Misspelling or do you say mispeling?

I was just looking at a Your Dictionary infographic of ten commonly misspelled or misused words. And I have to admit, I have a problem with some of them. First, the last on the list which and that, I’ll never understand. As far as I’m concerned the two words are often interchangeable. I use whichever one seems to better say whatever it is I am trying to say: Which is the truth. That is the truth.

I also have problems with it’s and its as well as there, their, and they’re. I’ll often use one where the other belongs. It’s not that I don’t know the difference. Its It’s just that I’m lazy. When writing a first draft I don’t pay attention to what I’m writing, especially grammar and spelling. My goal is to get the thoughts and words on the page. I’ll deal with how their they’re presented in a later draft.

If the wrong word slips past in later drafts the problem is sort of a brain freeze. Many years ago I was a sportswriter for a small newspaper, the Wausau Daily Herald. The sports editor called me over to his desk where he had my story on his layout screen.

“Do you see anything wrong with this,” he asked. I looked at it, thinking maybe he didn’t like my headline for a story about an conference’s undefeated first place team’s victory: Number One Won One Again.

“Nope,” I said.

“Look at the first sentence.”

It should have been glaringly obvious, but my eyes went right past it. Cloverbelt Conference leader, Colby, one another won.

I think either I was blinded by my headline or I had just used one too many won’s.

That happens sometimes. I can read and  reread and re-reread something and each time miss something that should be glaringly obvious simply because it’s such a simple mistake I shouldn’t have made it in the first place.

I have a similar problem with apostrophes. Often, for some odd reason, when I’m rereading something I’ve written, I’ll discover an apostrophe in a strange place. Here’s one I found the other day, She couldn’t decide which of two pie’s she would make, apple or blueberry. That kind of thing happens when I’m thinking more about what I’m writing than the actual words on paper. Which is another reason or should it be, that is another reason I sometimes wake up to find a totally indecipherable note on the nightstand. I’m sure it was a fantastic idea, but I hope I dream it again on a night when I’m a bit more lucid (that’s a funny sentence isn’t it?).

Here’s the YourDictionary chart.Goodreads chart of common misspelled words



Someone is in Trouble…

And then there was the day I made magic marker mustaches on my little brother’s and my faces. It’s a good story today, but I remember it was a big mistake after my mother scrubbed my face till it hurt, but it just wouldn’t come off. Now, I should write something about it.


Convincing Myself

Convincing myself my characters areWhere it sometimes gets scary is when I’m out, such as shopping at the grocery store or maybe the mall and one of my characters starts talking to me. Often I will talk back, but if I forget where I am, which is easy if the conversation is good, I might be talking out loud.

Fortunately, it hasn’t led to anyone calling the police, but that could lead to a good story, too.


The Most Important Thing In the world

Believe itI guess that’s why I keep at it, writing that is.

I’d love to have thousands and thousands of people read what I write, but that isn’t as important as doing it because even if there are times I don’t think it’s important, I know it is.

It has to be done. It has to be said, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing it. I’d just mumble it to myself and that would be it. Of course, I hope someone else likes it, but if not I’m still having fun writing it.


I Am Crazy !

I'm crazy!Sitting here, day after day, trying to turn ideas into words and sentences and paragraphs that will make enough sense, cast enough of a web to grab the attention of someone, and hopefully many someone’s down the road, who will at the very least say, “That’s good.”

I hate every minute of this. I hate to tear my soul and my heart out and hold them till they form ideas that I can again tear at my very being in trying to find the  words, the right words, the best words, turning myself inside out, almost literally… and that’s not crazy ? !


Damn! That’s Not the Best Word Either

Tring to find the xxxxx best wordThis New Yorker cartoon is paraphrasing Ernest Hemingway: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Today’s writers bleed a little less thanks to the computer’s xxxxxxx word processing capabilities. I’ve also found  that if I write my first draft with a xxx pencil I bleed a little less. It’s xxxxx x xxx probably xxxxxx about as easy to scratch out a word, phrase, sentence, etc. with a computer as it is with a pencil and paper, but it seems easier to use the pencil. Cutting and pasting is more difficult with the pencil, but for me, that’s the second draft.

It often seems that finding the best word or a word close enough (the best word  is usually found by rewriting and rewriting and, etc.) is too much of a time, energy, thought,and too many peanut butter or grilled cheese sandwich consuming  process.

While it may not ‘take a village’ to find the best word, it often ‘takes a tree.’

Every writer has different ways to deal with finding the best word or words to say what is being said, what are some of yours?