Stephen King, American author best known for h...
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As writers, I believe we owe it to ourselves and our profession, (yes, writing is a profession) to strive for excellence. We cannot be content with just slapping something out on our keyboards, posting it somewhere and smacking our lips, thinking we have done our duty. We need to make sure that anything we sign our names to bears the mark of excellence.

Where would the world be if we never had a Beethoven, a Mozart, a Dickens or a Wouk? Would we have even known the meaning of the terms “creativity”, “artistry”, “genius”? The world will always make room for excellence, but will be indifferent to mediocrity and sloppiness.

Everyday I read things in print and online written by seasoned writers that make me shudder. Some of them have clearly not been proofread, while others are just habitual errors some writers make. This one is a comedy of errors, you might say, although it’s not funny: The prices of shoes varies dependant of where you but them from.  This one is from an ad: Very interested in how your marketing.  From another ad: You can make your own decisions and place your bid. Then set back and wait.

Avoiding these errors can be very easy if you would only take the time to carefully proofread your work before clicking the submit button. Or, better still, have someone else check it for you. If you are a beginning writer, you may be able to conceive plots that will make Stephen King blanch with fear, but unless you can master the basics of grammar and structure, you will be missing the mark. There are many books on the market that will teach you all you need to know to make your writing flawless.

One of my favorites, and I daresay the favorite of many, is The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr and E.b. White. In just 85 pages, the writers cover  such topics as punctuation, grammar, composition, commonly misused words and expressions and Style. Another gem,  Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman deals with the same areas, but in greater detail. There is also a section on Spelling. If you prefer, you can always take a course at your local college or online. But make sure it’s a reputable site.  Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. The more you write, the more proficient you will become.

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