Commas have always been the bane of my writing existence, ever since I started to seriously write in high school. They are a horror to most writers, serious or casual. I remember using commas as liberally as one would sprinkle salt on a baked potato, and being chastised as generously by my Junior year English teacher. Red ink galore on my creative writing paper due to nothing more than comma overuse. Ever since I’ve feared the comma; I’d rather used too little than too many. I took the rather mature stance of: You can always add more commas later, but ’tis difficult to take them away!
To compensate I fell in love with the semi-colon, and its distant kissing cousin the colon. I use them both far more extensively in my writing than I ever did years ago. However, recently I’ve overcome my fear of comma abuse, and have given myself free rein to hit that forbidden keystroke. After many years of strictly technical writing, I’ve rediscovered my youthful love of writing fiction and brushed up on my creative writing grammar.
I highly recommend this website as a springboard for English grammar rules. Straight forward, well organized, easy to read, and understand.
And here’s to the much maligned, but inherently useful comma!