Should you worry about proper English when writing or just let the creativity flow?
Why are some people so anal about grammar and sentence structure when they read something that somebody else wrote? Does creativity count for anything?
I do not get it. I am with you.
I actually read a comment from someone who corrected another Hubber's grammar. I was too stunned.
I say create first and revise later.
Oh, and do not judge others' grammar on the Hubpages. Unless they request it. It is just rude.
I think it depends on the expectation people have for the product you are providing to them. If I'm hanging out with you jamming on a guitar, I don't mind if you hit a few wrong notes or break a string, but if I bought a CD of you jamming on guitar, I might mind those things.
Generally, I don't mind mistakes in comments because to me it is a raw medium, you say it and are done with it. But, personally, I expect article postings to be more than a raw format; that it was a raw format with all the pure creativity you want, but was then polished for distribution.
With that being said, I always try to evaluate things for the value they contain more so than the quality of their grammar and spelling. To some extent, I think, we have to fight a little for grammar, because, at some point it can get so bad that we can't even understand what someone is saying - at which point their creativity is meaningless (to us).
Some people definitely go overboard, though. There is value in being polite, too.
It's good to pay more attention to creativity when writing a first draft. Once that is finished, you can re-write, making sure grammar etc. is correct. In this way, you won't lose anything as far as free-flowing creativity is concerned, and your writing will be easy to read.
When did grammar, spelling and sentence construction get in the way of creativity? Look at all the work that has gone before you, look at the authors that are being published now.
Writing on here really doesn't call for great grammar; however, getting it right will improve the experience of any reader.
I liked the explanation that Ray Bradbury gave, a long time ago; he called it the writer's blurt: When you get an idea, just write it down, fast, furious, don't let the brain stop and think, then put it in the drawer for a few weeks before you read it again, then you can sort it out, but not so much as to kill it, but enough for it to get past the editor.
The editor is the one who counts if you want to sell your work, especially to print publishers, and an awful lot of content publishers on the web also require perfect grammar and spelling.
For hubpages, I think Junkseller has it about right.
I would suggest not worrying about the grammar and rules while you are creating. That is the first draft, where you are getting down the ideas that are coming your way. The next step is revision, correction, whatever is required. Deal with the grammar with the revisions.
Making reasonably correct English second nature will save you a lot of time in editing.
When you are putting your piece together, just let things flow and worry about the proper aspects of it during your re-read and edit process. This will allow your imagination and creativity to work without the limits of fearing you will break a rule or lose a detail. Edit is important and removing mistakes is important as well. Many readers are irritated by them and it sends a message that you either do not care or you are not capable of finding and editing those mistakes. WB
I absolutely think that grammar and sentence structure are important when writing. Your paper or article complete with grammatical errors is not going to be respected nearly as much as one that has been properly edited and proofread.
Creativity does count, but grammar counts just as much. Writing is grammar just as much as it is creativity.
Considering I majored in writing, I am going to say this: People can be anal about grammar mainly because, as a spoken language, proper English is dying.
I've noticed over the years that in just normal conversation with people, proper English is very hard to find. The normal spoken English is as far away from the standards as it can be. I think that writers and people that value the use of proper English try to keep it alive.
Now I'm not saying English is dead. It's far from dying. In fact, the change is good, it shows that English is a healthy language, however the structure is taking a beating. If you have ever listened to any modern rap music, your ears will bleed from the blatant and often purposeful use of terrible, basic grammatical skills.
As for when writing a hub or story or whatever, you always put as much creativity as you can in your first draft. When that rough draft is finished, you let it sit for a few days. When you come back to the content, you edit and fix grammar and structure. You wouldn't believe how important the placement of a comma is. Creativity comes from what the words say, not the grammatical structure of a sentence. Think of grammar as the foundation of a house, and creativity as the decorations inside of that house.
I think that the initial draft should always be just of the thoughts as they come to mind. However, I do feel that the draft being published needs to have good structure and proper grammar. This is something that I think improves over time and where great writers excel. I'm no where near that point yet, but I make every effort to produce a final product that is easy and enjoyable to read.
As a journalist of 20 years, I can say that grammar and language are non-negotiable. The way to deal with creativity vs grammar dilemma is very simple. Get creativity out of the way first, and then worry about grammar while reviewing your work. But do worry about grammar.
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