In defense of words

Technology demands that complex ideas be distilled into soundbites and tweets, floating away into a context-less ether.¬† Words are a means to an end, to convince and convey opinion and information, the lines between them easily smudged by the talented editorialist.¬†¬†Despite this, I do not write to express my distrust for words and how they are used, but to appreciate the artistry of having exactly the intended effect. For me, it’s the ultimate exercise in empathy, when your work hinges on forging a connection and provoking feeling in your audience. I genuinely think it’s wonderful, especially in a time where isolation can be so easy.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve written anything but technical documents for the better part of a decade, detailed sequences required to make a machine work. Do “this” first, then “that”, but only after “this”. The transitions are harsh, and the tone matter-of-fact–full of arrows and bullet points. Microsoft Word has become more unimpressed, and even snarky, in response to my choppy fragments.

I have started reading again, choosing to get immersed in the memories of someone else. The words have transported me to the North Atlantic coast of a half-century ago, able to taste the cool, briney air on my tongue, and able to feel comfort in starting into the vastness of the ocean.

I love it.

I’m trying to improve my writing, so I’ll use this blog as my notebook. It’s more important to me that you understand my musings and opinions, not necessarily share them.