Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Mittens Allowed!

Photo courtesy of Bing images
and Stephanie Lynn
A great many blog articles that I write are inspired by random conversations with friends, and this one is no different. It occurred through a series of emails and blog comments posted between my friend and fellow blogger, Dave Roy (Dave's Buttoned Up Mind blog) and I. He writes about a lot of tech-ish stuff, video games and such, as well as a fun series on music's one hit wonders. We're so opposite in writing style, yet we find a great deal to enjoy about one another's respective blogs. Dave has mentioned a couple times that he appreciates my ability to write long, thoughtful, involved blog posts that flow to the point that he never feels restless or burdened while reading them.

That made me smile, I must say, because every writer dreads hearing that they're writing content so ponderous and lengthy that it is exhausting to their readers to plow through. I am definitely verbose - I admit this right up front! In the past, I have actually challenged myself to write tighter content, to produce blog articles that are briefer in format, and I have succeeded. In fact, some of those examples represent some of my favorite work. That being said, writing short blog articles isn't all that comfortable for me. There's definitely merit in constantly challenging oneself, as it sharpens the mind and writing skills. I don't deny that concept, and I do practice restraint much more than anyone could imagine when writing.

Short articles, however, are not natural to my writing style. In that conversation with Dave, I likened it to wearing mittens. For the record, I am not a mitten person. Not even close! In fact, I loathe the things. During my childhood, mittens were the norm for children to wear and actual fingered gloves weren't all that commonly available in stores. So, mittens prevailed. My wee hands would be stuffed into those abominations, crammed together and sweating, muffled by the thickly woven material, unable to breathe or FEEL anything. I would fumble and drop things because my mitten wrapped hands were made clumsy and incapable of securely grasping items, or turning doorknobs, or picking something up. I absolutely despised it and begged my Mom for fingered gloves every winter, because as the original overly protective single parent, she was determined that we stay bundled up every second we were outside.

As an adult, regardless of the cold weather, I rarely wear gloves of any type. In fact, it is rare that I even wear a coat. East Tennessee has fairly temperate winters these days. But beyond that, my fingers would much rather feel frozen and be able to breathe than be cloaked in thick mittens, shrouded from the world, unable to experience or express emotions. Yes, I talk with my hands. It's intrinsic to my nature, much as is writing.

Ergo, in case you were wondering what my point is with this post, writing short blog articles is akin, to me, to being forced to wear mittens. Yes, I can write a brilliantly succinct, tightly woven, punchy article that is beautiful in its brevity. Off the top of my head, there are several of these that come to mind in the Healing Morning archives, and I am justly proud of them. However, where I truly shine as a writer is in the longer, flowing articles that Dave described. I like to mosey a bit as I broaden the body of the storyline. While brevity can deliver a knife edged presentation, there is a lot to appreciate for a bit more of a leisurely stroll down the path towards culmination. Nuances are there to explore and elaborate upon. Colors and textures and shadings....tangible memories to paint with words, scensory wonders to revisit and prompt within the reader's mind...those are so much fun to weave together in written format to me! And to do that in my own unique manner requires that my hands not be mitten muffled.

So, for the most part, my writing is going to be that longer format. I always do my best to ensure logical progression and flow to the thoughts expressed here, and I do appreciate the kind affirmation that Dave gave me with his comments on same. It's always a happy thing to be appreciated and accepted, unconditionally, for who you are at your very core. At my very core, I am a wordy writer! Bare fingers tapping madly away at the keyboard, or scribbling with equal fervor with pen and paper....the end product will rarely be brief, unless I am consciously making the effort, out of begrudged self-restraint. As I am much happier when not practising self-restraint in writing, you can expect the longer, flowy posts here. I hope that you'll enjoy my efforts and find that the reading is enjoyable.

For this writer, the rule of the day, no matter the weather, is simply, "No Mittens Allowed!" Freedom of fingers to produce a rhapsody of words suits me.

**Thanks to Stephanie Lynn for graciously helping me out with the above graphic image of the No Mittens Allowed icon. Stephanie is a gifted graphic artist who makes beautiful banners for Facebook and blog application. You can contact her on Facebook via http://www.facebook.com/#!/steph4c.**

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me at Healing Morning blog.