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Have you ever experienced an obstacle or setback that later turned out to be the best thing that could have happened?
And in the end, were you grateful for the obstacle, because it was exactly what needed to happen … although you didn’t know it at the time?
If so, you’ve experienced a blessing in disguise.
I ask because I’ve recently experienced one of my own. An issue that started out as a setback, became beneficial in a way that I’m truly grateful for.
Here’s how it went down.
The reason? Besides it being the smart thing for all writers to do…
There had been errors in a couple of my previous posts that I hadn’t caught. Not even after two or three rounds of editing.
I only caught them because I re-posted those articles on the website, Medium. Grammarly had ‘turned on’ and found the errors while I was reformatting the articles for Medium.
Naturally, I wondered how many of my first few blog posts had had errors I’ve missed!
So this time, after editing a new blog post draft on my phone (where I do most of my writing), I logged into my Chromebook and opened the Google Doc draft in the web browser version of Chrome. I wanted Grammarly to turn on again and find the errors I might’ve missed.
But, it didn’t turn on…
…even though the browser extension was turned on and the three settings boxes were turned on.
When I clicked on ‘My Grammarly’, a web app version of the program opened.
It looked just like any old text editor. With space for a title and a section for the body text. I assumed my best (and only) option was to copy and paste my draft into it.
So I did.
Figuring I could correct the errors in the Grammarly web app and then copy and paste the error-free final draft back into a Google doc before uploading it onto my website.
An extra step, but whatever. I just wanted to get it done and this seemed like it would do the job.
But when I scrolled through the web app version of the document, I decided to scrap that plan.
Because the Grammarly web app removed my formatting!
My numbered H2 headings (on a list post) were turned into bullet points. And I didn’t even scroll far enough to check the rest.
Needless to say, I had no intention of reformatting a 5000+ word document.
So I went to Google and searched, “Grammarly isn’t working in Google docs”. I didn’t know what I’d find, but I had nothing to lose by trying.
I’d already decided that if I couldn’t use Grammarly on my doc through the extension, I’d go back and forth between the Grammarly web app and my doc, finding and correcting errors the long way.
The first few Google search results said the two programs weren’t compatible. But then I found a more recent article. It said, the Grammarly beta version works fine with Google Docs and gave instructions on how to install it.
Finally some good news!
The Grammarly Chrome extension was already installed, so my first instinct was to do what you always do first when something electronic isn’t working…
I turned off the extension and then turned it back on.
And that’s all it took. it worked! Grammarly fired up.
Smooth Sailing … or So I Thought
So I went through the draft and corrected the 43 errors Grammarly had found. Then corrected a few suggested re-wordings.
When that was done, I closed the doc and logged off. My son was begging to use the Chromebook to finish a school assignment; Plus I assumed I was done editing and ready to upload to WordPress.
That, I could do from my phone.
Oh Look, Another Obstacle
Fast forward seven hours.
I’m laying in bed and should be asleep. But instead, I’m on WordPress starting a new post and copying my document over.
I should’ve just gone to bed after that. But since I like to do as much work on a draft between saves as possible (so there are fewer revisions), I went through and did my usual first run of formatting edits. Meaning, I was correcting spacing, adding quotes, and fixing links.
Everything looked good until I came to the last big section of my five-part list post. Something seemed off.
Somehow, an entire chunk of text was missing. The end of the intro paragraph of that section had been edited out and combined with part of another section.
At the time, I wasn’t sure how many sections and subheadings were missing, but I knew they were important parts, full of personal stories, quotes, and affiliate links.
I also knew that I’d never be able to rewrite them the same way.
And Another Obstacle
Panicking, I went back to my saved Google draft, hoping the missing sections were still on there.
Maybe that section didn’t copy over to WordPress somehow?
But nope. They were gone. Edited away while using Grammarly.
Either by a glitch, an accident, or when my nieces and nephew’s puppy jumped onto my lap.
An export prompt had opened, but that’s all I thought had happened.
My first thought was to click the back (undo) arrow in Google docs. The problem was I didn’t know how far back to go or if there was a way to see what each revision had done
Also, by doing that, I’d be undoing all of the error fixing Grammarly had done, and have to start over.
A Glimmer of Hope
Then it hit me.
I remembered how I’d copied the draft to the Grammarly web app document!
The thing is, I’d never saved it. I closed the tab because (I thought) I didn’t need it once I’d gotten the Grammarly extension to work.
I had to think positive though.
So I hopped out of the bed, went into the living room, turned on the lights, and sat down wearing nothing but my boxers, with the Chromebook on my lap.
Next, I nervously logged back in, opened Chrome, clicked the Grammarly extension icon, and opened up the Grammarly home web app page.
And there on the list, I saw an autosaved copy of my rough draft blog post.
I opened it, crossed my fingers, and scrolled down …
The Blessing in Disguise
There they were.
The three sections (855 words) I’d been missing!
Saying I was grateful would be an understatement.
But here’s what really got to me…
Without that original Grammarly extension mishap, which caused me to copy the document over into their editor, I wouldn’t have been able to save my deleted work.
At least not easily. And it would’ve taken me a lot of time.
It just goes to show you that sometimes an obstacle or setback will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
You just don’t know it yet.
Has something similar ever happened to you?
Tell me about your blessing in disguise experiences in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!