A Rare Video of Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan

This is a truly fascinating video. It makes you think about the things we take for granted. I remember reading about Keller when I was a child. One story always stuck with me. Anne Sullivan struggled to teach Helen the word “water.” Anne put water in a cup and had Helen dip her hand in the cup. But Helen kept signing “cup”, not “water.” Finally, Anne ran Helen’s hand under running water. It clicked for Helen that Anne was trying to teach her the word “water.” Helen Keller wrote many books in her lifetime. Here was a woman who was blind and deaf and started out unable to speak. She became a well-respected author and one of the first advocates (perhaps unintentionally) for disabled persons. She remains an inspiration today and proved that even a disability can’t hold a writer down.

Grammarly, your personal proofreading app

 

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Photo by PDPics on Pixabay.com

 

I kept seeing ads for Grammarly but put off using it because I figured I didn’t need it.

Then I remembered a proofreading test on a content site that I write for that I’ve tried to pass three times. I failed miserably 3 times. To pass the test, you need to get 9 out of 10 short proofreading assignments right. I kept getting only 2 or 3 right.  This frustrated and astounded me at the same time. It also illustrated that not all writers can be proofreaders.

But I got curious. I downloaded the free version of Grammarly and ran the proofreading test through the program. Grammarly got 7 out of 10 right.  I would bet money that the upgraded version would have passed the test.

I decided to keep using Grammarly for all of my writing. I use it for emails, Facebook posts, blog posts, and cover letters.  The software catches errors that my naked eye likely would have missed.  It checks grammar, spelling, sentence structure, comma usage and more. You can download the app to function in your browser and in Microsoft Word. The upgrade has plagiarism software and catches more advanced linguistic errors.

When you hover over an error, which is underlined in red, you can correct that one error or enter the Grammarly workspace.  This workspace shows all of your errors and offers corrections.

Grammarly also sends you a weekly progress report and shows you how you compare statistically to other Grammarly users. My report is below.

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My report stated that I wrote more words than 98% of Grammarly users. I also had a 98% larger vocabulary and 27% better accuracy.

But the progress report isn’t only to pat you on the back.

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The report also tells me where I can improve and provides links to finding more information about my weaknesses.  My areas in need of improvement include missing commas in compound sentences, using squinting modifiers, and unnecessary ellipsis.

What began as an experiment turned out to be a discovery of a new tool in my writer’s toolkit to catch errors and improve on my weaknesses. In the near future, as I get closer to taking on larger writing projects, I will invest in the upgrade. I believe it’s $19.99 per month but don’t quote me on that. Check it out for yourself. Give the free version a try and see if it can help you be a better writer and act as your proofreading helper.

Freedomwithwriting.com

 

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Photo by the3cats on pixabay.com

 

Freedomwithwriting.com has been a website that I’ve subscribed to for the past several years.

It is one of the best resources out there for writers looking for places to pitch ideas to magazines and journal open for publication. It also prints no fee contests that writers can enter. And on occasion, you will find a fellowship competition that you can read about and decide to enter.

Freedomwithwriting.com can send you this information straight to your inbox if you subscribe to them and subscribing is free. You will never pay a penny for this information.You can also unsubscribe at any time.

Reminder: NEVER pay for information that you can find yourself. If a publication promises to give you a list of hundreds of places to publish for $29.99, RUN. it’s either a scam or a compilation of works that you can find yourself.

Check out freedomwithwriting.com. Give it a few months and see if it’s of any use for you. Take a shot at a few of the publications they list. You never know, you just might get lucky and add another line to your writer’s resume.