Posted in grannie's sayings, Writing at 5:17 pm by Fiona

My grannie had a magnificent collection of proverbial sayings stored in her head. When I was little, it was like having my very own Chatty Confucius talking doll. I’d do something misguided and it was like pulling her string because out would come one of these sayings. One of these sayings that I heard often was “you only get one chance to make a good first impression”. It wasn’t that my grannie was obsessed with what other people thought as much as she was obsessed with living up to her own standards of being the best that she could be. She would have made a great Marine!

It’s because of this saying from grannie that I am often shocked and amazed by some people who claim they want to be writers. I mean, really! Are these people serious? I see them in writing classes all the time. The ones who don’t know the difference between there, they’re and their, or just don’t care enough to worry about using the right spelling. They seem to think that some editor is going to rescue their poor spelling and word usage. Well I have news for them! They won’t even make it out of the review pile. Why should they when there are so many other writers who have taken the care to put their best foot forward?

I’m currently taking Terry Spears’ Happy Hookers online class and one of my fellow students wrote this sentence in one of her assignments:

The piece you typed is from the beginning of the first chapter, so not really your first impression as their is a prologue.

How ironic that this person is actually writing about first impressions, isn’t it? If I were reviewing manuscripts for a publisher and encountered this, it would go straight into the rejection pile with a pithy note “learn to spell”.

My grannie felt that being sloppy when it wasn’t important only guaranteed you would err sometime when it was important. I have to agree with grannie.