My husband is what I call a “word guy.” He’s an expert with grammar and spelling. He has an app on his phone that gives him a new and unusual word every day. My husband was an English major in college. He only reads “the classics.” Early in his career, he was a technical writer. My husband is the kind of person who takes what people say literally. When you speak to him, your words need to be precise or he gets confused. He has a keen grasp of the English language. He’s an excellent writer.
I am not. I do not write my blog in order to better myself at this complicated craft. I do not write with precision, and I am sure that my grammar is sometimes suspect. I was not an English major in college. I studied social work. My motivation for writing is two-fold. I write because it helps me clear the noises in my overactive brain. I also write in hopes my wisdom about life with a chronic condition will be helpful to others who are unable to express themselves. Expressing myself, even if not perfectly, has never been a problem for me.
It bothers my husband that I don’t seek his help in writing my blog. He’s puzzled by my lack of desire to better my work. He feels slighted that I have not sought the depth of his knowledge about writing and words and grammar and language. But, the truth is, it never occurred to me to even ask him, and for me, it wasn’t personal. Our motivations for writing are simply not the same.
But during an interesting conversation yesterday where these things were revealed, it was also revealed that he seeks help to better himself wherever he can and I often opt to go it alone. It rarely, if ever, occurs to me to ask for help. If I can do something independently, even if not perfectly, I will.
The truth of the matter is, my husband’s expert knowledge about writing and words is a bit intimidating. I’m not really looking for a critic of my blog. My blog is personal. It’s about my ideas. It’s about my thoughts. It’s about my feelings. My husband says that I would be better able to express these things if I were a better writer. I know he’s probably right about that, but my independent instinct to forge ahead doesn’t really make room for this.
I don’t know if I want to be a better writer. This is how I know I am not a “word guy.” I don’t have the same commitment to the art of writing that a real writer has. I want to be good at expressing myself, but I don’t feel like I have to be the best at it. Maybe that’s lazy… but at least it is honest.
My goal in writing is to empty my head and perhaps to spill a little of what’s inside my heart. I need my blog for therapy. I worry that if I let “word guy” loose on it, it will become more like work and less like joy.
It’s not personal. I have the utmost respect for my husband’s abilities. It simply never crossed my mind to ask him for input because my blog is emotional. It’s personal. It’s me.
On the other hand, maybe I need to learn to ask for help. Being independent is great. It’s important. I’m proud of my independence. But, we are often made better by the wisdom of others and foolish not to accept it. It may even be hypocritical of me not to accept his help, especially when I claim that one of the purposes of my blog is to impart my own wisdom upon others.
“Word guy” might be on to something….