Thursday, August 11, 2005

Talking about tumours

One of the social horrors about having a seriously ill child is that I'm forced to shock well-meaning people, because I don't like to lie, and won't in front of my daughter, and they aren't listening properly, so they breeze by the warning signs that no, we're not talking about a simple malady here. I'm getting better at putting up warning signs. I've always used the word tumour, but now I've learned to use fewer words surrounding it. It seems to work better.

In talking about dealing with Little T, I tend to minimize the experience. I just don't want to relive the horror, or worse see horror in other people's faces.

It's one of the few things I prefer writing to talking about. It's easier to give the details just once. I do want people to know, but often I just don't want to talk about it. This is not a request to stop asking me about Little T. I like to know you care about me and Little T, but rather a thank you to those friends who do keep up with my journal and let me know by asking a specific question about it, so I know you're at least somewhat prepared for the answer.

This was all prompted by a question another blogger asked
"how does [blogging] alter how you present yourself? When you're writing, are there things you're aware of omitting, characteristics or traits that you exaggerate or minimize? What is the first difference I'd notice if I were speaking to you face to face? In what ways is your written voice truly you?"
Please answer the question yourself here.

Here's my answer:
To me, writing and speaking are fundamentally different. In person, I tend to meander back and forth. I'll pick up the thread of another topic and then perhaps wander back to it later. In coming back to the topic, I can repeat myself before moving to the next idea. My writing is a craft that I work on everyday. In my writing I like my words to flow together and similar ideas to be wrapped together in tidy paragraphs. I take time to reflect on what I write and edit it for clarity and cogency. And there you go. The first nouns that came to mind were meaning and understandability. And that's what you'd have heard in person, but I thought about it, and clarity and cogency are closer to what I actually mean, and are alliterative too.

In person, I tend to start a conversation by asking the other person some question about themselves. In person, my anecedotes tend to be related to anecedotes already told, or in response to a direct question. I have the British fear of being a bore, so I'd rather say a little and see if the person wants to know more. In my writing, it's Thida monologue all the time.

In person, I try to talk about things that the other person would find interesting. In my blog, I just write whatever I think someone might find interesting, though each blog entry does have a particular focus. I edit it a little, then put it up there.

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