Many thanks to platosgroove for the comments on my last post: “Maybe I’m a writer a little bit. Just need to do it with the heart of a child. My serious competent self has gotten so old.” These words remind me of the dichotomy between my corporate stance during the day and playful prance at night.
I am fortunate to have a job that requires a lot of writing. In addition to corporate communication and carefully constructed emails, there is also technical writing such as operation manuals and user acceptance test plans. I vernacularize plain English into corporate speak, company-specific acronyms and initialisms, using a politically correct tone of voice aligned with the company brand. Then I log off, take a dinner break and return to my computer. One would think I had enough by then, but that’s when I get to “do it with the heart of a child.”
When I write for myself, it’s like playing a board game. Move the words or phrases around the board like chess pieces or throw them in the air like dice. See where they fall. Scan the list of word ideas I continue to build and fit them together to complete the puzzle. Like a child adorning costumes, I compare this word combination to that one. Try them on for size. Should I put a feather in that hat? Should I use a more colorful adjective? I can brush with wide strokes or draw straight lines in pencil. Will I elucidate or simply make clear?
Like a child rests well after a day of activity, my mind alights peacefully following my word play. Yes, we can be serious and competent, and still write with the heart of a child.