Recently, I heard through the grapevine that I made an old friend feel like our friendship was a mistake.  Ouch.  But according to, a mistake is defined as “An error or fault resulting from defective judgment, deficient knowledge, or carelessness.”  So in my literal—or literary—mind, any mistake, if any, was simply a poor choice I made in regards to my friend.  This scenario reminded me about a post I wrote several months ago ( concerning word choices and how the speaker may think they are conveying one idea while the listener is hearing something completely different.  It’s all in perception. 

I’ve found that to be true in my writing, as well.  In my job as an intern with InWithSkin, I often submit the first drafts of my blogs to a more seasoned beauty editor for her feedback prior to reworking and forwarding the “final” (or what I hope to be) draft to my managing editor.  One such draft was returned to me with the words, “I see where you’re going with that but try rephrasing” scrawled in the margin.  So how do you say what you’re thinking in order to be interpreted correctly (in the way you intended) by a listener or reader? 

Along the lines of following the advice, “Think before you speak,” one of the things I’ve been practicing is a technique my editor suggested and one I also wrote about—writing organically.  In other words, putting my thoughts on paper and then setting the draft aside for a couple of hours or days, if possible.  When I return to it, I am able to see it with different eyes.  Although this helped me with a recent blog I was working on, I obviously still failed miserably when chatting with my friend. 

I guess, like with all of life, communication is simply trial and error.  And I also have to realize that no matter how hard I work at conveying my thoughts and feelings, every individual is hardwired with their own experiences, pre-conceived notions, etc., that color their interpretations.  This sure makes it a challenge to pick out just the right word or phrase, but I know the effort is so worth it when the end result comes out write. ~ cs