All my life I’ve looked at words as if I were seeing them for the first time. ~ Ernest Hemingway
I’m with you, Papa. Me too. And even before I could look at words and read them, I loved them. Sometimes, at a very young age, I would hear a word and adopt it right away because I liked the sound of it. I would roll it around in my mind and silently repeat it over and over. I guess I was a bit OCD early on, wasn’t I? 🙂 And I would have repeated it aloud except that my mom would say, “Honey, could you please just not talk for a little while?” I understand that now but I didn’t back then. I did, however, want to make her happy, so I would try very hard not to talk–no easy task for a three- or four-year-old would-be wordsmith.
I wish I could say I have always used my words wisely but I haven’t. I have not-so-jokingly said that when my genes were figuring what goes where, they should have had some sort of thingy to put between my brain and my tongue. Unfortunately, that piece disappeared like an important piece from a grandchild’s Lego set. Whenever a notion enters my brain, it almost instantly exits my mouth. Sometimes that “quality” makes me look outspoken but honest, which I am. Other times I look and sound like the horse’s ass who forgot to consider my words a little before I voiced them. And once spoken I can never get them back. I have worked on this issue for years and I will give myself credit for being much more modulated and moderated than I once was.
I’ve been thinking lately about my written words. Writing gives me an opportunity to weigh my words before I pass them off to a receiver. I like that. I usually proofread and edit my posts several times before I hit publish. I’m not usually checking for spelling and grammar. I’m looking for tone and how I will sound to my reader. But here’s the problem: When I’m speaking I have many tools at my disposal that I don’t have when I’m writing. I have a very mobile face and a voice that changes tone and emphasis and mood. The person I’m communicating with can see and hear if I’m making a joke or if I’m crying or if I’m angry.
When I’m writing I have to use words to convey those messages. You who have been writing seriously for a while have probably figured out how to do that. I think I am slowly learning but it isn’t easy for me. I’m thinking maybe I will take a writing class. Have you had experiences, good or bad, with writing classes? If so, I would love to hear from you. I’m sick of smiley faces and I really don’t think they’re very effective.