11 June 2011

Separating the unwritten from the unspoken

I’ve had lots to write about—not to blog about—this week. I guess in some ways I associate the blog with what I say, not what I write. Like many blogs I read, mine is often filled with spontaneous words that come out more like a conversation; and, like this post, often don’t know where they are going until they arrive.


By comparison, I wrote a combination letter to my daughter and five-minute talk for Father’s Day. (Sorry, you can’t read it until I present it next Sunday at NUUC.) I’ve known for weeks that I’d be giving the talk and was completely at a loss as to what I would speak about. The idea came to me a few days ago. It had only a theme. Sometime Thursday, I added a point. When I walked the dogs yesterday (about 45 minutes to the coffee shop and back), I structured the whole piece in my mind. When I got home I had six points, an organizational flow, and a couple of key phrases. I started to write.


It took two hours to generate the 895 words of “Promises to my Graduating Senior.” I shared it with my wife for editing. We both cried through it. I don’t know how I’ll get through speaking it in church.


I’ve written the unspoken.


On a separate subject, I wrote the first draft of my article for Line Zero magazine, which is due by Wednesday. “Pre-Release Marketing 101” started out with a series of blog posts I wrote about launching a book. Conceptually, I had 10 things to say. But my 2,500-word article doesn’t allow for long lists like that. (I learned that last time.) I winnowed it down to just four things. Each of those four things could have been a 2,500-word article. But a lot of that will go unwritten because it is really what I would say if I were presenting the subject.


The spoken goes unwritten.


If any of this makes sense, then you are probably reading what I am thinking and not what I’ve said. But that’s a different subject.