Although I have become more proficient at it, English is my second language. I was raised in the bilingual city that is Montreal but grew up in a predominantly French household. We had English classes at school but even advanced ESL can only take you so far.
When I set out to create this website, the goal was always to have other writers write our content. Alas, things don’t always go as planned. With our limited resources, we couldn’t afford to hire anyone, so I stepped up and began writing blog posts. It was honestly terrifying at first. My English wasn’t terrible, but I knew that it wasn’t perfect and maybe not worthy of publishing on a website. I dreaded being read and judged by true native speakers and possibly professional journalists. But when I could not find another solution to my problem, I stepped on my pride and rolled up my sleeves.
The more I practiced, the more comfortable I got with writing. It did eventually get easier, but there are still times when I doubt myself and am unsure about the proper use of some form of grammar or punctuation. I am also always at the mercy of unintentional typos and no matter how well I proof-read my posts some always manage to sneak by me.
About a year ago, I discovered Grammarly, a free writing app which seamlessly integrates to your browser and automatically checks grammar and spelling on all the websites you use. It can even correct style and tone and, as you learn from your mistakes, improve your overall writing ability. I’ve been using it ever since and it has become a truly indispensable tool for me. It even finds little mistakes that have slipped by our Editor-in-Chief, whenever I edit one of his blog posts, and it automatically detects pesky little typos in real time as I’m writing. It has contributed to improving my confidence as a writer and I don’t think I could write without it anymore. There’s nothing more frustrating than sending an email or publishing a post and realizing, after the fact, that it includes spelling or grammar mistakes. This isn’t a problem for me anymore.
If you do any writing for work or for school, or if you simply want to polish up your social media posts, I strongly recommend that you give Grammarly a try. It has helped me tremendously and it will undoubtedly do the same for you. Plus it’s free to try!
This post was sponsored by Grammarly.
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.