One of the most solid pieces of advice that I’ve ever received is that you should write the way that you speak; it’s something I think that I still fall short in, a piece of advice that I’ve wanted to implement but struggled to take, something that I personally want to improve myself in.
Somewhere along the line, I realized that in life, using difficult words and complicated expressions isn’t going to do you any favours – the people whom you’re supposed to serve won’t understand you, which means that if they are going to continue reading what you’re writing, they will have to use a dictionary or otherwise rack their brains trying to understand what you’re trying to say.
The answer probably is a solid no.
Even if you want someone to appreciate the high flown nature of your ideas, and to somehow elevate themselves, if they don’t get what you’re trying to say, then, there is no point – you have just wasted your time, which you could have spent either leveling yourself up so that you would be able to express better ideas, or perhaps, even just watching a television show in the first place:
People will most likely take one look at what you’re saying and immediately go away in favour of greener pastures or messages that they can understand; congratulations, you lose the attention war.
This isn’t to say in any way that people are dumb because they don’t appreciate difficult vocabulary and neither, by the way, is it to say that people should avoid difficult vocabulary altogether. Rather, it’s to say that when we express ourselves, whatever the scenario, we want to do it in such a way that the maximum number of people can understand us.
I feel that the underlying message is solid: whatever you communicate, make sure to phrase it in such a way that you aim to be understood by the person on the other end because if you’re just writing things in such a way that you use things that people won’t get out of hand, your communication will be unsuccessful.
Still, it’s something that I’ve identified and want to get better at, so here’s a note of vulnerability.
This is something that I myself struggle with, because when I think about things, I don’t always think about the most simple, or intuitive way of phrasing things – I tend to think in terms of complete ideas and full sentences, just as I have read them in books; I also tend not to filter them, so they come out the same way that they appear inside my head – unfiltered, often dense, and usually very quickly without any further consideration for the person on the other end.
Often it’s not the case that I think directly about what the person on the other side must be understanding or receiving from my words, hence everything comes out, unfiltered, overly convoluted, reflective of my thought process, and in short lacking usefulness.
I want to have my thoughts more relatable to people so that they can immediately respond rather than face confusion in top of getting what I’m trying to say, and why I’m saying it – that means being able to relate to people a little more and chatting with people in the knowledge that they can understand everything that I’m getting across.
I want to have more people understand the thoughts that I’m conveying, which isn’t just about changing the language that I use so that it can be more easily understood, but also learning how to think about ideas that are worthwhile to share in the first place, and to understand why and under what circumstances to share them.
I’d like to caveat that to some extent, though. I don’t think that learning how to share your ideas with the world necessarily means dumbing them down – in many ways, it means understanding how people will relate to things, how they will engage, and how they can understand things through examples, analogies, and many of the other things that link us together as human beings in the common experience.
Writing in a simple way often isn’t reflective off linguistic simplicity, but rather it’s something pretty darn sophisticated, because in order to write, simply, you often have to really boil down the essence of what makes an idea what it is and then convey those things to the person who is listening while paying attention to what they’re catching onto and constantly listening to their needs – definitely not something that’s possible in the course of writing, an essay, but something that a person needs to be able to imagine and demonstrate effectively when they’re in the process of writing an exam.
This too is something that I’m trying to learn at the moment, and I think I can do it to a southern extent, but perhaps writing it down here will solidify my intent, and make it more clear what I’m trying to achieve. Here’s the hope that in the days ahead, I’ll be able to better implement.