We writers spend so much time in the woods that our closeness to the bark, the woodsman and the axe can cause splinters to blind us to the simplest of errors.
Writing is a craft which can be honed over time and it is hoped we will grow in knowledge to produce ever better work as we progress through the world of words, punctuation and grammar.
It should not matter if our audience is young or old. The writer's only concern should be that the writing is worthy of our audience and we should strive to make it so every day.
There are of course people who feel basics such as punctuation and grammar do not matter. I cannot easily forgive those who dismiss these conventions – perhaps it's because I've grown up in a world where my reading list is made up of superbly crafted writing:
Louis de Bernieres
D H Lawrence
The list is endless. If I wrote them all there'd be no space for the rest of this blog. I love the deliciousness of these writers' words and how I am totally enveloped in their worlds because of the way they've helped me truly see the words on the page.
I learnt the use of speech marks and semi colons from these writers much the same way I was drawn in by their metaphors and sensory language. For those of us who read and write in earnest, our role models are these writers.
So if we are to be the writers of the future we should carry on this tradition of excellence.
Perhaps these writers are and were blessed with superb punctuation and grammar skills so they were on a winning streak to begin with. But if any of them were not then I'm certain they asked for help in getting those areas right.
If our writing truly matters to us then we will strive to perfect it in every way possible. And if that means calling in someone to help us with certain areas of our work then it's not cheating. It's admitting we need help.
It took me a very long time as a person and a writer to admit when I needed help. I used to get an uncomfortable itch between my shoulder blades at the mere thought of asking for assistance.
But over time I've come to value every bit of help I can get. And I hope my readers benefit from this.
So I urge all writers who love language, to put their beautifully thought out words into a framework worthy of it. Let the punctuation and grammar matter because it's evidence of the hours of toil, the tears, the joys which went in to produce the final product.
As this post has been a bit heavy and soap boxy I've decided to end it with a bit of levity.