Friday, January 31, 2014

An Insecure Writer

Hello, I'm Chicken.  I'm an insecure writer.
(Hello Chicken)
Oh, I do fine in a casual setting.  I write in a conversational tone that some people  seem to enjoy.  I'm good at keeping things light and breezy.  I'm a literary tropical oasis.  
Welcome to my blog, would you like a frozen beverage?
When a more somber tone is required, however, I falter.  Without humor to fall back on, I start to overthink every  comma and hyphen.   I agonize over word choice.  I am almost never happy with the final result.  Maybe you can't tell, but I'm  doing it now.  I've looked up four words in the last five minutes. I'm freaking  out because there's a red line under overthink.  We all know what red lines mean.  They mean you can't spell worth a tinker's damn.  I'm almost sure it is overthink.  Isn't it?  Excuse me while I hyperventilate.
I resolve to become a more competent writer this year.  I've purchased a copy of AP Stylebook and I might even open it.  On a side note, I think AP Stylebook might be trending as they now sell sexy AP Style t-shirts.  I might order one of those, too.
I found this quiz site online.  If you are insecure like me you might benefit from testing your knowledge. There are 18 quizzes based on the AP Stylebook.  How will you do?  Are you unbeatable?
Chicken out
http://happyplace.someecards.com/10430/the-most-enjoyably-cantankerous-notes-ever-posted-in-the-workplace

















http://platformmagazine.org/2011/12/ap-styles-quiz/

22 comments:

  1. I took the platformmagazine quiz and was deemed "competent". Tricky language, English!

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  2. Geo! You are Geonius, don't let the haters bring you down. I'm working my way up to competent:-)

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  3. Thanks a lot, you fowl person, you. Thanks to you, I am now completely mixed up over SO MANY THINGS, most of which pertain to the US (or is it the U.S., or is it The U.S.???) maybe due to the fact I am Canadian. I do, however, applaud the use of "off", not "off of" :)

    These are the Associated Press rules, aren't they? So if we aren't writing for a U.S. newspaper, we're OK if we didn't get at least 7 on each quiz, right? RIGHT??

    *bites fingernails in consternation*

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  4. Jenny you are CORRECT. We can write whatever the hell we want here. In the house of Chicken, we embrace our insouciant style. I felt the same way with those quizzes. So I took them again. I did much better. I might take them again tomorrow. I'm working towards bragging rights. I'll be subtle, of course.

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  5. Well, I tried the first one and got more right than wrong. You should be a Canadian surviving the red squigglies which flags many Canadian spellings. I get so confused.

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  6. AC I always say it is a small minded person who can only think of one way to spell a word.

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  7. Defend your freedom to express yourself freely.
    If you really care about improving writing skills, nothing like sitting down at the keyboard,(notebook even better) and carefully read and rewrite.
    You must do your chair time to be noticed in this competitive craft.
    By the way ,the note on the microwave needs also crossing out: "to it".
    That is also redundant.
    Read more Bukowsky, an honest teacher.
    HAPPY 2014 Chicken.

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  8. Hi Carlos, thank you. Happy 2014 to you also!

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  9. First of all, I think you are a wonderfully entertaining writer. I took 5 of those quizzes and rated good, competent and excellent. It seems that they are somewhat unsure of my level of writing skill. I find it interesting on their quizzes that they consider it wrong to write out the name of a state vs. using the abbreviation. According to them, it is incorrect to use the word Kansas. They deem the correct way to phrase their sentence would be Kan. I beg to differ.

    Anyway...as far as blogging and writing goes...I read a lot of blogs and those that stick to all the "rules" at the expense of telling a fun or entertaining story, aren't necessarily who I would call the "good" writers. The "good" writers engage their readers and having them feeling happy, sad, thoughtful, reflective or whatever emotion that is triggered.

    Some of the greatest writing is full of grammatical errors or butchered language. The story transcends that.

    You, Chicken...are a great storyteller.

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  10. Aw shucks. Thank you. I thought the same thing about Kan.

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  11. Ha! I don't know if I'm brave enough to give it a try, but it sounds like it would be very interesting. Since I retired this past school year from teaching English, I find myself often casting those hallowed rules aside.

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  12. Hi Shelly, you have to know them in order to make the decision to ignore them. I am sure you do. I am still a work in progress:-)

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  13. Jesus. I've been a professional in publishing for 30 years, and I'm apparently only "satisfactory" according to the first test.

    Then again, it's Chicago Manual of Style, not AP that I subscribe to.

    Don't fee bad, in other words.

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  14. Thanks Geezers-it makes me feel good that there is more than one way to skin a cat. It makes me nervous that there is a saying implying that people once needed to skin cats.

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  15. To find out or not to find out. Hmmm. Actually, I'm a pretty cocky person. :-)

    You need to be cocky, too, Chicken. You've got talent.

    Pearl

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  16. I don't know any writers who are secure. In fact, I don't know any people (I like) who are secure.

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  17. Hemingway never worried about that shit, and neither should you. Write from the heart and you will never go wrong, my fine, feathered, funny friend.

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    1. Well, Jayne, if you are going to bring Hemingway into it, I'm just going to have to agree with you:-) Thanks

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  18. Truly, the hardest part about writing (well, one of the hardest) is to know when it's time to turn off the internal editor and just let things flow, no matter how sloppy...and then when it's time to become hyper-vigilante about correctness. For my writing students, I urge a quick, sloppy first draft (set a timer for 20 minutes and just write the entire time, with no regard to grammar or punctuation). Then go back and clean the thing up!

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    1. Hi Jocelyn! Thanks-when I am in the zone, I am the master of the sloppy first draft, but I am only in the zone when I'm doing my chicken stand up routine. I guess I have to download a shortcut to the zone into my brain so that I can access it anytime I want. Maybe a timer would help? I'm game.

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