This is something that has been on my mind for some time but I didn't know how to talk about it. I will give it a try and I will start by apologising to anyone who is offended by this. I mean no harm, really, I don't.
Language matters to me. Language is a glorious thing, a tool but more than a tool, it is the air we breathe and the water we drink. We couldn't live without it. I know we can but it wouldn't be the same.
Language matters and I use it when I write this blog. Language is the means by which you can see a little piece of what is inside my head and it is the means by which you can tell me that you have been there. It is about communication. It is through language I am not alone. It is through language I share and express myself.
Language matters for two reasons, if not more. Firstly, it is a means to express something and it is important that I can convey as well as I am able what I want to convey. Secondly, it may, at times, be a thing of beauty, this writing. There is beauty in the images that became language but also in the language itself. It is a thing of beauty at times. Not always but there are some moments of beauty and I value them.
Grammar is a strange thing. To me grammar is not the rules that guide the communication but a description of the mechanics that helps us understand each other. Grammar is important. I care about grammar.
But I am also sloppy. And ignorant. I am always unsure about what I write, 'does this sound good?' 'Does this work?'
My mind is a mind of images, not of words. I love words but I am not good with them. I don't understand written text that well. I get lost in complicated narratives. Too many characters in a story and I am lost. I need to read and reread to understand. I am a slow reader.
I want to be perfect. I know there is no perfect. I know this. Still it is a burden to want it. I want my texts to be flawless, perfect, always beautiful and always good. My worst enemy is this desire for perfection. It makes me ashamed of errors I make, it makes me ashamed of my sloppiness and if this desire for perfection was allowed to rule I would never put anything on the blog that wasn't read and reread, edited and corrected many times over. There would be no blog then. I would sit in a corner doing nothing.
I struggle with this burden every day. I decided that my blog should not be perfect. It should be a means for me to talk about what I wanted to talk about. It should never be a place for flawless writing.
I often reread my stories only once or twice before putting them on the blog. I don't want to be bogged down with questions about if it would be better to say something in another way. There would be no blog if I allowed myself to do that.
I am not proud of the errors I make, the typos, the sloppy grammar, the incorrect references. But they will end up on my blog because if I would hunt them all down I would not be able to write.
The blog was never intended to be perfect. It couldn't possible be my intention.
Someone once said to me that my writing was good but with his help it could be perfect. He then went on pointing out errors I had made. I had a terrible row with him. Partly because he was wrong about a lot of things and didn't understand (in my opinion) how language works. And partly because I found it arrogant and preposterous to think that he could make my writing perfect. And partly because I was hurt to be told I wasn't perfect.
I have a lot to learn about writing. There is no doubt about that and I want to learn. But the point with this blog is to communicate, not to be perfect.
When I write this I realise that this is a problem for me not for you. You must wonder why I rant about it. Maybe I am trying to tell myself that I don't have to be perfect. I will leave it at this and go back to writing my stories.