Every adverse event has a positive side; you must have a receptive mindset to see it
Most editors want you to improve your writing skills
Life has surprises: events that you never anticipate or fear the most happen. What do you do? Do you cry about it? Blame everything, everyone or God, but while you are blaming, reflect on where did you go wrong or what you could have done better?
I wrote an article on, “how blaming is the second nature of human beings?”
A few months back, I submitted an article to a publication. After a few hours, I got a note from the editor, “You might wanna run your article through some editing programme. I see some mistakes here and there.” And after writing nearly 95 articles, I can tell the difference between an experienced editor and a novice editor. I will save it for another article.
I read that note, and It felt as if I was sinking in an ocean: going deep every minute farther from the surface into the darkness, and I couldn’t find a way to stop my descent. I know I shouldn’t take these events to heart, but I did exactly that.
Negative thoughts rushing through my mind
I saw the note before I turned in, and boy! That note kept me tossing and turning in my bed, drifting in and out of sleep. It was as if the note had been pasted in my mind. In my mind, thousands of thoughts were running like:
“What if I re-submit my article and the editor rejects it again. I don’t have a Grammarly premium subscription; how am I going to write an article from now on. The editor has a premium subscription to some grammar checker, and the editor wants my article to be free from errors when the editor runs my article through the software.”
End of my writing journey. But I thought I was just getting started.
But a part of me also said, “ I need to re-work my article. The editor’s note was an opportunity for me to polish and improve my grammar skills. The editor has no personal animosity towards me, and editors only want a good article. If I write better, I will only gain from it.”
Some observations on Grammarly
The next day I edited the document for about an hour. I don’t have a Grammarly premium, so the only option was to look at advanced mistakes and figure a way to eliminate them. Grammarly shows what kind of advanced mistakes the document has. For example, punctuation in complex sentences, wordy-text, intricate text and other mistakes.
The hard part is spotting the mistakes in the sentences, and this is where your grammar knowledge comes in handy. You don’t need to be Bryan Garner, but decent grammar knowledge will help you in fixing advanced mistakes.
I have observed Grammarly usually labels sentences “intricate text” if the sentence is beginning with pronouns — this, these, those. In my opinion, Grammarly tends to point those sentences as intricate because it’s not clear what the pronouns — this, these, those — are referring to.
Covid-19 has shrunk the company’s profit. This has led to the company laying off employees.
COVID-19 has shrunk the company’s profit. The fall in profit has led to the company laying-off employees.
Now we can debate how accurate Grammarly is, but the software is what it is. When I first submitted my article, my article had 24 advanced issues, but the second time, my article had 14 advanced issues.
Thankyou to the Editor
I thank the editor for pushing me to edit the article like never before. I ran each sentence through Grammarly, and whenever any error popped up, I tried to fix it. The process was great learning for me.
And the editor encouraged me that I didn’t need to have a Grammarly premium subscription. When I mentioned that I don’t have a Grammarly premium subscription, the editor said, “ That’s alright. Anyway, Grammarly premium is a total waste of money.”
Editors are working to ensure that our articles are published. Sure, sometimes editors rely heavily on software, which can be frustrating, but instead of arguing with them, you can try to reason out with them: something along the lines, “ Hey, this is why I have used passive voice, so I don’t want to change that.” Most of the time, editors understand where you are coming from, and they will publish your article.
My article was finally published, and I have nothing to complain.