Plowing Together: Do You Need to Know the Basics? – Please Comment

Years ago, a woman I know excitedly shared a story about her daughter with our small group. She said that the teacher told the class to write a story. They didn’t need to worry about proper spelling or punctuation. Creativity was more important. Apparently, this attitude extended beyond this one story. My friend thought that was great. Why should her daughter and the other students get bogged down with the basics? That would just stifle their creativity.

I’ve been a writer and editor for several years. I live by the basics—spelling and grammar. I kept my mouth shut but the memory still burns in my mind.

Michelangelo apprenticed in sculpting and learned the basics before he created his David. Beethoven learned the basics of music before he wrote his 5th Symphony.

What do you think? Do you need to know the basics to be a writer? Please share your insights and comments.




Posted on September 8, 2015, in education, fiction, grammar, inspiration, nonfiction, parenting, poetry, school, writer's life, writing, writing ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This is such an on target post. I have been thinking this exactly – even on our recent trip to Kenya we focused on discipleship basics. Proverbs tell us that without a vision, people cast off restraint or loosen up, like an army that is going off in every direction. I believe wholeheartedly in a return to the basics in every dimension as it fosters cohesiveness, as well as a great starting point from which people can ‘take off.” This also comes to mind. When people move out prophetically in a ‘word’, it is important to be grounded in Scripture or else one can fly on the wind without any grasp on foundational beliefs. This leads to lots in the name of creativity but little in Scriptural accuracy. Lots of thoughts stirred up from this post. Thanks Debbie.

  2. I don’t think the basics “bogs” a person down. In fact, I think it fuels the creative process. The bigger the vocabulary the better to describe. And punctuation will help you from being misunderstood.

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