Are you ready to break the rules?
The way he carried himself showed that he had the presence of someone that has been through some rough s**t, and…
…that he was just inches away from a much-needed retirement.
Like always, he slowly walked into the class — expensive wood cane in hand. He was late. He also didn’t care.
As he sat on his chair, he looked straight at me.
“Marti, do you think you can write in English?” — he growled.
“Well, I have taught this writing class for thirty years. I must say you most definitely cannot.”
Boom. I got roasted.
Here’s what he said great writers need…
- Perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills. Because your writing sucks if you miss a comma, sure.
- Profound knowledge of this scary thing called syntax (huh?).
- A vocabulary made out of byzantine and indecipherably intricate (aka hard and long — that’s what she said — ) words.
- Knowing how to turn VERY simple ideas into difficult concepts that make people feel stupid and say: “uh, I bet that young fella is as smart as a whip.”
- And, most importantly, decency.
And the thing is…
He was right — I am a terrible writer.
I did not meet any of his requirements. And I still don’t.
I moved to the United States when I was seventeen. I didn’t speak much English other than “I play basketball” and “where’s the cafeteria?” That was all I really needed.
But back home in Spain, I was supposed to be an amazing writer.
I would use words that made very little sense — but sounded so good. My paragraphs were long and complex, and I gave a lasting headache to all my readers.
It was masturbation. “Look at me, stroking my ego up and down with these big words. I must be so f***ing smart, right?”
But I didn’t have that luxury in America. My writing had to change, and quick.
It had to be simple, but not simplistic. Valuable, but not heavy. I wanted to show who I was, but I didn’t have the words to express it.
I had to find another way. And it eventually transformed into something strange, chaotic, and lawless.
I called it Anarchist Writing.
Anarchist Writing goes against the establishment.
When I first started reading in English, I salivated over talented writers that showed complete control over the language. They were like jockeys riding bullet-fast horses —holding onto the reigns, dictators of every movement.
But I got bored of their perfection.
They were robotic. Linear. More effective at knocking me out to sleep than my nightly Nyquil-Vodka cocktail.
They did not rant. They did not get frustrated. They did not go on stupid story-branches.
Perfect writing is boring. And Anarchist Writing hates boring.
Beauty can only be found in imperfection.
Anarchist Writers have fun when they write, but also when they live. Nothing is too serious, too scary, too intimate, or too dark to write about.
They are the Metallica to the Mozarts. The Tupac to the Beethoven’s. They are rock-and-roll. They are blues. They are extravagant. They are weird to look at. They draw a line in the ground. They f**k with you. They are radical.
And they don’t like the establishment.
Anarchist Writing breaks through all standards.
They are the real Sons of Anarchy, and they operate differently:
For them, there are no spelling rulez. No. Grammar. Or. Punctuation. Mistakes. They write whatever they want, however they want .
They can make their paragraphs short. Or loooong. They use prepositions at the end of sentences if that’s where their heart’s at.
They look at Grammarly with disdain, and they want to see it suffer.
Anarchist Writers believe that so-called rules are merely suggestions. They bend them at will to give their writing personality. They make EMPHASIS where they want, and they are not afraid to show their voice.
Writing becomes very fun when you just don’t care.
They are not writing.
I mean… they are. But they really aren’t.
Think about it as having a conversation with your best friend. It flows. It goes up and down. It branches out. Well, same with writing.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Anarchist Writing.
The first rule of Anarchist Writing is — there are no rules.
The second rule of Anarchist Writing is — there are NO rules.”
Anarchist Writing is emotional.
“Well, I have taught this writing class for thirty years. I must say you most definitely cannot.
Marti, you’re writing comes from the heart. But great writers in history write from the coldness of the mind.”
As you know, Anarchist Writing is about… breaking free from all pre-conceptions from the writing-burgouise about what it is that makes good writing.
That fear — is my writing up to standard? — is what stops thousands of us from clicking that damn green Ready to Publish button. It’s what mutilates our belief in our capacity to create something worth sharing.
Anarchist Writers hate the writing bourgeoisie and their rules.
We hate their judgy eyes with their judgy glasses judging our work from their high horse.
They don’t understand that we are finally unchaining the rules that limit and bound our ability to show our pure, raw emotions. That we are now able to show our unfiltered-self to its full extent.
That we want to let our creativity soar to new heights while constantly challenging the form.
And that writing, like any other art form, is an evolving, fluid process — no matter what my professor ever said.