I am a contradiction.
In the real world, I’m something of an introvert. In social situations, I tend to stumble and bumble may way through conversations. I listen to the discussions going on around me. Sometimes I may react to what people are saying. But only occasionally will I contribute to the dialogue.
I am not someone who seeks to be the center of attention or who tries to draw others to his side while leading lively discussions on engaging topics. I’m more of an observer than an active participant. One might characterize me as a man of few words.
Contrast that with how I am when sitting at my desk tapping away at my keyboard. There, I am a god, the ruler of my universe, reaching out to my minions and waxing on about nature, life, and society with myriad words expressing profound wisdom and unparalleled wit.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit over the top.
What I’m really saying is that, when it comes to the written word, I’m a man of many — not few — words. Maybe even too many words. That’s because brevity of the written word goes against the grain of the way I’ve been writing all of my life.
Sure, I over-explain things and I often use more words than may be necessary to make my point. But I’ve always felt that my style of writing, verbose though it may occasionally be, adds color and life to what I write, and demonstrates that I’m an intelligent and articulate writer with an excellent command of the language.
And perhaps ― just perhaps ― that I am someone with a slightly exaggerated sense of self-appreciation.
The late Al Neuharth, founder of, and columnist for, USA Today, wrote that “long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners and readers.” He quoted FDR, Henry David Thoreau, and Mark Twain, all of whom made comments about how difficult it is to be concise in one’s writing. Twain, for example, said, “If I had more time, I’d write shorter.”
I find it much easier to write in a stream of consciousness manner than it is to be concise. I usually start out writing whatever pops into my head about a subject and then try to edit that free-flow of words into something cohesive. But that process is often more a matter of moving things around than actually cutting out words.
Removing what some might consider to be unnecessary words from my writing is difficult for me because everything I write is, in my humble opinion, germane to the subject matter. Thus, nothing is unnecessary. For me, removing words, phrases, and especially entire sentences is akin to asking a mother to choose which child she’s willing to edit out of her family.
So you see, while I consider myself to be a writer who has a way with words, what I should be striving to be is a writer who knows how to do away with words.
Today’s one-word daily prompt is bumble.