It was a dark and stormy night when I was made aware of the fact that I would never be a writer. 

Uh, no.

The night was stormy, rain pelting my window like my tears, as I realized I would never be a writer.

Nope.

Lightning rent the night sky, the wind hissed, “You will never be a writer.”

Yes!  Okay, not perfect, but better. 

You see my point, though, right?  It’s about the words and how you use them.  Seriously, I am not a writer, but once, I really wanted to be.  Somewhere along the way I realized I was missing what I believe is the most important element – I’m not a storyteller.  I can’t even tell jokes well, let alone get a whole story down in type.  It’s just not in me, and I’m okay with that, just as I’m okay with the fact that I will never be a great painter.  I have other gifts.  But I love to read good stories, just as I love to view great paintings.  The difference is, I’ve studied the writing craft a little, and I’m sure I won’t ever study art.  Knowing how to write well is applicable in our daily lives; and for probably all of us, it starts in kindergarten.  We learn how to form the letters, then string them into words, our words into sentences, then paragraphs, then essays and compositions … .   Ideally, we learn how to spell along the way, and punctuate and use proper grammar. 

Writing a story uses all of those tools, plus something more.  In my mind, I think of writing like construction, and the very heart of writing stories, the concrete foundation, is being a storyteller.  If you have that in you, you can work on the rest.  Spelling, punctuation, grammar – those things are like the studs, they hold everything up.  The plot would be your walls and floors.  Those are the necessary basics.  Everything else is like decorating to taste.  Horror, romance, science-fiction – that’s like choosing brick or vinyl siding.  You see where I’m going. 

I’ve read a lot in my life, and unfortunately, a lot of what I’ve read has been a complete waste of time. I don’t know how it even got into print, let alone past an agent and editor.  I’ve read some stuff online that I’m certain will never make it into print, and you probably have, too.  Maybe it sounds arrogant to say that bad spelling hurts my eyes, but it’s true.  I think if you want to be a good writer, let alone a great one, you have to know your language and how to use it.  Words are your building blocks and a good house-builder would no more use sub-par studs than you should use sub-par spelling and punctuation.  I’m not talking typos – we all makes make those and they can be easily corrected.  (See?  😉 )  I’m talking about things like using “should of, could of, would of” and “her greif effected me.”  Hurt your eyes, too?  It should.  Should have, could have, would have, and her grief affected me to a great degree.  Feel better?  Me, too.  :) 

Now, some people paid more attention in English class than others.  The great news is that for those of us who didn’t, there is hope and there are resources.  Yay!  That is one of my goals with this blog.  I hope to post things to help writers not only with some inspiration here and there, but also with the craft as well.  Not in a judgmental way, but in an encouraging way.  If you have a story to tell, let’s find the right way to tell it.  Don’t have a story yet?  Let’s see if we can pull one of the muses out of the air and capture it. 

You want to be a great writer.  I want to read great stories.  We can work together on this.  :)  Need a good place to start?  I recommend Strunk and White.  Get your basics down.  Once you have the right building materials and tools at your disposal, you’ll be ready to build something wonderful. 

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