good writing

I love good writing, full of intention. I love to read the words of a master of the craft, where every comma, every dash and dot, every adjective and adverb is there because it’s supposed to be. Someone once asked me, “You think [so-and-so] means think instead of thank?” Nope. I sure don’t. Because if so-and-so’s anything like me, every letter is there for a reason, and those passionate, writing-loving eyes scanned — no, examined — the work before putting it out there for other people to pick apart themselves.

* * *

When one knows the rules of writing, she’s entitled to break them. If she doesn’t, better stick to the grammar book or only write in secret. That way, the children won’t learn bad tricks.
When one thinks she’s a master of the craft, she better keep studying. Because as soon as she claims to have all the answers to the world’s writing problems — usually through her lofty tone, the real masters will be on the look-out for her to slip up. And then they’ll laugh at her, and probably won’t tell her what she’s done wrong; they’ll just leave her to spin her wheels in the muck of ignorance.
It’s not a bad thing to try new techniques. In fact, it’s probably good practice. One must always keep in mind, however, that being honest — being oneself — is one of the most powerful tools in communicating truth to the rest of the world. I say, don’t act like Emily Dickinson or Shakespeare too long; the world will soon tire of the role-playing and go on back to the real masters, hoping their old friend will come along soon.

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