Posted by: Osmyn | May 14, 2008

What were you thinking

Scott Adams blog invited readers to submit their Secret Thoughts:

“The hardest part about writing is capturing your own (or someone elses) inner thoughts. For example, if I ask you to tell me something funny or frustrating about your job, you’d give me tales of coworkers eating your food from the break room fridge, or tell me your boss is incompetent. But those aren’t thoughts, just observations. We seem to store memories in terms of actions and some broad emotions, but not thoughts. And it is the thoughts you generally don’t voice that make writing interesting.”

That advice on writing really struck a chord with me.  It more elequently explained to me how to write “truthfully”, how to write something that just rings true.

My submission, below, got 4 thumbs-up from the blog readers :)

“I was replying to an overnight email from my boss who claimed he got an error message that does not exist in the software. Like walking on eggshells since he’s a bit high-strung, it took a while to phrase it so that it pardoned him from culpability, was helpful and insightful into what might have happened, and left the door open for him to try to reproduce it while hinting at my inferiority at not being able to solve the problem. I was pitying him for embarrassing himself by firing off an email late at night when the brain isn’t rational and inwardly cowering slightly wondering if my reply would aggravate the situation when I just want to work on the new feature today that I need all the brain power I can spare.”

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Responses

  1. Oh yesss! And dead James Thurber would approve, making it six thumbs up and counting….


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