in the beginning was the word… [not the essay]

one of the things i realised a few years ago was that i have a quota of words that i can say each day. it’s an introvert thing – at the end of a day full of talking, I run out of the capacity to both think of words to say and to actually say them. i think i’ve said stuff but i haven’t, i’ve just thought it [i’m a nightmare to live with]. my sentences trail off into nothing…

last week i lost my voice, completely. for a whole week there was absolutely nothing there, not even a squeak. it was just one of those winter illnesses that strikes from out of the blue every few years… and i don’t want to draw too clever a link between talking too much this year and my voice running out… except to say that i have been and it did. it was a pretty nasty bug, and the doctor told me that it would take weeks, maybe months, for me to get full voice back. ‘best not speak in front of groups, or push your voice until it’s right’, she said.


i’ve got lazy with my use of words this year, both written and spoken. i’ve used them too much and too often, partly that’s because words work on a blog and in a book, and i’m good at putting them together… they are the easy option. but it feels to me like they’re getting stale, like i have developed a selection of words that i use on high rotation… so i want to search out new language and put the old on hold [i’m creating a blacklist of words i use too often, words that have got too comfortable: relentless, gasp, redemption, grace…]. i want to practice being minimalist with words, to edit back to almost nothing… i want to only use the words that the moment can’t do without.

it is, of course, much harder to write less than more… and even this morning, while trying, i realised i’d forgotten just how much faith it takes to let there be gaps between the words….


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