Writing

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. :-)

Author: William Hennessy

Co-founder of St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and Nationwide Chicago Tea Party Persuasive design expertLatest book: Turning On Trump: An Evolution (2016)Author of The Conservative Manifest (1993), Zen Conservatism (2009), Weaving the Roots (2011), and Fight to Evolve (2016)I believe every person deserves the dignity of meaningful work as the only path to human flourishing.