Writing is hard. It’s like writing songs: you rewrite over and over again, and when you think everything is fine, there’s still a need for revision. I am, what you might call, an avid reader, so I know what great writing tends to look like. The tough part is that what I think–or should I say–the way my brain composes sentences, isn’t particularly kosher with grammar nerds. By the way, if it weren’t for the spellchecker on my Mac, I would be in serious trouble.
I wouldn’t call my wife and editor, Brenda, a nerd, but she has a mighty fine eye for poor grammar, due to her excellent private school education. Can I blame my lame writing skills on the fact that I grew up in Southern California during a particularly lax period when my public school system thought it intrusive to actually fail students with poor writing skills? How would I know then that I’d grow up and want to be a writer?
Kids don’t usually have the forethought when it comes to their health or good writing and math skills. We trash our bodies with doughnuts and candy bars until, in our 40s, we get a bad report from the doctor. Only then do we kick into high gear and change our slothful eating habits. As kids we look at our report cards and chuckle, thinking we’ll never use those skills we learned (or didn’t learn) in real life. Well, I’m here to tell you–yes, all you kindergarten students just starting your first few weeks of school.–PAY ATTENTION!
I wish I had taken seriously my English teacher in Jr. High who said good grammar is the foundation for a good life. Well, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but I will admit that learning good grammar habits will save you the grief I’ve experienced since deciding to become a writer. Even in the case of writing songs, verb and subject agreement still applies. On a side note, if you’re going to write worship songs, take a few classes on theology in college: it helps when you get that right, too!
So, with all of this push-back when it comes to writing, why do I still want to sit here at my Mac and pound through another blog post, work on a book or write another song? I mean…who is really reading or listening? My answer is: It doesn’t matter. I am compelled–simply put! I love the process, and will keep writing until either my hands wither up from arthritis or I die and my cold hands lay frozen on this keyboard–God forbid!
Please work with me here–I”m probably going to misspell a few words, and will certainly abuse grammar now and then, but I’m going to say what’s on my heart. No matter how difficult the process, here I go again. And, oh, thanks for reading!