Q. What happens when you write an emotional piece on your phone at midnight, when your mind is numb with sleep, hands are exhausted of typing, and heart is overflowing with emotion?
A. You create an incomprehensible piece of writing, which is high on sentiment, and negative on form, grammar, language, and every other parameter of decent writing.
As a rule I never post my pieces immediately after finishing them. I let them rest for sometime and let my thoughts simmer a little more. This gives me an opportunity to ensure what goes out is not only accurate but also structured well. Sometimes, however, I fall in the trap of “me too”. Last night was one such night.
After having stayed away from my blog, Facebook, and even Instagram for a while, I desperately wanted to write a something about my home-town-in-law. The idea was to put a small note on Instagram and follow it up with a longer piece on my travel page. So even as my back ached, fingers hurt, and mind almost shut down with exhaustion, I typed a longish post and put it up. The writing was a little raw, but I was okay with that: it was only on Instagram after all and I would have revised it before putting it on more formal forums. What I had not noticed was that I was simultaneously posting it on Facebook.
This morning, when I found notifications about the post on my feed, I realized what I had done. The post was high on emotion, but had no structure and form. The sentences were incomprehensible, the paragraphs were misplaced; there were vocabulary issues and punctuation errors. I tried to salvage the it by editing, but it was too late -- it had already been read and opinions had already been formed.
With so much conversation happening about writing everywhere, I do not think I ought to add anything more about the topic. But, as a person who has published over a hundred travel and food pieces in national dailies and weeklies, and uncountable blog posts on established forums on the Internet, I only want to emphasize upon the importance of structure and syntax. And, may I add, patience.
Being particular about what you write is not about being or not being a grammar Nazi. Nor is it about putting a person down. It is only about your honesty towards a craft you have chosen to pursue and respect for the language you have chosen to write in. It maybe okay to compromise on sentiment sometimes, but it is never okay to compromise on structure. Because showing respect to your craft is the least you can do. Isn’t it?