I’m not proud to admit it, but sometimes I make grammatical errors. I know, I know. This is hard to wrap your head around taking into consideration the fact that I spend a great deal of time mentally correcting status updates and blog articles that I read, and often even your sentences as we have a conversation (annoying, I know). Sometimes I even hit the jackpot and find a grammatical error in novels or on public signs (grocery stores, churches, and things of that sort). I am an avid supporter of using “well” and “good” where they are intended to be used, and in my eyes, the difference between “your” and “you’re” is life or death, so spying a mistake on something that I have written is just torture.
I’ll be the first to admit that my English major status makes me a little cocky. I think that it’s inevitable to be cocky as an English major, though. We’re constantly shoving our writings down your throats in hopes that you’ll tell us something that you like about them. Sometimes we believe that every little thought that passes through our minds is brilliant and must be known! Yes, we’re all aware of this.
Another thing that you should know is that I spend a great deal of time correcting my own status updates, blogs, essays, journal entries, etc. I’m constantly submitting pieces that seem peachy keen as I scan it one last time, but going back to read it later, I instantly delete, correct, or acknowledge mistakes. It hurts my heart as well as my ego when others point them out for me; open mouth, insert foot.
I took a creative writing course my sophomore year in college, in which we had to write a short story to be workshopped by the rest of the class. One by one, I watched students get knocked off of their pedestals as they received their copies back with endless amounts of marks, comments, questions, and misunderstandings. This was, of course, terrifying to witness because I knew that my time was coming. I added my constructive criticism to every piece, and did so with a smile.
Then one fateful day, my time was up. When writing fiction, I tend to lean toward the dark side of things; I have no idea why. I like to think that I’m generally a happy person. I giggle a lot and try to see the positive side of everything, but when I write, it’s the complete opposite. Anyway, I wrote a trauma piece, that I loved, was so proud of, and that, evidently, was not even close to what I had hoped it would be.
I walked into class knowing that I had handed out a copy of my story to twenty-some classmates and that I was about to be ripped to shreds; however, I didn’t know quite how much. I sat in my seat for about thirty minutes as this person told me what didn’t make sense about my story, and as that person questioned my motives regarding dialogue. If you want to be knocked down a peg at the blink of an eye, just sign up for some kind of writing workshop. It’s super fun biting your tongue when all you want to do is shout, “I am awesome! You’re the problem!”
Once you go home, throw the copies across the room for a bit, and cry into your hot tea, you realize that these courses are actually helpful. Then, yet again, you swallow your pride and rewrite what now seems to be a godforsaken story that you never want to lay eyes on again.
Even though we English majors like to think that we’re “holier than thou,” we know that we’re not, simply because we don’t let each other forget it. So go ahead, read through and tell me about all of the grammatical errors I’ve made in this post, if you must. Just remember that I’m watching you, too!