Spelling and grammar in writing are important
A reader sent in the question, “Can I ignore things like spelling and grammar in my writing? Isn’t that the editor’s job?”
In a word, no. The editor’s job is to shape and guide your work, not to fix things that you should already know how to do. The proofreader’s job is to catch and correct small typos, but writers should still know how to spell and word things correctly. Otherwise, are they writers? How can they communicate (which is what writers do) if they can’t communicate?
Because there are so many great websites about grammar rules and guidelines, I’m going to point you to one of them, and tackle the spelling part of the writer’s question here.
Things like grammar and spelling have always come very naturally to me, and for a long time I could not fathom how anyone could have difficulty with them. That was, until I heard that any area that comes so easily to us that we can’t understand why others don’t “get it” is one of our gifts or talents, and we should realize that. Everyone has their own gifts and challenges. The boy who sat next to me in class couldn’t spell “barbell,” but he could sure lift one, with 400 extra pounds attached. He could have sent me sailing across the room. He had some talents I definitely did not!
Learn to spell
Spelling doesn’t come easily for many people. Does that mean you should misspell words? No. Does it mean you should give up on being a writer if you do? No. You might want to make a list of the words you misspell the most often, and practice writing them correctly, so that you can communicate more effectively.
Spelling words, for an adult? Sure, why not?! Everyone needs to learn certain things, and unless you have a time machine, you can’t go back into the past to learn things then. Your only option is to learn them now, or put off learning until some time in the future. You’re here now, so why not learn a little today?
How to learn spelling words
The more senses you can involve when you’re learning how to spell words, the better. When I learn a new word, I say it, write it (saying the letters aloud as I write them), then say the word again. I might repeat the process a few times. It involves multiple senses (seeing, hearing, touching), and it teaches the muscles in my hand how to make the word. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing. It’s one of the reasons that boy could do a clean and jerk—in his sleep—with the weight equivalent of two adults on the bar, and why I remember how to spell. Muscle memory gave us some things in common.