both, do it, because grammar is important in terms of actually understanding the language and putting words in the right order. But being picky might only serve to destroy good writing, and not help it.
Here are 4 reasons why you don’t need to have perfect grammar all the time.
1. Nobody is perfect
If you’re really that obsessed with grammar and getting every little thing right all the time, you won’t be able to write at all. Perfectionism is one of the biggest obstacles to writing, because nothing and nobody is ever 100% perfect.
Amazing writers are ones that practice, and keep writing, and get their work done. Without this, you can never reach your full potential. Essentially, getting hung up on grammatical mistakes is not going to allow you progress as a writer. Don’t focus on being perfect, focus on being as good as you possibly can be.
2. Policing grammar wastes time
Rather than googling where a comma should go, you could spend your time much more productively, say, writing. Or, if you want to learn how to write better, read writing blogs that focus on the actual craft rather than linguistic rules.
It’s more important to write in a way that matters instead of constantly scouring your work – or other people’s – for correct grammar.
3. The grammar police have bad attitudes
I’m not just being rude here, studies have actually shown that people obsessed with grammar are more likely to be introverted and disagreeable. The field of writing – especially freelance – relies on networking and making connections, so being likeable and communicative is important.
So next time you catch yourself being pedantic, try to let it go!
4. You have an artistic license
Sure, grammar can be a little important in understanding the fundamentals of a language. But writing for an audience is about making connections and speaking to someone on a deeper level, which is why you have the artistic license to do whatever you please. Read your writing aloud; if it sounds good, then keep it as is.
Striving for high standards in your writing is not a bad thing – you’re not going to be a good writer if you have a terrible grasp of the language.
That being said, it’s not necessary to be a complete stickler for grammar. Allow yourself to be free and let the words flow from your fingertips to the page. That’s how to be an amazing writer.