Spelling Strategies for Writers
When you write, do you agonize over every word? Do you keep a dictionary close by just in case? Spelling is tough. The spelling strategies below can put your mind on your writing, where it belongs.
You know that correct spelling is important because it helps others understand what you've written. That said, when you first start writing, don't worry about it. Just write.
Sound counterintuitive? Probably. But it's not. Expect to make mistakes in your first draft. And not just i before e. But don't worry about it.
I repeat - just write.
Get the words on paper first, edit later.
What about the spelling strategies?
1. Keep a dictionary close by when you start editing.
This will serve two purposes. First, you will be able to check the spelling of words. Second, you can also read the definitions to be sure the word you've chosen is right.
2. Get a grammar guide.
These helpful guides often have lists of commonly misspelled words or confusing words in them. A great reference.
3. Use spell check.
Caution: Spell check may not correct a word that has been used wrong but is spelled right. Or, if you misspelled a word and it created another word, spell check won't catch it. Think: form and from. How often do you mistype these? I do it a lot. Both are words, so the mistake can go unnoticed by spell check.
4. Grab a proofreader.
If you have someone, a teacher or co-worker, who can proof your work, this will help catch errors missed using the first three spelling strategies.
After you have used the four strategies above, relax. The odd mistake will get through. That's to be expected. But you've done the best you can and turned in or shared a polished final product. Be proud of it.