Yesterday I compared the culling of objects in our home with the rationalisation of activities within my Arts practice. I have realised it is also akin to the process of editing as carried out in the second and subsequent drafts of a piece of writing. We tighten the focus, pruning extraneous words or choosing better words to fit the purpose; using simpler words as tools to make the work accessible and meet participants’ needs.
Choices extend to how we use our time. This has been an extended weekend for many in Victoria. Today (Tuesday) is Melbourne Cup Day. Yes – we have a holiday for a horse race! But I’m not complaining. It has given me a fabulous opportunity to spend time with my family, both at home and further afield. We have also taken advantage of the fine Spring weather to pressure clean our veranda, ready to apply a sealing coat tomorrow.
As I drew the high pressured water from the nozzle slowly back and forth across the boards the beautiful grain and rich colour of the merbau timber was revealed. Again my mind drifted to the arts. I thought of the meticulous attention to detail required in rendering pattern in a drawing; one lapse in attention would spoil the pattern.
I also thought of the attention we pay to each line of text when writing a story. And I realised I can’t be that meticulous if I am going to write a blog each day and continue with normal busy life. Just like the sorting required when de-cluttering, I have to let go at some time. The daily blog will not be sustainable unless I learn to release the perfectionist in me.
What will that do to the quality of my communication? Hmm … Good question. When I speak, I am sure I do not use perfect grammar and people seem to understand me. Perhaps I have been stressing needlessly – but it goes against the grain so much. A writer does not send a first draft to a publisher, but this isn’t going to a publisher. I just have to hit the publish button.
Just as specific styles are required for different writing purposes; this more casual, speaking voice style of writing is required for the purpose of a blog.