G is for Grammar

Today is the last day of week one of the A to Z blogging challenge and I honestly can’t say if I’m relieved or not. This has been a tough week, as I am not used to blogging every day, but it has been really fulfilling as well. I’ve gotten to read some incredible posts, meet some inspiring bloggers, and put myself out there for the world to see (that was the absolutely most terrifying aspect of the whole thing).

For the last post of the week, I decided to change things up. My theme is Everything I Love about Writing. However, no matter how much you love something, life is not perfect. There will always be aspects that drive you nuts, ones that make you lose your mind. For me and writing, it is grammar.

 

grammar correct

 

Here’s the ugly truth. I hate grammar and it’s a mutual thing, grammar hates me right back. During school, having to slog through grammar could reduce me to tears. I loved to write as a child, but until I was about ten or so, it was really hard to read any of my stories because they were basically one long run-on sentence.

Of a necessity, I learned grammar. But I hated it, hated having to curtail my imagination and stories because of grammar. I was like a bird in a cage, futilely battering myself against the bars. There were many tears, meltdowns, and loud arguments with my mother (who was also my teacher and a bit of a grammar cop) about grammar and its place in the world. Still, with much angst and fighting, I slowly mastered grammar and my writing improved.

 

grammar police

 

Today, things have improved. I acknowledge grammar (and editing) as a necessary part of writing. After all, if you love something you have to accept all parts of it. Grammar and I have a neutral relationship, the anger and angst are gone but we will never be best friends. When I write, I ignore the grammar check (I often turn it off entirely). Then, when time for editing rolls around, I sigh and groan a little bit, but I ultimately use grammar to check it over and make my novel a better one.

Still, I maintain that learning grammar for the English language is a job and half. Because America is a melting pot, we have snippets from languages all over the world. I’m glad that I’m a native speaker, because I wouldn’t have mastered it otherwise. I’m including a poem below that shows how crazy it can be at times.

 

So what do you hate, or love, about grammar?

 

http://www.icaltefl.com/dearest-creature-in-creation  (I dare you to try and read it out loud all the way to the end)

D is for Dedication

So I’m going to be real for a moment. I love almost everything about writing (editing is another matter, but let’s not go there right now). Even when I’m wondering why I gave my character a name that’s a pain to write or spellcheck is upset for the umpteenth time about I word that I created and have added to the dictionary multiple times. But sometimes, writing is hard.

This is where dedication comes in. There are days when I’m sick, when I’m exhausted, when the whole world just seems to throw every roadblock they can in my way. There are days when I am so frustrated with a character that I sit at my keyboard and literally cry. I have spent hours looking at a blank page and blinking cursor because I have written my book into a corner and there is literally no way to proceed. I live through my characters’ emotions as I write and there have been days when I’ve been emotionally depleted and my family still expected me to be a functioning human being. I have argued with my family about how much time my writing takes, I have argued with my characters, I have argued with my family about arguing with my characters. After all, I’ve created them, I should just be able to write whatever I want to happen.

Then there are the physical problems. I’ve had computers restart themselves, losing everything I just spent hours typing. I’ve had cats step on my keyboard to the same effect. There is also the ongoing battle between the cats and my writing for attention, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped cats off my lap only for them to levitate back less than two seconds later. I’ve also lost track of how many times I’ve told them to get their paws off my keyboard.

So with all of these obstacles, why do I write? I write because it fulfills a part of my soul. When I write, I can become anyone or anything. I can go anywhere and do anything. There are literally no limits for what I can do, see, feel, or think. Also, it’s a duty. These characters have entrusted their story to me and it is my job to make sure that it is not forgotten, lost to the grind and stress of daily life. And in a way, I write because it’s magic. Because not only can I become anyone or experience anything, so can people who read my words. They can share the experience, but with a totally unique filter to them. A thousand people can read the exact same thing, but it will be retold in a thousand new ways. That is why I write.

What is something that requires dedication in your life? How do you overcome the daily stresses that life throws at you?

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