My opening salvo for the New Year, 2015.
I can feel myself growing and see my evolution as a writer. I’m morphing. Watch out world, I’m coming out. Born on the first of January in the year of our Lord, Twenty Thousand Fifteen!
It’s been a long time developing. Thanks to sixty years of learning how to speak and write English, the western way, the woman in travail will finally find relief from the baby she’s been nurturing inside of her all these years.
Where am I going with this? Let me just say that so many negative thoughts, as well as feedback, have prevented me from coming out of my shell as a writer. First and foremost is the fact that English is not my native language. Right off the bat, I get this put-down that stops me cold, “That’s because English is not your spoken tongue.”
That comment is well-taken and considered. I guess I’ll never live my dream of becoming a writer, I sigh. Then I look at the way native English speakers write. I get a headache reading them. Is this how a native English speaker writes? I can write better than that! I flatter myself.
Here are a few examples that raised my eyebrows big time:
“I could of” [I had so much difficulty figuring that out until I realized it meant, I could have]
A well-educated CEO wrote, “Attached is a roaster of active employees…” [No hens allowed? All right. It’s just a typo for roster.]
A court clerk wrote in her Minute Order, “The Judge recluse himself…”
Oops! The Judge did not want to be a hermit and live alone. He just wanted to disqualify himself from hearing a case where there was conflict of interest. I was so embarrassed; I had to point this out to our Office Supervisor in order to fix the Minute Order before it becomes public record for ages to come.
A calendar clerk said to an attorney at the counter, “You want to file a Motion to Squash?” I had to close my eyes and pretend I didn’t hear her say that. In his subtle way, the attorney said with a grin, “Yes, a Motion to Quash.”
Rushing to get the calendar done and distributed for the following day’s hearings, Ladie neglected to do last minute proofreading. When the Small Claims Appeals Judge picked up his copy of the calendar, he said to his clerk, “We have a few Small Clams Appeals today.”
Except for the “Motion to Squash” scenario, these examples are what I mean when I say, misspellings can go on a tangent. Misspellings can take us where we do not want to be: embarrassed for our carelessness.
With these few examples of unintentional mistakes I’ve pointed out, I became self-conscious of my own vulnerabilities. People look at me funny the moment I open my mouth and they hear my foreign accent. Consequently, this foreign-borne version of speaking surfaces in my writings as well. I struggle to adopt and adapt. Does anybody wonder why I wander? Ha ha. It’s fun to use some pun whenever I can.
Oh, uh. Where am I? Did I go on a tangent? Are you still there?
I want to be serious for a change. Recently, some of my submissions were reviewed here at Writing.com. I’m so pleased to hear from reviewers sharing their observations and giving me suggestions for tightening and perfecting my imperfect pieces. I’m aware that my sentences may be grammatically imperfect with hanging infinitives and fragments; therefore, I take those editing recommendations seriously. I have developed thick skin through these last eight years that I’ve exposed myself to reading and critiquing groups at the local university and public library, as well as finishing a writing course with Christian Writing Course. I’m a certified CWC apprentice.
At any rate, I am used to hearing writing mentors and comrades say, “Nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes. A proofreader will pick up on those minor infractions before publication.”
Whether that is true or not, what a relief! Because rating my work with 4.1 and telling me that my written work is “Almost Perfect” is a huge compliment. Arrived! May I say? For one thing, I’m meticulous about my spellings and punctuations. But, if I say things my way, not the standard mainstream American way, then amuse yourself with hearing to the sound of a different writer. Accentuation is a style and a voice belonging to one creative writer – such as a wanna-be like me.
Hey, Frankie, you did it your way. I’m doing my writing – my way!