If you are a true writer, you care about language because this is the main tool you use to develop your craft. And you really need to keep developing it so that you become a better writer.

When I was painting full-time, that was my goal, to become a better painter. I have occasionally held art classes in my studio. I naively thought that all the people who came to my studio for lessons wanted the lessons for the same reasons that I took lessons and read art books; to become the best I could be at my craft. I quickly realized that this was not the case. Someone even brought an outline of an image that she apparently received from a former teacher that she traced and then painted. It was kind of like completing a paint-by-number. That was what she was looking for from me. So what did I do? I gave her a piece of yupo paper (a glossy, synthetic, wipe-off-if-you-don't-like-it piece of paper) that allows you to be free and experiment. She hated it and never came back. I was not the teacher for her. And I learned my lesson. Not everyone wants to be the best they can be, some are content with being just OK. But that's another story.

Today, I'm talking about the English language: learning words, reading, reading, reading, writing, writing, writing, to become the best writer you can be. To develop your craft, you really need to do all of that.

My husband, Jim, and I often talk about the sad state of the English language. With texting and messaging shortcuts, it would surprise me to know that kids can even complete a sentence. My teen-aged nephew couldn't read a birthday card message that his grandmother sent him. The reason? "I can't read cursive, they aren't teaching that to us in school." His grandmother was appalled, I was appalled. So, what happens when these kids grow up and have to get a job? Are they all going to work as techies?

Jim is a techie and very well read (probably better than most techies). I worked as a Senior Technical Writer for a Network Management company in New Hampshire for many years (several years ago now). Even though I was writing technical manuals, you absolutely had to be a good writer. But of course, everything was on the computer, nothing was hand-written. So, maybe it is the end of cursive writing. But let's hope it isn't the end of good writing.

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