Today is just a bit of a ramble really, since the holiday season is busy and I don’t know that I have time this morning for a well thought out piece of writing. This assumes of course that the rest of my writing is well thought out, a debatable assertion. Today I’m thinking about communication, and methods of communication. I’m doing a lot of research into non-violent communication, decision making methods, and facilitation, as part of my work to found an intentional community. I also have been thinking about writing styles.
One of my partners, Kelev, frequently gets many positive comments on his writing that he publishes on fetlife, a sort of kinky version of facebook. When we go to munches, he is often told how much his writing was enjoyed and really touched people. Kelev is sometime with very little high school education, who doesn’t read, and who has a vocabulary that is expanding because he loves learning new words, but is limited at least in his writing because more verbose wordage does not come to him at those times. I sometimes find myself contrasting that with my own writing style, which can get a bit verbose at times, although not by intention. I have always been a reader of ALL the things, and so when I sit down to write, large words that are often uncommon in my daily conversation, manifest in my brain as my sentences materialize. They come unbidden because my writing center must be quite buddy-buddy with my reading center, so the wordage I’ve absorbed in book just translates itself into my writing. In fact, since I have learned much of my vocabulary from context, when I am writing I often find myself typing out a word unbidden because it feels like it should fit next, and then having to look up the definition just to check that I am sure of it’s correct meaning. I don’t force in big words, but they just lend themselves to how my mind likes to write, they come naturally. And I’ve noticed in this writing venture, the way I speak has also begun to incorporate itself, something I have not found previously when I write. My writing sounds like a mix of the product an affluent childhood filled with many books, and the speech patterns of a pissed off punk-rock millennial. Kelev on the other hand does not write so eloquently. His writing is simple, but conveys great enthusiasm. While in life, his speech mannerisms are mostly wry sarcasm, movie quotes, and puns, his writing is very much exuberant yet simple. In thinking about it, I realize why it appeals to people so much. It isn’t the simplicity of it that makes it easy to read. It is that his ability to really convey an intensity of emotion makes his writing truly embody what he was feeling at the time. He writes from the heart where as I write from the mind.
I know that I could possibly work to change my writing style, though I love the feel of big dusty words that sit on shelves without frequent daily use, as they shake themselves off and meander from my brain through my fingers and onto the screen. I wish I could convey the same intensity of emotion and such a pure intense openness as he does. I do try to create an emotional atmosphere when writing about meaningful events, but I can see how it is often cluttered up by the long running sentences that loop in and out of ideas a few times before ever reaching a point. I am not a great writer, and by all accounts of most measurement, neither is he. But he makes people feel, and I admire that. Rather then change myself, I simply want to absorb all I learn from that. Sometimes greatness does not come of education, or well honed communication skills, or the miles of research you do for a project. Sometimes greatness is not the objective at all. When you write from the heart, all that really matters is that you set your feelings free out into the world in their truest most simple form, and sometimes on their way out there, they will touch someone else.