Admittedly, I am a writer not a speller. Those who know me realize this early on and after some light ribbing, leave it alone. They enjoy my stories and so they can look past the occasional misspelling that my word processor doesn’t pick up. I love each and every one of them for that because they realize that I am a storyteller not a spelling savant.
But let’s not talk about those who know and love us…let’s discuss those who are faceless readers who, although they are readers and not writers, are all judgey when it comes to the occasional misspelling. Let me say that I am not talking about misspelling in the form of needing a decoder ring to read the thing…I’m talking about the occasional misspelling that everyone does once in a while. For instance, when my first book came out I had someone go through it line by line and then send me a scathing letter explaining that I needed to go back to school and how dare I call myself a writer because she discovered…glup….5 misspelled words in the entire book. FIVE! How dare I?
Yes it hurt my feelings….I was young and idealistic when it came to that first book. I poured myself a drink and spent an entire weekend swimming in self-doubt. Some writers may have stopped writing books right there but I’m stubborn and by the end of the weekend I decided, screw her, from now on I’ll misspell at least a few words on purpose just to piss her off should she ever read anything else I write. Believe it or not, I actually do that to this day 30 years later.
My point is that you can’t let those folks out there who have nothing better to do but to point out other people’s mistakes take you down as a writer. Yes, you should pay attention and try not to misspell stuff but if it happens, and it always happens, don’t let it get you down….everyone does it; even those judgey people who will send you letters. Spelling and the mastering of it does not make you a writer.
There are plenty of folks out there who have degrees in spelling related stuff who can’t write. You are a storyteller…so tell your stories and don’t let the spelling get you down. And if you are a total train wreck when it comes to spelling, hire a good editor….after all they get paid for that.
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