This week, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from a chap called Adam, also in a wheelchair. He’d written simply to say that he had stumbled across this blog by chance whilst surfing the net, and that he’d enjoyed the posts he’d read so far. It was a message that touched me for three reasons. Firstly, it was great to know that Adam hadn’t found the site in an instant and clicked away from it just as quickly. He must have seen something in those first few seconds that encouraged him to read on, which is uplifting indeed. In addition, even though I know it has some kind of readership (however small that may be), it’s always reassuring to hear that someone outside of my immediate friends and family is taking any notice.
The biggest compliment that Adam could have given, however, stemmed from the fact that as he had enjoyed it in general, he must – by extension – have warmed to my writing style, whatever that is. I keep reading that anybody who writes something must then painstakingly edit it afterwards, implying that nothing less than perfection is good enough for anyone. Whilst I understand that edits are not unnecessary, especially when it comes to making sure a half-decent standard of English is used, I also believe in the importance of letting the writer’s true personality and voice show through. After all, who wants their words to sound like they’ve been written by a robot? Deanna once told me that although she thought my posts were good, she also thought they didn’t sound like me – at least as she knew me. Whenever I think of that, I realise that I’m glad to stand by what I write without changing it too much. The posts are products of the moments in which they are written, and to alter them would no longer make them spontaneous creations. I would merely be interfering.
It’s the same with the posts that Will has written recently. His words need to be presented as they are, warts and all. Even if I was to see a mistake, the chances of me correcting it would be slim – even if I do appreciate errors being ironed out. Being true to the author’s character must come above any obsessiveness regarding perfect English, and I’d like to think I’ve successfully adhered to this rule thus far. I’ve tried to write entirely with my genuine voice, and it is very gratifying to know that this is being appreciated by people like Adam. It’s why any praise at all is more special than one might imagine, because I am personally aware that I haven’t betrayed who I am to receive it.