I am a professional writer.
I use Grammarly.
This is you:“WHAT? But you should have impeccable grammar and never make a single typo! What do you need Grammarly for?”
Well, let me disabuse you of the damage your terrible third-grade teacher did to you. It’s ok if you don’t have impeccable grammar and never make a single typo. Nobody does. Not even some of the finest proofreaders I’ve ever worked with can make this claim.
I get your apprehension, though. Grammarly’s advertisements make it look like Grammarly is just for dingdongs who use the wrong “their” on their OKCupid profiles, but it’s much more than that.
As a professional, (and as a former leader of a creative department of seven) I use Grammarly, and I encouraged my staff. And I encourage you, too.
Even if you don’t think you need to, Grammarly can show you just how wrong you are about what you think you know about your writing. You probably have no idea how often a passive phrasing, redundant word, or overused, meaningless modifier appears in your writing. But Grammarly does. And it takes great delight in pointing them out. And then you can decide to fix them. Or decide not to fix them.
See, that’s the part that most people forget about writing, and what your horrible third-grade teacher didn’t tell you. Writing is a series of choices. Each rule of grammar is a specific technique for expressing a thought or idea. It’s the writer who gets to make those choices. Do I want to end a sentence with a preposition? Do I want to use the word “really” as a modifier, even though I know it’s pointless? That’s all the part of writing that comes into what is narcoleptically called “prose stylistics.”
And this is where Grammarly can help. Grammarly identifies what and where you have the opportunity to make different choices with your writing—choices that maybe you’ve forgotten are choices. Grammarly gives you a chance to take a look at your writing and learn a little bit about yourself. And then adjust your habits, accordingly.
That will make you a better writer. And that is what I love so much about Grammarly.
And as a bonus, and this is my favorite part, Grammarly sends you a weekly update on how you’re doing.
Those are some of my favorite emails to get every week, because at the end of the day, what I’m getting out of Grammarly is a pretty great robot pal who tells me that I’m smart. And remember how I feel about robots? That’s pretty important to me.