The other day, I updated my Facebook status with a wish for a writing day. I said that anyone who wished to go home from work and write for the rest of the day could do so. One of my friends commented, “What if we can’t write right?” I joked that that’s when people were supposed to come see me. I then followed the comment with a more serious one: “Besides, you have to write wrong before you can write right.”
What I mean by that comment is that a person can’t obsess about writing right while in the midst of writing. The writing must be done first, no matter how wrong or clunky it is. It’s only when a person has words on the page that he or she can begin to examine whether the words are the best ones or whether a sentence should be broken into two.
It’s also true that no one awakens one morning and knows all the writing rules. I don’t know them all, and I’ve been writing for years. I probably still write some things wrong and don’t know it yet. Perhaps one day I will, but I’m not going to worry about it. I have more writing to do, even if that means writing wrong in order to write right.
Image: Pascal Maramis (CC BY 2.0)