More than half of the posts on my Metawriting blog have been about writing – 55% in fact. Clearly, writing and the teaching of writing are passions of mine. You do not need to meet me in person and you do not need to stalk me online for very long to discover these facts. I have been teaching writing for a long time now and invariably I receive two responses when I identify myself as a writing teacher.
The most common response is the self-deprecating comment about “watching their grammar” followed by a chuckle. I don’t always commit acts of violence, but when I do it is because someone conflated grammar and writing. Don’t get me wrong. I can swoon over a perfectly constructed sentence just like the next rhetorician, but grammar and other rules of proper English are not at the top of my list when it comes to evaluating a writer – not even in the top part of the list. I care a lot more about the message and its impact on audience, but most of all I care about the writer and that is why the next most common response breaks my heart. “How do I make my [self, kid, employees, students] write better?”