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Finding the "WRITE" words for your message.
Write how you speak but before you speak, think.
For the creative, writing is more than just a form of expression, it’s their escape. Some people write poetry, others articles, some keep journals and others do it all.
For me it’s all of the above. Writing is like my therapy. I live, love, laugh, eat, breath, cry and everything else you do with writing. It’s my way to avoid confrontation or tell someone I love them but sometimes emotions can cloud the message you want to portray.
Of course, when it comes to your personal journal that doesn’t matter but if you’re writing for someone else or a mass group of people than finding the right words is crucial.
For me the best way to do that is to edit my work. Some people do this while they write others don’t even need to do this because they don’t let their emotions get in the way of proper writing. I do, I put words in there that describe how I feel but might come across as insincere or offensive. I’ll give you an example:
“I can’t believe that I trusted you with everything I had. You have made my life a living hell. When I first saw you I saw hope, but now all I see is darkness. You have dragged me to the lowest point of my life, you took everything from me, what am I supposed to offer someone else now? …”
I could keep going but you get the point. Now let’s look at the same message written differently:
“When I first saw you, everything stopped. The world stopped spinning, time stopped clicking and everything around us was still and quiet except for our beating hearts. But through time things changed and you became cold and distant until eventually you fell out of love and I found myself shit out of luck with my heart torn to pieces and no one to pick them up. You, my love, the one I trusted and gave everything to, destroyed every single part of my soul that you had made yours and now I have nothing left to offer. I have nothing left to give, no hopes, no dreams, no future to share with anyone else. You stole all the good things that made me, me.”
Ouch, now that stings a little, but it does so in a way where the message is clear and piercing without being offensive. The trick here was to turn the questions into softer statements and add a few positive things to allow the reader to empathize and feel your anger and pain. (Apologies if it sounds a bit poetic, perfect for creative writing but not so much for work.)
I have done this many times. At the heat of the moment I puke all of my terrible feelings into a piece of paper and leave it there until I have a clear mind. When I re-read what I wrote, I re-write it to make it more appealing to the reader.
Life is no different than writing, everyone’s advice to next person is to think before you speak and address all confrontations with a clear mind because once your words have escaped your mouth there is no way you can take them back. That’s exactly what I am writing about here.
Before you hit send, read your email.
According to www.colorado.edu “once a conflict has started, communication problems often develop because people in conflict do not communicate with each other as frequently, as openly, and as accurately as they do when relationships are not strained.”
In the example provided above there is an obvious conflict going on and if you were to want to resolve the conflict, the better it’s written the more chances you have of reaching a resolution. Even if what you are expressing may cause the other person to get angry, certain words will defuse the situation to where that person is more empathetic than upset.
Another thing to consider when writing is the current emotional state the reader may find themselves in when tumbling into your piece of writing. Words are powerful, they can be persuasive and so what you say may result in action from the parties reading.
That is why we write after all, we either want people to feel what we feel or you want them to do something. Some write to entertain, others to inform, there are plenty of reasons out there as to why we write but we need to make sure that while we're determining those reasons we don't lose sight of how to write. In nonfiction we know that facts are imperative but many of us forget the importance of informational texts when writing fiction. For more information on that you can go here.
Grammar and structure are necessary when writing too but if you already know how to do this, no amount of proper grammatical and structure execution will teach you what words to use and not to use.
Let’s look at these two examples: “Isn’t it your job to go through all the invoices and make sure that they get paid?” vs “Are you responsible for verifying on time payment for your department’s invoices?”
This is a perfect example of how to write in the workplace. Sometimes when you are dealing with people that act or talk like they don’t really care about their job’s telling them what you think the wrong way may cause you twice the amount of problems than if you would have put your emotions aside and acted professional. I see this happen all the time.
So be nice, proper and professional, make sure you read what you write multiple times before sending, submitting or publishing. Remember that the information you put on the internet never really erases from the internet. Be wise and alert and if you need help seek an editor or use a Thesaurus and Dictionary because those things will never go out of style.