Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Learn New Words" ... Lesson Learned!

When I had set out to write a post yesterday, I wanted to write freely, quickly, and in the moment. Call it a little experiment, if you will. Instead of waiting for The Perfect Piece of Writing, I wanted to let my fingers do the talking, and not give it a second-thought. I needed to take a leap-of-faith and stop over-thinking-slash-analyzing-slash-beating-myself-up over not writing something “good enough”.

While Blake was at work and Emmy was napping, I pulled out my laptop and didn’t look back. I closed my eyes and wrote exactly what I heard, and what I felt. With the television off, the sound of the clock and the rhythm of my heart beating were immanent.

Before hitting “Publish”, I read once-over only for spelling typos, and then that was it. 

No over-thinking. No second-guessing.

It felt good.

However, what I didn’t take into consideration was how my piece would translate to my daily 150+ other readers... kinda um, well... depressing.

Often times I get embarrassed when I read my writing aloud to my husband. I don’t know why?!
Regardless, I knew I needed his opinion.

After prepping him with the scenario of the latter, and sucking up my embarrassment, my husband said intently, “You need to learn new words.”

Flashbacks of last-minute cramming sessions for middle school vocabulary tests awkwardly danced through my head. I’ve never been very word-worthy—at least in my opinion. But I knew instantly what word jumped out at him as alarming: Nothingness.
And it made my husband feel about ye big when I sheepishly chose that word. Which is when I realized that word gives off the connotation of worthlessness or insignificance, both of which I know I am not! When I wrote, “staring out into nothingness,” what I really meant was “space”, where my mind was clear, and I was at peace.

So I took my husband’s sound advice and pulled out the thesaurus. And by “pulled out” I mean typed “nothingness” onto Thesaurus.com.

Scanning through the synonyms, I spotted “free space”. That’s more like it. From there, free space led me to “diddly-squat”, “goose egg”, and “hill of beans.”

If I had to choose a new word for “nothingness”, I think I’d choose “diddly-squat”. Yes... Staring out into diddly-squat. Sounds much more light-hearted, and totally UN-depressing, don’t you think?


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