Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sometimes, it's just tough

There are days when even all the positivity and love for writing gets a real kick in the teeth. Today is one of those days for me. I sent Winn, a friend of mine, a short story I had written for my writers' group. The point was to test her proof-reading skills as she's thinking about doing it in her spare time to help others. Because it's such a difficult job to look out for all the errors that may occur and also correct grammar and dialogue attributes, I wanted to help her find out if she's cut out for it. Funnily enough, apart from grammar, I'm pretty good at picking up on typos, spaces, etc. myself. Just not my own, at least not without a certain amount of time between reading.

Well, I inserted eleven errors, all of which she found. What I didn't expect, though, was the amount of corrections she made on things I didn't put in on purpose. Which means I had a  pretty colourful document to look at. Now I thought that after over five years of living and breathing English and writing for the past three years, I should be able to produce an almost error-free piece, seems far from it.
Certainly, my English is better than most English people's German, but that's not the point. My goal was and is to be as good as, if not better than many natives, which means impeccable grammar, including punctuation and the local tongue.I I have to admit, my mood sunk quite a bit as I hate asking for help, but by the looks of it, I'll still rely on it a tad longer. To be clear: it's not Winn's fault and I'm absolutely grateful for her corrections; it's my own expectations I didn't meet. Yes, I'm proud of the level of my English and the ability to speak almost accent-free (unless I'm really tired or angry), and sure it's an achievement to write in a language other than my mother tongue, but for me it's simply not enough.

Which means, I really have to knuckle down and most important: read even more.

One day....

If you need help with proof-reading, check out Winn's site for UK writers.

Or Pauline Nolet's site for the US.

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