I got an email from a reader of my blog. This person gave me some advice about the grammar and punctuation I used in my writing.
I don’t actually remember what their issue was, but it was something like “Hey, just thought you’d like to know that you can’t start a sentence with the word ‘and’. Have a great day!”
And …fuck that.
I know this person had good intentions. Trying to be helpful. Possibly trying to feel better about herself. Trying to share her expertise.
So, did I go back and change my grammar? Of course not.
And I hope I don’t sound like a fool in my writing, but honestly, I’m not doing this shit to be graded. I write to share ideas. To start a conversation or provoke a new way of thinking. Sometimes to teach or inspire.
And I don’t need a style to do that. I don’t need to know the rules. And even if I know the rules, I don’t need to follow them.
Styles. Rules. Limits.
These are all words for the same thing. They’re inventions of the mind. Limits and styles and rules do not exist in nature. Not when it comes to human behavior. Not when it comes to what you write or say or think or wear or do.
These are boxes that you don’t need to live inside of.
Styles are a prison for your mind.
I’m sure that reader felt sorry for me, starting my sentences with the word ‘and’ like some kind of idiot.
And, it might sound strange, but I feel sorry for her too. I feel sorry that she is so comfortable in her prison, so at peace there, that she would invite me in to join her.
That’s something I hope you always say no to.
People will often invite you into their own mind-made prisons.
Their invitations often start with the words, “you can’t.”
And the correct response is, “fuck that.”
“Experts” told Reinhold Messner, “You can’t climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. You’ll die if you try.” He said “fuck your prison” in 1978 and did it anyway. Then in 1980, he came back alone, in winter, and did it again in a style that no one had ever done before. It’s still considered one of the most badass feats in climbing history.
Bruce Lee talked about how he doesn’t believe in styles when it comes to martial arts. He talked about how fighting has no rules, and martial arts is really just about expressing oneself honestly, with no limits.
And speaking of writing, James Joyce wrote what is probably the most influential novel of the 20th century, Ulysses. Some people say it’s the best novel ever written. And the last chapter, called Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy, is 66 pages long, consists of only 8 sentences, and only two marks of punctuation. Literally, there are only two periods in the whole chapter. It’s also one of the most brilliant and amazing things ever written. I’d have to ask my reader, but I’m pretty sure it breaks a lot of the rules.
This is how the book ends:
he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.
So, how should I end this post? With some kind of lesson or call to action? Should I give you some kind of advice? Something to think about? Or should I just stop writing in the middle of the sentence?
I honestly don’t know. And,