I recently criticed a Facebook friend for repeatedly making a stupid error in English—something that should have been learned by the end of third grade.
She frequently boasts of having multiple college degrees. Her response: "It's ok. It's only fb. Not my REAL life. I do fine in the real world."
Saying "it's only fb" is not an excuse for sloppiness or inaccuracy. That's like saying you don't have to wash your face or put on clean clothing because you're not going to meet the Queen today. It's important to use proper language everywhere, every time.
Important Rule: The more pompous you are, the more likely you are to be scrutinized and criticized.
A while ago I read a thoughtful and useful guest posting about the importance of editing by Shayla Eaton on a popular blog about publishing. Ben Lunt, an alleged writer (and a nasty SOB and immature egomaniac) posted a response including the word "sight" instead of the proper "site." When challenged, Ben said his comments were a "spontaneous and unedited rant" and that he "never even looked through this before posting." That's not good enough, especially for someone like Ben who brags that his writing is better than the work of others. His later comments are filled with sloppy errors and childlike insults. A writer must have pride in her or his craft—regardless of the venue—and respect for readers.
I found more horrors in a writer's blog.
The writer said that someone "range" [rang] the doorbell, wore "sheek" [chic] clothing and that something is "cheep" [cheap].
This person also wrote "nation-wide" [nationwide], "main stream" [mainstream], "self published" [self-published] and more.
This person mentioned "the hard work of revising and polishing" a book.
The blog deserved similar hard work. (Confession: I am not perfect, but I try to be. Some people, like Ben Lunt, don't try.)
It's important that those of us who have writing careers never go "off-duty." We must produce professional-caliber work all of the time, even if it's just a 20-word Tweet or a three-word reply to an email. Never excuse your own sloppiness. Never say, "It's only an email," "it's only Facebook" or "it's only a blog."
Words intended to promote your books deserve and require extra attention to spelling and grammar. Search for improper punctuation or wrong words. Insert words and punctuation marks that may be in your mind but not on the screen. Make sure everything makes sense. Delete material that may be juvenile, unprofessional, irrelevant or distracting.
Here are some online comments I recently read from authors:
I am interesting in your opinion of my new book.
my new book shall be available soon a true story I am a first time writer who went for the self publishing road e book and pod I am looking forward to the launch date shall be announce soon.I shall keep you all posted. many thanks for reading this article for an extract from my book go to my blog page
It's about a girl, Julien, that's trying to adjust to life in a new place after her parents divorced. Just as she is starting to settle in, an "attack" by a Breaker, a person who can enter a persons mind and control thoughts and actions, shakes the town. Before she knows it, her life takes a difficult turn and it could be more than she can handle. Again, youreading it would be super kick ass.
For a short period of time the ebook addition will be on sale for only 99 cents.
I've published an analogy
they should have went with Vantage
My book and movie is going to catch the world on fire!
Myself and two other authors in the same genre are thinking of . . .
Even alleged publishing 'pros' make stupid mistakes for the world to see:
Outskirts Press founder Brent Sampson wrote that Roget's Thesaurus was published by Peter Mark (actually, Peter Roget published it), confused a foreword with a preface, and misspelled "offset." Brent advises that "Errors in your writing cause readers to question your credibility." He's right about that.
Lulu founder Bob Young misspelled "misspell" and confused "less" and "fewer." A publisher should know better.