So far these have been quite short. That’s deliberate because only in the last day or two have I been telling friends about this new little hobby. The first few days were testing, practising and trimming: anyone reading through almost a week’s worth wouldn’t want ponderous purple prose. They might get lengthier in future, and possibly ponderous, and quite possibly purple, and very likely prosaic and ridiculous, but I’ll do my best to keep them stimulating.
And then, using the jargon, one has to find one’s ‘voice’ – and that’s not a morbid joke about my illness! Often writers, however humble, tell of trying to identify their voice, the deeper spirit embedded in how they express themselves in the particular medium and genre that they’re using. I’ve blogged before, a ‘current affairs’ one about 15 years ago when they first started, but this is rather different: it’s about more than just the immediate.
What’s the right ‘voice’ for this? Well, I know a lot of long words. And I’ve written a great deal of officialese. And I could certainly enjoy indulging in the grandiloquence of our language. But here’s something lovely: wise and simple advice from an American father to his son many years ago:
“All big things have little names, such as life and death, peace and war, or dawn, day, night, hope, love, home. Learn to use little words in a big way. It’s hard to do – but they say what you mean. When you don’t know what you mean, use big words. That often fools little people.”