Wednesday, March 17, 2010

writing style

I spent hours writing a speech for my boss at work today. It nearly killed me! A mere 1612 words too! Not much of a drop in the sentences bucket really. I enjoyed the work but I was vaguely stressed about it too. Thing is, writing a piece for someone else to read aloud is extraordinarily difficult.

The considerations to take into account are the prospective speakers language style, their fluency of speech, their personality and their interests. It isn't easy if you don't know someone "that" well, to come up with a clear and concise presentation of thoughts that reflect what they may have inside their heads.

My style of writing is - well let's face it! It's verbose! I'm every bit the "story teller". I can barely write a departmental report to save my life not given as I am to the concept of "dot points"! I like to explain, iterate, construct and delineate all possible angles of interpretation within a text. I write to construct a kind of fluid coherence more akin to that of poetic prose rather than succinct documentary. I use words where none are necessary or required but they go in anyway because it feels like its required; that the fluidity of the writing needs that kind of accoutrement!

This is a problem in my current job! Truly it is! I can't read anything to my colleagues, because to their ears it "sounds fine". However, to those experienced in the way of all things "Government Department", my writing style is is only a smidge short of total crud! The red biro gets a regular workout when my work is presented for "Editorial Comment" to my boss!

It sucks!

Perhaps, I was designed to simply tell stories rather than define the vagaries of volunteerism to the unwilling masses through my style of writing?

If I could write really well, I'd certainly be in demand job-wise. As it stands, I am too wordy; too florid and far too expansive for the kinds of writing required in my industry. It can be very frustrating. I still love doing this work though. I enjoy the process of writing for the most part, even if I have to edit things a dozen times before they're ready to go "live" so to speak. I guess its all good training.

I try very hard not to take it personally now. I figure, I might as well learn how to write a bullet point or two before I leave this mortal coil. It can't harm, surely?

Ah, but I do admit to a shameful desire to be able to write exactly what I please: my style, my words, my thoughts, my syntax: all mingled together into some prosy, rich and delectable word-soup for the edification and entertainment of others. I like having an idiosyncratic style all my own. It feels good to place words next to each other, matching them for the weight of their simpatico sentiment.

I'll be very surprised if my speech-writing skills will pass muster in the next day or so. The hours of labour spent on that thing today is, probably, similar to the amount of expensive film left on the cutting room floor. Someone has to gather it all up and discount the cost of making it and hope that some day, it might prove "valuable" to someone else!

I thank God for the blogging art-form. It's the one of the few spaces I have available, to construct sentences my way - in all my verbose, grandiose, wordy, littérateur way! For that I'm truly grateful.

1 comment:

Petermcc said...

The very reason blogging works for me.

Writing Letters to the Editor is an exercise in re-writing and trimming down. In the end none of my personality remained.

Dot points are fine for work I guess but remember just about everyone regards the dot point presentation as simply boring.

It's not the material generally, just the colour and expression has been filtered away.

I was horrified to hear that even in Death, your life can be reduced to a mere Powerpoint presentation.

It's now on the banned list along with a Church funeral.

Blogging is so much fun. Reading other people's material is socially enriching and gives a more intimate view of the personality thats lies beneath.