I’m so thankful for every one of you who faithfully engages with me on this blog. You bear with me through the days where I make sense, and also the days where I don’t (I figure it’s about a 50/50 split, maybe 60/40 if I’ve had plenty of sleep). Occasionally, some of you even let me know what you think—which I love!
After A Failed Blog Post, one of you said what I was trying to say 1,000x better than I ever could have—so well, in fact, that I’m repeating it here today.
Brief reminder: Good writing isn’t just about grammar—it’s about rhythm.
The message in my inbox the next morning read:
Oh, and look . . . you’ve written about one of my favorite maxims and I have no idea how to explain it, either.
I thought of this while watching my buddy Brandon play the maracas in 6th grade band. He has an enlightened teacher who looks past his Down Syndrome and lets him play along on certain songs (Not Sousa, of course, but the songs where maraca playing might be appropriate). He’s got it—he’s pulled along by some inner . . . something . . . that helps him lock into the groove without looking at the music (which he wouldn’t understand). In fact, his inner sense of rhythm is better than that hapless kid who can’t hit a single downbeat with a bass drum mallet (in my own made-up narrative of his life, I imagine that he’s a straight-A kid with helicopter parents who live in a suburban mega-mansion and pay big bucks for private bass drum lessons, to no avail).
There is no greater joy in the world than to see Brandon playing maracas with wild abandon, that beautiful smile of his, making eye contact with everyone in the room (yes, they are looking at him), while the bass drum player looks out of the corner of he eye, past his music, trying to follow Brandon long enough to get back on the beat.
If you want to grow, surround yourself with writers who have rhythm—that’s the rule. Because you can’t explain it and you can’t teach it.