Depending on where you live school may have already begun or it will start soon. Some students love school, others dread it. For the most part I always liked school. I like learning. I had to work, but things were easier for me than for some. There was the pressure of good grades, the drama of friends and the dread of a “bad” teacher. But all in all, from Kindergarten through grad school, I had good experiences.
When you’re a kid you think, when school is done I’m done studying, but in time you realize the most successful people are always learning. Want to be good at baking-read (now days watch) about it. In fact just about any skill can be improved from gardening to car maintenance. And most professions involve continued study.
It’s no different for authors. Yes it’s a creative process that involves ideas in our brains, but we read books, attend conferences and workshops. Successful authors are always learning not just about writing but also about the publishing business.
So as students and teachers head back to school think of your favorite authors and know that they may be opening a book, completing a lesson or listening to a lecture too!
I’ve been thinking about school this month. All students have favorite subjects and subjects they dread. I was no different. While I loved the reading/writing/analyzing part of English I did not like the spelling or grammar. Diagraming sentences and rules of punctuation could be mastered for a test, but then were quickly forgotten. When I was in college studying to be a speech therapist those old parts of speech rules came back to haunt me because they are important when we look at language development. Fortunately for me, as I gravitated toward the adult medical population there was less need for this knowledge.
Then I began writing and punctuation, word use, sentence structure were important. Still as quickly as I looked up something, say punctuating dialogue it was gone. Overtime some rules stuck but I still second guess myself. Certainly, authors take creative license with some rules but not without a good reason.
English is a very difficult language to learn as a second language. Our rules are full of exceptions. Many words sound the same with different spellings and meaning. The same letter or letter combinations can have a different sound. Because we learn so much of this from birth, we muddle through without realizing just how difficult it is. As a speech therapist, when I began to work with people who speak English as a second language, I saw the difficulty first hand.
Now most of us can Google a rule if we are in doubt. If you prefer a book. Woe is I by Patricia T. O’Connor and Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss are both informative and more fun than a textbook!