I have a lot of thing to be thankful.
Writing is much easier for me than even two months ago. But still, almost every sentence I write has a mistake--usually several. Sometimes I can't remember the word I want. Sometimes I leave out several words. My spelling is awful. But the thing that pains me most is the grammar: the confused word endings; the mixed-up genders; the wrong tenses.
So I usually re-read every sentence in a whisper before going on. I spotted an error in the sentence, fixed it, and then re-read it again:
I have a lot of things to be thankful.
I don't use a grammar checker, partly because I worry that if I don't correct errors myself, my language skills won't improve. But I was still sure that something was wrong. But what? I whispered the sentence to myself over and over, trying to figure out why it still didn't sound right: For thanksful? By thankful? To thankful? Ah, I know. I had left out the final word. I fixed it:
I have a lot of things to be thankful for.
But then a voice--a chorus of high school English teachers, actually--in my head said: never end a sentence with a preposition.
Was that really true, I wondered? But I heard the chorus, again: when in doubt, leave it out.
I deleted the sentence. Back to the blank screen. Damn this writing thing is hard.