I’ve stopped creating New Year’s Resolutions many years ago. After all, my resolution is always the same: Write Every Day! Simple. Not always easy to keep that resolution, but I strive for it and come pretty close.
So, instead of setting goals or creating rules that, generally, are out the window before February blows in, I spend an hour or two on or around the first of January reading, once more, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. While not all of it applies, and rules–especially grammar rules–are meant to be broken, I find that having a strong grammar foundation and basic rules of style reinforced at least once a year gives me a foundation from which to break the rules with thoughtful intention. Plus, I like White’s wittiness.
The Little Book remains a quick-reference go-to book. It’s where I start my English Composition Students. And, it’s my recommendation for writers who don’t yet have a strong grammar foundation. Why? Because it’s short (only 88 pages in most editions) and it generally gives the necessary rules of grammar and style that the English speaking and writing world have collectively agreed upon. And, did I mention that White’s pretty funny.
So, instead of making resolutions you already know you’re going to break, just as you do every year? Why not spend a bit of time reading a time-honored classic and improving your writing for the rest of the new year…
Available in The Writer Workshop Bookstore and on Amazon.