Grammarly is a massively popular writing tool, regularly used by writers all around the world. Its simplicity and accuracy are applicable for any sort of writing, and it’s widely recommended by content writers, journalists, authors, etc. This tool is currently the most popular spell-checking tool in the world, with over 30 million people using it.
It’s brilliantly well-designed, making sure that you don’t have to waste time on corrections, and it has an understanding of the language that’s completely incomparable with other spell-checkers. However, users still wonder if Grammarly’s good for creative writing, as that doesn’t exactly follow a rigid set of rules, and spell-checking tools may not be as applicable. So, is Grammarly good for creative writing?
Grammarly is absolutely useful in creative writing. This tool is designed to correct any mistake you may make, so it doesn’t really matter if you are writing a scientific essay or a novel – Grammarly’s going to be correcting your writing equally. Regardless of your writing form, Grammarly will help you out.
However, there are many things that need to be defined about Grammarly, especially when it comes to creative writing. Despite this tool’s many useful features, it isn’t and shouldn’t be considered the default solution for all your language issues. This is exactly what we’ll be discussing in this article; does Grammarly make you a better writer? Is Grammarly good for creative writing? And do authors use Grammarly? Let’s get started.
Does Grammarly Make You a Better Writer?
Grammarly corrects your writing, but it doesn’t make you a better writer. This is because the quality of one’s writing isn’t defined exclusively by their skill in the language itself. Writing is a discipline that takes years (and I wouldn’t be far off if I said decades) to master. Grammarly will definitely make that process easier, but it won’t make you a better writer.
People often make the mistake of believing that knowing how to speak a language is the equivalent of being a good writer. This is absolutely hilarious to writers, who know that you can be the world’s foremost expert on a language, and that still won’t guarantee that you can finish a good piece of writing. This happens because people often underestimate writing as a skill – they think that anyone can write a novel.
They ultimately learn that this sort of thinking is folly, as writing is an art like any other. Musicians devote their whole lives to their craft, just like actors, painters, directors – and writers do that as well. It’s actually sort of frustrating to hear someone say that one of their dreams is to ‘write a novel’ at some point in their lives. As if writing a novel is just something you do easily, like saying that they want to visit the Grand Canyon. Sure, it may be expensive and time-consuming, but it’s not difficult, is it?
This is absolutely wrong and you’ll find that out soon enough if you’re thinking about writing a novel. Take a look at this from a different perspective: you would probably never say “I want to perform on the cello in front of a full auditorium.” because you know that in order to do that you’d need to practice the cello for years. Why would you assume that any less skill and devotion is necessary for writing?
So, now that we’ve learned that writing has much more to do with creativity, fabular flexibility, character development, and other things – we can safely conclude that while Grammarly is a great tool, it doesn’t have much effect on your writing. It will correct everything you mistype or simply put wrongly, but it’s only useful in the form of a grammar correcting and spelling tool, it’s not a creative tool.
Is Grammarly Good for Creative Writing?
Now that we’ve defined precisely why Grammarly can’t make you a better writer (only a writer who spends less time correcting their own writing), we still need to answer the question from the title.
Grammarly is very useful in creative writing. This is because Grammarly’s algorithms don’t exactly make a difference between creative writing and any other kind of writing. All they do is analyze your writing, find any mistakes in it, and correct it.
Grammarly’s only function is to correct spelling and grammar, and even at that, it has its fails. It’s not often, I admit it, but Grammarly isn’t a perfect tool. This befalls mainly on the fact that English, like any other language, is constantly evolving – and it’s not all black and white. The problem with Grammarly (and with any other spell-checker, really) is that it’s just a software, an algorithm.
Grammarly can’t possibly understand semantics and the context behind the sentence it’s currently analyzing. This way, you can’t really ever guarantee that all the suggestions the tool makes are ever completely correct. That’s why the best way to use Grammarly is to carefully read the suggestions made – and if it seems like something doesn’t make any sense, it’s probably because it’s true.
Grammarly wasn’t imagined and it wasn’t created with the idea of an omnipotent tool that recognizes every single mistake and corrects it. You, as a writer, are the one who has to do their best in order to write correctly, and Grammarly is here just to double-check your writing. You’re not supposed to completely lay off proper writing and rely completely on Grammarly, it’s just here to make sure you’ve done well, the largest part of that burden still falls on your shoulders.
However, a great thing about Grammarly is that while its free version is going to correct all your spelling, the paid version is actually pretty useful for writers. Although it comes at an annual price of $139.95, it’s definitely worth it. Additionally, to all the things included within the free version (150 grammar and spelling checks), you get 100+ additional advanced grammar and spelling checks, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, genre-specific writing style checks, plagiarism detector, and the option of full integration with Microsoft Office.
Something you should be particularly interested in is the option of additional vocabulary suggestions. That means that Grammarly will act as a thesaurus, offering alternatives to the words you’ve used – something that might fit in better or simply makes more sense. The genre-specific writing style checks are also something that you’ll find particularly useful if you’re writing creatively. Grammarly will do its best to keep you in your field of writing.
Taking all of that into account, is Grammarly good for creative writing? Absolutely, just make sure to do what you’re doing carefully and rely on Grammarly to double-check everything that you do. A lot of authors recommend Grammarly as a spell-checking tool, and I do, as well. The mistakes you’ll see that the tool is correcting are usually mistyped words and that weird moment we all have when we’re already exhausted, so we type something completely different from what we wanted to type.
Do Authors Use Grammarly?
Yes, absolutely so. It’s crucial for a writer to notice their own writing mistakes and correct them, as well as see suggestions of how they might have done better. However, this isn’t the only reason authors use Grammarly.
When a publisher accepts your manuscript and you sign a publishing contract, you’ll most likely have to pay for your own proofreading. Obviously, if there are more mistakes, then it will take the expert a longer time to read your manuscript and correct it. The fewer mistakes there are, the cheaper it is for you to pay for the proofreading. This is where Grammarly comes in handy.
Here’s a comment from Dirk Hooper, a writer with published articles, novels, and comics. He’s commented on a question on Quora, asking “As a writer, what is your opinion on Grammarly? Is it a useful tool? Do you feel it is vital for people who write a lot?”
This is his answer “The paid version has a considerable number of additional checks that take you deeper into editing chores. I’ve used the pay version before and it does have value, but the price is a bit steep in my opinion. If you’re the type of person who wears a monocle and eats caviar non-ironically (or you make a lot of money writing), then the paid version might be a good option.” … “I wish everyone used the free version of Grammarly at least. It would clean up 90% of the simple fixes I see. (The Grammarly add-on is indicating I’m in good shape while I write this piece, and caught four things for me this time.)
For those people who are doing more important work and want some deeper analysis, Grammarly is a quality option if you have the cash.“
There you have it, from a writer himself, Grammarly is definitely useful for creative writing, and there’s no harm in trying it out.