Writing About Writing: The Ultimate Writer’s Curse?

579286_screamingI’ve noticed something. Now that I have a functional blog, all I want to do is blog. Well, when it comes to my personal writing time, that is. I have a bunch of short stories in progress, many edits that need to be completed and I just keep blogging away.

What does this mean? I’m not sure. But my intuition is telling me that the more I write about writing the less actual* writing I do.

(*Blogging is actual writing, but not fiction writing, which is what I’m referring to. I hope that makes sense)

Don’t have too much else to say other than that. But I thought I’d throw it out there. What do you think about the writing about writing vs. writing fiction predicament? Do the two compete for your time? Is one more satisfying than the other? How do you finish your projects when all you want to do is share your rejuvenated love of blogging with everyone you know? Don’t mind my manic screaming on the way out.

The Dilemma of Dilemna

Okay. I have a problem. I tried to write the word dilemma a bit ago and kept getting little red squiggles beneath my repeated spelling attempts. Dilemna is what I wanted to type, but my word processor would have none of it. I could have sworn dilemma had an “n” in it. But no. 

644397_burzaA quick Google search showed that the correct spelling is, in fact, “dilemma” with two “m’s” not the odd construction “mn.” So what, you might be thinking? Who cares? You spelled a word wrong. Big deal!

I’ll give you the last one. It’s not a big deal,  but it is a weird deal. Let me explain:

The notion of placing a silent “n” in a word like dilemma is counterintuitive. When you learn new vocabulary words in school, you go for the phonetic approach first. Then, if there’s some weird spelling rule or exception, you commit that to memory. The natural inclination for spelling dilemma is with two “m’s.” It is unnatural to try and squeeze in an “n” when you’d have to mangle the word pretty badly in pronunciation to get an “n” sound in there.

This leads me to believe that I was taught to spell dilemma with a silent “n.” I even used the device where you sound out a word phonetically, a la “bee-ay-oo-tiful” for “beautiful.” 

I don’t know what all of this means, but what I do know is that trying to spell dilemma earlier this evening made me feel like a crazy person. Or at the very least puzzled like the puppy above. Apparently, a lot of other people learned to spell the word the wrong way, too, as a quick web search will prove. 

How did you learn to spell dilemma? Why do you think this misspelling is so common and so rooted into many people’s minds? I’d love to hear your thoughts.