Writer, Poet, Social Commentator
When I was in fifth grade, my English teacher taught me the importance of good grammar, though I never fully grasped the concept until the end of middle school. She saw that I struggled with sentence structure and trying to force too many words into one small space. Introduce the semicolon, and I was all set. I started learning and experimenting with the semicolon, which then pushed me into experimenting with commas, dashes, colons, periods, and many other types of grammar. I vowed to myself by the end of eight grade that I would be a grammar master, and I was. I secretly started to love how grammar forces sentences into nice, little packages, or how I could toy with different pieces of grammar to make my own unique package. From talking with some other writers, I have found that many of them silently celebrated when their teacher would start a grammar lesson, while other students groaned. They loved to learn about independent and dependent clauses, participles, and tenses. And they loved to incorporate what they were learning in their next essay, poem, or story. When I think about how long it took me to realize I was a writer, it still surprises me. But to this day, I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life.
We write to experiment, express, and expand. We write to learn, love, and, at times, lose. We write to celebrate those little butterflies inside us when we realize that a character has come to life, a sentence is perfect, or we have completed our grammar check and the novel is clean and error-free. We write because we have a burning desire to express our feelings, thoughts, ponderings, and lessons. We love the thrill of someone becoming emotional over our writing: crying, laughing, chuckling, sneering. We want to touch the inner synapses of your brain and light up a part of you that you didn’t realize was there. Writing is a way for writers to get something off their chest in a meaningful and organized way. We feel the need to go through our past, dig up our dirt, learn from our experiences, and teach them to others through prose. The tiny little pieces of writing: the grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, plot, outlining, researching — we love it all. Writing is called a craft because it’s a skill that’s honed over the years. Like a repairman who walks into your house and finds the leak on the first try, writing is something that takes time and experience. We love to sit and think of new ways to explain or express an idea. We love toying with reader’s emotions while they twist and turn through our woven webs. We love having voices for our opinions. But most of all, we love to entertain, enrich, share, and hope that our words make a difference to someone besides ourselves.
When I sit down to write, I think, what am I going to say? Where is this story going? It takes me awhile to get started, but eventually I gain ground. Once I get to full speed, there’s no stopping for hours. When I finish, I feel accomplished; as if I talked to a therapist and got all of my issues down on paper. One of my favorite parts of the writing process is taking out the garbage. I love to clean up my work and edit. Sometimes I use online help such as Grammarly for a final grammar check, to make sure I have found all the errors. Editing helps me make sense of what I’ve written and confirm that all the plot points are like ducks in a row. I also like to use Grammarly to help me find synonyms when I’ve used and abused a certain set of words. Editing is always an important part of the writing process, and most writers love it. We write to edit, write for fun, and write to get something down on paper. We write because as little kids, we devoured books, attempted short stories, and gushed over English class, and one day, we stumbled upon the idea of becoming a real writer.