by guest blogger Robbi Hess
You're writing for the Internet so the rules are more lax,right? Wrong! Whether your words will be read on paper or on a computer screen, it's important to always put your best word forward.
"It seams they're aren't enough ours in a day to do everything that your convinced you have too, right? So, taking short cuts hear and their can be forgiven; it is the internet after all. " (Corrected version: It seems there aren't enough hours in a day to do everything that you're convinced you have to, right? So, taking shortcuts here and there can be forgiven; it is the internet after all.)
Of course you can read this sentence and maybe you'd even run it through spell-checker. Remember, spell check is NOT your friend. Spell check makes lazy writers out of us all and it will not always catch words that are used incorrectly, ie: they're, their, there; you're/your; and the biggie, its/it's. These may be terms whose rules you forgot as promptly as you learned them, in grammar school.
As the former editor of a magazine and a couple of newspapers, I discovered that freelance writers turn in copy expecting the editors to clean it up and make it readable. Those writers were not invited to submit articles a second time.
If you want to be taken seriously as a writer you need to hone your craft and that, bottom line, begins with your grammar. Sure, Strunk & White is a valuable resource but I have discovered a quick thumb-through of Annette Lyon's "No Tears Guide To Grammar From the Word Nerd" a quick resource to all things grammar.
Before you put fingers to keyboard and dash off a blog post, a Facebook entry or even a Tweet, look at your work with a critical eye. You never know who will be reading it. Imagine that a potential editor is looking at your work. Believe me, first impressions count and misspelled and incorrectly used words count against your professionalism.