Gratitude #5: Grammarly (The Grateful 40)
Grammarly has totally transformed how I write. I know that expressing gratitude towards a cloud-based app is a little weird, but I am thankful that engineers have created a tech tool that makes me better at what I do.
I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a crayon.
- In my youth, I wrote poems and short stories.
- Throughout my pre-teen and teen years, I kept a (high drama and highly personal) diary and continued to write poetry and short stories.
- I co-wrote an award-winning high school musical.
- In college, I wrote tons of papers (because I majored in English/Psychology) and even had a play produced on local cable TV.
- I worked in Congress after my sophomore year and wrote opinion papers. Now, I’m a little freaked out to think that policies were being drafted by a 20-year-old.
- My teachers and professors were harsh but helpful editors and fine-tuned my writing style. Mrs. Levy, Mr. Edsen, Mr. Waters, and Professor Sharpe come to mind. Most of them are probably no longer teaching, but their lessons live on.
- During my financial services and corporate years, I wrote really boring stuff, including plans, PowerPoints, executive speeches, and contracts. But I did occasionally interject some whimsy into my consumer marketing pieces.
- When I left to start my own business, I started entering writing contests (and won). I was published in the New York Times and went on an all-expense-paid Self magazine retreat.
- About four years ago, I started writing for trade and business media and began getting significant content strategy and writing gigs. I wrote a Killer Content Award. I regularly contribute to a wide range of websites via Clearvoice. I’ve published a few books and some of my own websites.
- I discovered Grammarly last year. My beloved English teachers (see #5) have been replaced by a bot. He/she corrects my spelling and grammar and even tells me what kind of writing mood I’m in. (See below.)
Technology will never totally replace the value of a human teacher with a red pen, but having my robot assistant sitting on my phone and laptop has definition made me a more efficient, prolific, and accurate writer.
Sometimes I’m smarter than the machine. Sometimes suggested corrections are just wrong. But, unlike dealing with a human teacher, Grammarly doesn’t seem to care when I just ignore it. I simply hit that trash can icon and move on.
Periodically, I get a “writing report card,” detailing how much I’ve written, which mistakes I make consistently, and how many unique words I’ve used. My mother doesn’t need to sign it. I simply embrace the learnings and apply them to my next assignment.
Thank you to the engineers who came up with this miraculous tool!
P.S. Grammarly told me that this post is “Terrific Work!” and that I sound confident. Thank you, Ms. Grammarly!