Thursday, June 28, 2007

Failed By Words

I am preoccupied with words. So much of my job is about assembling the right words to form the best sentence that expresses the better argument. Often, the editorial process in my office involves removing a single word, which can completely change the meaning or tone of a document.

I was a wordy kid. I read a lot and developed a love of the written word. If you read enough, you usually become a decent, if not great, writer. I became a decent writer. I wasn't blessed with the creativity to be a great writer, and certainly not the talent to be a novelist, playwright or even screenwriter. Nevertheless, it occurred to me today that I am, more or less, still paid to be a writer. That realization is both heartening and depressing.

I have placed a pretty high premium on the written word as a means of expression. For some reason, I have long considered written words more forceful and honest than spoken words. Perhaps it is because the words are presumably chosen and re-chosen, assembled then rearranged, edited and reconsidered. You mean what you write because you take the time and effort to do these tasks. On the other hand, spoken words are often used more emotionally - blurted without thinking, sometimes used as weapons more deadly than guns, occasionally used to manipulate through known weaknesses - and when I really consider it, spoken words are just as forceful and honest. Hell, there are few things more rewarding that winning a verbal argument or delivering the perfect zinger when the situation calls for it.

I don't just feel failed by words, although I definitely don't have any way of expressing myself at the moment. I actually feel betrayed by words, which is an entirely unfamiliar state of mind. For me, it is probably the loneliest and darkest place on the planet.

It may be that this little blog experiment is over, or at least suspended. It may be that, like anything else, it will evolve into something else. Perhaps nothing whatsoever will happen. I just know that, at the moment, I have nothing to say and no words to express why.

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