A Man of Many Words

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I am a contradiction.

In the real world, I’m something of an introvert. In social situations, I tend to stumble and bumble may way through conversations. I listen to the discussions going on around me. Sometimes I may react to what people are saying. But only occasionally will I contribute to the dialogue.

I am not someone who seeks to be the center of attention or who tries to draw others to his side while leading lively discussions on engaging topics. I’m more of an observer than an active participant. One might characterize me as a man of few words.

Contrast that with how I am when sitting at my desk tapping away at my keyboard. There, I am a god, the ruler of my universe, reaching out to my minions and waxing on about nature, life, and society with myriad words expressing profound wisdom and unparalleled wit.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit over the top.

What I’m really saying is that, when it comes to the written word, I’m a man of many — not few — words. Maybe even too many words. That’s because brevity of the written word goes against the grain of the way I’ve been writing all of my life.

Sure, I over-explain things and I often use more words than may be necessary to make my point. But I’ve always felt that my style of writing, verbose though it may occasionally be, adds color and life to what I write, and demonstrates that I’m an intelligent and articulate writer with an excellent command of the language.

And perhaps ― just perhaps ― that I am someone with a slightly exaggerated sense of self-appreciation.

The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”

I find it much easier to write in a stream of consciousness manner than it is to be concise. I usually start out writing whatever pops into my head about a subject and then try to edit that free-flow of words into something cohesive. But that process is often more a matter of moving things around than actually cutting out words.

Removing what some might consider to be unnecessary words from my writing is difficult for me because everything I write is, in my humble opinion, germane to the subject matter. Thus, nothing is unnecessary. For me, removing words, phrases, and especially entire sentences is akin to asking a mother to choose which child she’s willing to edit out of her family.

So you see, while I consider myself to be a writer who has a way with words, what I should be striving to be is a writer who knows how to do away with words.


Today’s one-word daily prompt is bumble.

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24 thoughts on “A Man of Many Words”

  1. Hi!!! I was getting so excited reading this post!! I am and feel the same way about my writing. I use lots of words not only for comprehension but mainly for placement, visualization. I want the reader to be in the same space and vibration as I was when I wrote it. Details are my children, I don’t like to leave room for confusion (at least I hope that I am successful at that and not feeling false confidence in my-sense-making-sense-to-me-so-it-must-to-you kind of thing). See, lots of words. I try to condense and that works out when I need it to, but for the most part…

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    1. “Details are my children.” Exactly, which is why I used the analogy of a mother choosing which child to edit out of her family. My writing has been criticized by some for including too many details and not leaving enough to the reader’s imagination. I try — mostly unsuccessfully — to bear that in mind in my writing style.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Who said that? Someone is brewing trouble for Sandi as well.. Someone blog will be TPed(toilet paper).. She, her beau, you and me. Tonight we are gonna roll and take our revenge.. P. S she is also our driver..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have anxiety about miscommunication, not being understood. I’m sure you picked that up from our conversation on one of your other posts. I use as many words as possible to be as clear as I can. There are times when it’s frustrating to be so wordy all the time, but then I think about how I feel when I’m not true to self and that feels worse.

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        1. I think it’s worth it to try not to be misunderstood or misconstrued, especially in writing, where there are no facial expressions or other visual clues that might help set the tone and further understanding. At least that’s when I tell myself when I’m composing my posts in order to justify what some might consider to be a tendency to over-explain.

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  2. What helps me is asking myself, does anything in this piece of work take away from other parts of the work. If so, is the contradiction or complication or redundancy enlightening? If not, delete. (If you can’t find it in your heart to delete, have two versions of a work: verbose version and browser-friendly version.)

    BUT for personal and opinion blogs, I enjoy reading contradictions, complications and details.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. exaggerated sense of self-appreciation – yes, I often find myself looking over my blog – damn, that was good. And then I laugh, because the scene from the Christmas classic – “A Christmas Story” pops in my head, where Ralphie is writing a paper for school, and he reads it aloud to himself, and says, “Oh, that’s good” and then is surprised to see a bad grade! (and with side note: you’ll shoot your eye out!)

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