i'm pretty sure i came out of the womb because i was bored trying to make friends with a bladder. "a die hard people person," would be on the short list to describe myself. my mother has told me more than once that as a baby i would wake up from my naps smiling. my guess would be that i was excited to see her again, the world, learn more, talk more, and have more adventures. from the significant exchanges with my closest friends to a smile or brief dialogue with a stranger, i always get a thrill from a good connection. and i'm not kidding when i say that i have never met someone that i couldn't find interesting.
a good guess would be that my one on one work with clients and students on their creative writing, websites, bios, personal statements, or daily self-expression, is so much of what i most enjoy in life. my clients represent a wide range of types and hire me for a wide range of word services. sometimes we start small and specific, a project that needs fine-tuning or specific skill development. and more often than not, we go unchartered into the bigger, broader, landscape, finding how deeply important writing truly is. personally, professionally, academically, creatively; writing is a vital form of communication, hence my tagline: writing is the new talking...
as my business continues to grow, i stay on the lookout for patterns; it's my way of trying to keep up with the learning. in the past several months i have heard the phrase, "welllll, i had this english teacher when i was in school that..." this statement is enivitably followed by different versions of the same very sad story. somewhere along the way the joy, intuition, gut instinct, and connection to writing was reversed by inhospitable learning conditions. whether there was bloodshed with a specific assignment, grammar, injured confidence, or feeling eluded by shakespeare--something unfortunate happened and resulted in insurmountable writer's blocks and phobias that seem to have set up permanent shop in the psyche! to me, this won't do, good writing is just too essential to our daily lives.
i am a firm believer in do overs, second chances, and picking yourself up and dusting yourself off. fear and regret slow us down, being brave is how we can keep it moving. making mistakes is a drag but not learning from them is not only a poor use of one's time, but boring. i am a writer because i love the edit, and when i write, i get to do it all the time. i have never been much of a visual artist, you definitely won't find me on stage at a play or concert, i can't sing, i don't draw, don't act, but i am really in love with words.
words are to me what brush strokes are to a painter, my computer keys are always hard at work wrangling the right parts. patching together the quiet sound of gravel shifting beneath tired boots, a melancholy light caught beneath a dorsal leaf, limp in the breeze, a southern day, how to tell the world about your heart that is as heavy as the sun. hot, gold, and red, a fractured yes, the smallest voice, the sunset falling behind the couch just in time for dinner in front of the TV; the casualties of dailiness. stringing together words is the only way for me to capture the simplicities and complexities of the life around me.
i pay attention to the delicate differences between certain words. they can appear or feel twin-like at first but then one goes veering off its own way--making the choice clear why one must be picked over the other. sometimes it's just for the sound, or music, the look, clack, sssss, beauty or the discomfort of a word that makes me want to wrap a sentence around it's letters.
here are a few tips to uncovering the best word for you, for right now:
1) always keep in mind the mood you are conveying in your writing, for whatever purpose, your intentions should be clear. there are obvious and discrete differences of words that have similar meanings, be thoughtful and conclusive. consider it the difference between good vs. excellent, job vs. career, skilled vs. experienced, smart vs. impressive, temporary vs. ephemeral...
2) get a thesaurus, don't be repetitive when you can be effective as well as creative.
3) there is a harmony to writing much like music. finding the right sounding word is key to setting the right tone. alliteration in moderation is a great way to get your audience (clients, peers, colleagues, friends, family, bosses etc.) to get into the groove of what you are expressing.
in the spirit of getting your thoughts and words from A to B: good writing is to effective communication what drinking water is to our basic survival. the nuances and subtleties threaded into language are numerous, occasionally treacherous, and always important to notice. hunting down the right word can be the difference between making a meaningful connection or losing the moment to the breeze. like a firm handshake or good posture, how we write is an integral part of our profile, first impressions, and how we are perceived in the world at large.