Choosing the Right Word


 “The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
― Socrates


Welcome! I’m so excited to share this first blog on my newly renovated website. I just love the warm colours and the graphics. I am feeling so grateful to my friend, Ginette, who gracefully and patiently worked with me to create this beautiful blogspace. Despite my indecision and scattered mind, she helped me build what I once thought impossible.

Reflecting on the purpose of the site, writing a Home page and Biography was a real growing experience for me because it helped me focus on what is really important in my writing. Without a doubt, it’s the words themselves. I love the connotation of words, the nuances of their meaning, the “halos” around them, their history and origins, their subtle and not-so-subtle sounds and their relationship to ideas. It’s a big challenge to find the “right” word to convey an thought or feeling. New ideas require new word choices so if I’ve never expressed my experience before, I am not only choosing new words but also a new language.

During the process of website creation, I began pushing myself to complete things in record time, and my friend asked me “What’s the hurry?” I kept hounding myself to master the blog-o-sphere, understand HTML, choose tags, write a synopsis for each of my books and recover text I deleted by mistake. After a few days of this, my brain felt a little mushy. My friend says she admires my determination, but I wonder. Is it really that? It could also be stubbornness, perseverance, or maybe even resolve? Or how about grit? Willpower? Finally, I decided on obsession. Or is it mania? I was still not sure of the word to describe the driven-ness.

Eventually I had to admit that the problem with pressing on comes from my Pusher. Her name Paula and she sneaks up on me sometimes. The best way to identify her presence is to hear what she says, which is usually what I should do, what I need to accomplish, haven’t you finished it yet? And she wants it done now! She’s a hurry-up kind of person. Sometimes it takes me a while to spot her when she’s at work in my life. Its usually when I’m feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

So today, when the website is nearing launch, I hear her telling me I’m never going to get it right. That did it. I put my foot down. “Paula,” I said, “Look, can’t you just relax? I’m doing okay. It’s looking really good. I write for my own pleasure and understanding not to make it to the Best Seller list. So just take a hike! I’m going to take a break.” And I did. I sat on the deck with my husband and felt the softness of the last autumn breeze on my face. I could smell the sharp bite crab apples as they lay in the grass decaying. Yellow leaves floated down from a clear blue sky.

It totally took the pressure off. “Check off just one thing at a time.” I told myself. “Paula? You get it? One thing at a time. One. Thing. Not 4 or 14 or 24. Just one.

You see how that all went down? Identify the word choices. Discard ones that don’t fit. Get honest about the source. And listen for a solution too. It works if I pay attention.

Now I’m back to gratitude for the new website. And this is the blog that I wasn’t sure if I could write.

Feel free to explore. Send me your thoughts and sign up for my blog posts.

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