The Devils of `Academia’

                                             Cartoon credit: http://www.markstivers.com

I was thinking about things I have personally experienced as a writer in terms of fighting the battles of motivating myself to continue to pursue my dream. I`ve learned the mechanics of grammar (although I still make mistakes as any human does). Actually, I`m a bit of a grammar nerd, I study grammar books like some people read vampire novels; however, that won`t make me a great creative writer.
That is to say that a writer has to have some ability to imagine a story and convey that story. A good writer has to have a good imagination, I believe. Even though good grammar makes for good credibility and a better read, it is possible for a great writer to display poor grammar. Let me explain before my grammar Nazi friends—or worse yet—the academic demons attack me.
I have a dear friend who secretly aspires to become a great writer. He has an incredible memory for detail on history and is walking history encyclopedia. He was asked to be a teaching assistant by a professor in his freshman year of college—which is unheard of—normally a professor will ask an upper class-man to do such a job. If I remember correctly, he did write a period piece once—a fiction—and it was published in a college journal or something. The story was not only incredibly creative in terms of the plot and other literary values, but also, he wrote it in the historically correct vernacular and it was awesome.
He began to work on another fiction story that soon developed a character that is good enough for a novel. It started out as a short story, or series of short stories, but this character deserves a novel—it`s that good. When he read the stories to me and explained the overall plot, theme, and direction this story would take—let alone the subject matter the story would cover—I was in awe of his brilliant idea.
I began to tell him, “You have to write this!” In fact, I would almost demand it every time I saw him to the point of becoming a bother, I`m afraid. When I finally nailed him down about why he hadn`t advanced this story or written anything further he said he didn`t believe he had the talent to write—meaning grammar.
I sat him down and said to him quite simply, “You have a talent to create fantastic stories—you can hire an editor.”
I have been torn to shreds over the years by academics and book worms for grammar. I kept writing. I remember once I wrote a political piece and a guy from the opposing side of the political aisle called me, and I quote, “An affront to the Liberal Arts.” At the time, that one hurt. He hit my article with “red ink” and made it bleed; however, as I look back today—these experiences made me a better writer in terms of grammar.
I wrote this post today to reach out to the struggling writer, or the aspiring writer who is quietly wasting time and talent because of fear. As I said, if you have creative talent, you can hire an editor. Editors edit, academics know literature and grammar rules, and creative people write,—which one are you?
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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. ******** Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design of their books. ******** Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider. He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. ******** ~ "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul—to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real-life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~ ~Scott Biddulph~

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