Friday, February 25, 2011


English majors should not be aloud to text message. We have been taught to take words way to seriously.

I treat every single message like a term paper. I save drafts. I revise. I edit. I ask others to revise. I ask others to edit. I revise again. (I haven't gone so far as to use a Thesaurus... yet.) I stress over every single word and every single punctuation mark. I make every decision intentional. I consider connotations and colloquialisms. I make every character count.

Then, as-if only to make matters worse, I analyze responses. I look for inferences. I carefully read and re-read my inbox. I stress over every single word and every single abbreviation. I consider every possible writing condition. I assume they mean every word.

I blame my degree. I have been taught to write; write well. In college, I honed in on my personal writing process. I know how I write best (quiet space and lots of reading aloud) and what I write best (commentary). As hard as I try, I can't turn the English professor in my head off. I don't know how to write a piece of writing -- even something as simple as a text message -- without preparing an argument for every intentional decision.

Even now as I write, I consider possible improvements and notice my short falls. I struggle to let go of a piece. Once it's out there, it's out there.

It only gets more complicated with my current struggle -- attempting to begin a relationship through text. Once I push send on a text, it's done. No more revisions or chances to explain 'what I really meant'. What if it wasn't witty enough? What if I came off to forward? What if the real me isn't coming across? I badly want to quickly call him up and say all the things I tried to imply -- but, instead, I diligently sit with my eyeballs glued to my phone laying on the desk. And hope for patience.

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