Why Use a Thousand Words…

…when just a few will do?

I tend to use more words–and in many cases, words strung together in sentences as long and as tangled as a string of Christmas lights–than are necessary to say what I mean.  And looking back at that last sentence, I can only say, “Ugh!  See what I mean?”

Often it comes in questions.  I provide context for the question.  Rationale.  The back story.  And by the time the question comes out, I can tell by the glaze over the eyes of the one sitting across from me, that I will have to rephrase and try it again.

I’ve been catching this “feedback” a lot lately.  Even as I write, I have to force myself to put a period down. Before. I. Move. On. To. The. Next. Thought.  It reminds me of the feedback I’d get on college papers:  one sentence can’t take up the whole paragraph.  And lately, I’ve noticed that even as I try to make myself more clear, the more words that tumble from my mouth, the farther I get from what I really want to say.

But my mind is one of connectedness.  I see connections the way a programmer sees code.  It is my language. But not everyone speaks my language.  And not every connection is ready to report.  So how do I hold on to all that I am thinking and still make room for the connectedness–not between the thoughts in my head, but between me and the one sitting across from me?

And just like that, the answer comes.  I love it when this happens.  When the writing makes space.  When the words fall onto the page in a direction I never expected.

Writing is the answer.  It’s through writing that I capture the connections.  Sort them out.  Break them down.  See the parts.  Connect the dots.  Construct meaning.

Looks like I need to put that pencil–the one that has been replaced by the keyboard on my iPad–back into the bun in my hair.  And start carrying that notebook I’ve left on my desk around with me again.

Maybe then the thousands of words that are in my head will come out of my mouth as the few that will do.  See what I mean?


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