We are the words we use. The end. Ah, if only it were that simple. Selecting our words shouldn’t be simple…it should be mindful. Regardless, if you’re delivering an important presentation at work or you’re speaking about others or yourself, words matter. But the truth is most people don’t pay attention to the words they speak, think or write. And it may be the very reason they freeze when called on to think about words to convey something – feelings, scope, intent.
As a writer, ALL I do is think about the words I am going to use. Seven sentences into this blog and I’ve lost count on how many words I’ve rethought, deleted and then brought back from the graveyard I keep in a separate file.
When I find myself saying “I can’t do this” I stop whatever it is I am doing and say, out loud, “I can do it; I just don’t want to (right now).” Using this blog post as an example, I’ve sat down maybe half-dozen times and walked away from it each time without finishing it, for a variety of reasons. But the common theme was I didn’t want to do at those moments.
I don’t get writer’s block, not in the true sense. I learned a long time ago to walk away from it and come back to it. So, I don't whittle away hours in front of my computer willing words to come to me and getting exasperated when they don't come. Sometimes, the hardest part is getting off the white page. When that happens the best thing I can do for myself and a client is change my scenery, clear my head and come back to it.
Imagine if I just sat in front of my computer and repeatedly told myself I can’t write this; don't write that or that’s not going to work. I’d never meet a deadline. Are there certain things I can’t do? Yeah, my own taxes. No seriously. I am terrible with numbers and all those regulations make my eyes cross. That I can’t do and I have no trouble using the word can’t in that instances because it’s the truth. But I know someone who CAN do taxes and so I go to my accountant for help. There is no shame in asking them for help.
That’s how we approach things at Tabula Rasa – White Paper, Red Pen LLC. We celebrate collaboration; embrace compromise. We mean what we say and say what we mean. Words matter to us; so do people.
Henry Ford said, “if you think you can do a thing or if you think you can’t do something; you’re right.” Do you agree or disagree? If you can’t do something, how easy is it for you to ask or help?