June 21, 2016

296 words 2 mins read

I Cheat

A friend and colleague paid me a huge compliment recently. A compliment I didn’t deserve. He said something about trying to mimic my writing style. That’s an ego-booster, for sure, but, well, I don’t really have a writing style. I cheat.

See, I experiment with every writing tool I hear about, and I stick with the ones that measurably improve my writing. Especially when they work as I write (because I hate editing and revision, as you can tell). 

Grammarly is a tool I started using recently. It’s awesome.

In the past, I used Grammarly as a lazy citation tool. I’d write my paper, then run it through their plagiarism checker, which would point me to all the great research that I accidentally referenced. Then I’d grab the citations, mark up my copy, and produce a sickeningly well-documented paper that actually just expressed my own opinion. Like I said, I cheat.

But now I’ve found their Chrome plug-in that monitors my writing even while it’s in progress. Since I do most of my writing in a browser, Grammarly never stops correcting me. And that’s a good thing.

If you use Chrome and write in the browser (even Outlook online), Grammarly will give you real-time feedback and great suggestions. 

Plus, it’s gamified. Every week I get a scorecard that shows me how my writing compares to tens of thousands of other Grammarly users. (If I’d been in the bottom 50 percent of anything, I wouldn’t have posted this. Trust me.)

Screenshot 2016-06-20 23.39.39 Screenshot 2016-06-20 23.40.22

So if you really want to mimic my writing (and you probably shouldn’t), you have to use all the cheats I use. (Hemingway Editor is another.)

P.S. I get a free month of Grammarly Premium if you try Grammarly. I hope you do, for my sake. :-)