balance in speech

March 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Every little kid has something they want to be when they grow up. For some it changes as frequently as the play clothes they dirty, for others it lasts a childhood, or a lifetime. From about age 5 to 15, all I wanted was to write children’s books. I wrote hundreds in my short life, mostly about my labrador retriever. I like words. But I don’t like them so much that I forget that they’re there simply to serve a purpose, to send out information. The feelings and insights communicated and the response of the recipient are what give words their value, not the other way around. Words are a means to an end, rarely the end itself. I wonder how many countless times I have been bogged down in the words and probably bored my ensembles to death with soliloquoies on Bach, bow holds, and preparation of their music, when a sparse few, well-placed words could have made all the difference.
As a recovering ex-wannabe children’s book author kid, there was a component I liked even more than words. I liked the pictures which told the stories.
These days I have spent a lot of time working on non-verbal projection— cues I give them to let them know how they’re doing, rather than saying it. I also find that by providing those sorts of cues, I am making them work for the information, rather than handing it to them in a way that doesn’t invoke (or may even insult) their thinking skills.
Anyone who knows me in real life can see the beauty in my talking less (I know some of you who might find that hard to believe). But the proof is in the pudding!
…After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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