Words aren’t always the best thing to say.
--Ranee Boyd, high school publication
(date too long ago to admit)
Even when my teen self planned a life that would always revolve around words, I submitted the above line to my high school literary journal because I understood there are times when authentic communication requires space. As an adult, I realized that learning and building are such times. Going silent, though, can give others an experience something akin to clicking on a link and seeing the message “Site under construction. Please check back later.” I get it. Thwarted expectation is always irritating, even when necessary for the overall progress of the project.
Still, that’s where I’ve been since posting my first blog last August: at a project under construction. I’ve needed room to learn from the wisdom of other bloggers, other copyeditors, other proofreaders, other researchers, other writers. I’ve read and observed and listened, sometimes interacting on sites other than my own. And I’ve been tweaking my business focus, increasing knowledge in my specialties, and improving my services.
These past few months have been full of soaking in and processing information, possibilities, directions, and decisions. Real thinking happens only when we can stop our outward flow of words long enough to hear others’ voices—and the whisperings of our hearts.
Yes, I’ve been wandering a bit. Although not lost, I have been seeking my tribe.
The purpose of this post isn’t to announce that I’m finally ready to come through with a steady stream of intended-to-be-helpful blogs. In fact, I’m not sure that I’ll ever turn out a steady stream. I may post more of a measured trickle. But I’m sharing this brief snapshot of my current journey on the chance that I’ve been in a place readers can recognize and appreciate. Also, this current desire to provide a glimpse into my inner world might point toward imminent sponge-squeezing and the possibility of verbally giving back some of what I’ve been absorbing.
As a copyeditor, business owner, and ultra-responsible person, I believe in providing a consistent, constant, and committed presence. My lengthy blog gap appears to betray that ideal, but responsibility also demands consistency, constancy, and commitment in personal growth and learning. Every so often, the best way to authentically learn and grow is to listen carefully and let go of the words.
Perhaps it’s time for the world of online blogs and engagement to make room for a different understanding of reliability, a concept that embraces quiet introspection as part of the rhythm of communication. It’s verbose out there, folks. Speak with your heart, your eyes, your ears, your thoughts, your attention, your actions, and your life. Presence and participation don’t always require words.
However, if you have any helpful words to share about the role of silence in your own growth and learning, I welcome your written comment. Just click on the gray "Comments" text below!
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