With Writing As With Speech, Sometimes The Less You Say The Better It Is
Wow, I don’t know her, but she sure knows me
I read a great post yesterday by Diana C which I will link to at the end of this article. Her article struck a cord with me, especially the first few paragraphs, primarily because I could see myself as the poster child for her observation.
The author stated, and I’m paraphrasing here, that some writers love their words so much that it’s almost narcissistic. Well, I don’t know that I’m a narcissist, but as my children told some years ago, — I am wordy.
The kids comment to me involved verbal communication rather than written in this case. They said that I can’t answer a simple yes or no question with one word, instead I answer the question with a yes or no along with a bunch of additional, and in their view, unnecessary commentary. I laughed when they said it, but it also made me aware of this most undesirable character trait.
When I thought about it afterwards, I began to realize that I’ve always been this way. My communication skills, regardless of type have always involved more words that necessary. Although you may not be able to tell from my current writing, I really am trying to be a man of fewer words if not few words.
Can I shut my big mouth? Maybe?
In my verbal interactions, I have been striving to listen more and speak less, giving others a chance to talk and share their ideas. As a result, what I am finding is that given the opportunity, there is much to learn from others, though it hinges on me keeping my mouth shut. Compounding this flaw, is that I also tend to talk over other people. I recognize this in myself, and I hate, but this is a topic for another day. Just know that it too, is something I am actively working to eliminate.
With writing however, I still struggle to keep my words to a minimum. I have read where some say that this kind of rigidity can result in the writer losing his or her voice. This may very well be true, but as with most things, taking words to excess just to show your voice is not always a good thing.