Trend Alert: the Slow Read
 

Today I was editing for a client, and I came upon a tip that tripped me up. The more I worked, the more emotions came bubbling to the surface—I tried to make the blog post accurate while simultaneously feeling that it went against every fiber of my being. 

Sure, controversies abound in our culture today. But the one I speak of is: fast reading. 

Gasp! Yes, as you can see, I wade right into the hard-hitting issues of our times. But hear me out. This is my life's work, so I have some feelings on it. 

I get it—we have no time. Or we've simply trained our brains to move on, move quickly. This blog post won't be long because you have not the attention span to read it, just as I have not the attention span to craft it. But if you are willing to take a beat and give the right author more than a skimming glance, you could be surprised by the way every word affects you.

I read slowly—and I'm OK with that.

Have you ever soaked in a pool of adjectival phrases, dripping with delicious delight? Have you bounded up a stairway of stacked action verbs, leading you to new conclusions? Have you gasped in the grip of poignant prose—sharp, snarky, and staggering?

Full disclosure: I write words with painstaking deliberation, and it is my secret hope that you will pore over every one as you read, just as I pored over their particular placement on the page. While I know this is an ideal that only my parents and my husband (maybe?) will attain to, it's my pipe dream nonetheless.

Well-crafted words have power. Ancient poets agree: "A word fitly spoken" [or written] "is like apples of gold in a setting of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). I'm not sure the market rate for precious metals shaped like fruit, but this seems valuable?

We remember verbal barbs aimed to maim us. We feel the surge when powerful lyrics sway our beings in song. We quote hilarious quips from our favorite films. Politicians debate year after year, reinterpreting words the founding fathers scribed on ancient documents to beget a nation.

Someone took the time to create all these memorable words, for good or for ill. The words upon your screen could hold just as compelling hidden gems if you search for them. The trick is finding the authors who are worthy—writers to whom you will lend your precious time. 

Like a hipster embracing old school items and making them trendy again, I advocate for the slow read. Join me in reading every word.

 
Kelly CarrComment
I'm Always Writing
 
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Feel frustrated as a writer when your words don't get published? Don't worry. Keep writing. It's about the craft. You ARE a writer, even if it never gets on a page. Here are some words to motivate your work:

 

I’m always writing—
In my mind, at least.
Creating words,
One thought juxtaposed with another

Sometimes they're filled with rage
At injustices that pervade
The hurt, blatant lies
The degradation of lives created in the image of God

These words leave a bitter taste on my tongue.

Sometimes they're filled with tears
Probing inquiries with no answers
Why? What now?
Where do we go from here?

These words come out in cathartic spurts.

Sometimes they're filled with creativity
A need to put together phrases
As if my sanity depends upon it
An itch that needs to be scratched

These words blossom with potential.

Sometimes they're filled with compassion
Reaching out in text or card
Letting those around me know
They are seen; they are valued

These words create connection.

Writing doesn’t always happen
In published books that line the shelves
In 280 characters that all the world can see
In lyrics fit with melodies that stick inside your brain

Writing happens in the heart
Where jumbled thoughts sit entangled
Mixed with emotion, faith, and lived experience
Put together to make sense of it all

These words define my soul.

 

 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

 
The Blank Page
 
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Writers can be perfectionists. 

There. I've stated it. It's out in the open. Yes, my perfectionism pushes me to create the highest quality material. But it can also prevent me from stopping before I start. 

The scariest thing I face with each new idea—the blank page. 

I feel in my bones the spirit of the thoughts I want to convey. Yet when my standard is to make everything the absolute best, where do I begin? How do I write it better than before? What if I look back and I'm not satisfied? The blank page looms at me, purporting all my potential downfalls.

When I push past the mental hurdles and simply get something on the page—anything at all—there is a sense of relief. I have begun a draft. And drafts can be edited. 

After 20 years in this profession, the blank page still has the power to intimidate me. But I can't let it. 

Neither can you. Keep writing.  

 

 

Photo by Anomaly on Unsplash

 
WritingKelly CarrComment