3 min read

Is Your Attitude Letting You Down?

"Is your attitude getting in the way of you learning new skills that will help you make money from your writing?"
Is Your Attitude Letting You Down?

When you were a young teenager, would you have said that your teachers found you a joy to be around or a proverbial pain in the "a"?

Sadly, I was the later.

I went to a small, parochial school in the middle of nowhere and I packed an attitude with a capital A.  

Just one attitude.  But it was enough to make both my parents and teachers grit their teeth.

Here it is.    

All rules, by definition, were stupid and deserved rebellion.

In some instances, there was good reason for my cranky attitude towards rules. 

As in, they truly, truly were stupid. 

I couldn't understand why I (and all the other girls) had to wear a dress instead of shorts or jeans.  I spent most of my time during break/recess throwing and kicking balls and playing running games that exposed far more skin than if I'd been wearing long pants like the boys.

Dumb rule?  Yes.  Much.

But there was one thing that REALLY got up my nose.

We were forced to memorise all the prepositions in the English language (or at least it felt like all of them ... it might have just been the top 42 or something).

"This is silly", I growled.  "It's ridiculous.  Who cares about learning this stuff, anyway?!"

And every time I complained, the teacher would grit his teeth, take a deep, deep breath and say...

"Tough.  Memorise them.  You'll thank me later."

And I'd think "yeah, right. Uh-huh.  Suurrre" (cue eye roll).

Roll forward quite a number of years and guess what?

As a result of having to memorise and then (woe is me) recite that list of prepositions to my long-suffering teacher, I can now spot a prepositional phrase at 10 paces.

So what?

Well, I write a lot these days.  And my goal is to write clearly.

And guess what?  Using commas to indicate prepositional phrases, can make an enormous difference to whether a sentence is clear or confusing.

Do I always separate out all prepositional phrases with commas?  Or even remember every preposition that ever existed?  No.

But knowing those prepositions and what to do with them has truly helped me with my writing.

So here's to you, Mr. Justice, for sticking to your guns and making me learn something that you knew would be helpful, no matter how much I swore it wouldn't.

And now I'm taking a lesson out of my teacher's book and passing it on to you.

There are things you MUST learn as writers who are building a sustainable pipeline of paid writing gigs if you want to last the distance and be successful. 

Things that you might think are silly.  Or too much work.  Or too hard.

Things like learning:

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