Slice of Life Story Challenge March 4 - Rehearsal, It's On The Cards Really!

I have been rehearsing this all day. In fact, I have been rehearsing this for a few days. The idea arose from a discussion I was involved in last Friday with a group of teachers. We were discussing the need for writers to rehearse their words before assigning them to the page and this prompted Dan, a young teacher to make this insightful comment without notice.
‘I rehearse before I write on a greeting card.’
Everyone stopped to consider Dan’s words. He had reminded us of the very real rehearsal we frequently undertake when faced with filling out cards on special occasions.

‘I rehearse the words in my head to make sure they sound right.’ Dan further explained. Another teacher added, ‘ I actually practice what I want to write on the card, on another piece of paper, including, Dear Whoever.’

Someone else chimed in by announcing she consciously purchases blank cards in order to avoid the saccharine sweet clichéd comments that often come pre-loaded. ‘I don’t want them to influence, or contaminate my message. The blank card forces me to think. I want my words to be original and particular to the person that card is for.’

I began to think of my own approach to writing in cards and I realized that just like all the other writing I do, rehearsal is central to the messages I write in greeting cards. I devote time to pondering the words I wish to use. I roll them around in my head seeking those thoughts and ideas that hopefully capture the spirit of the occasion as well as the personality of the recipient.


It was my wife’s birthday recently. I devoted a significant amount of time to rehearsing my words. Not because of any perceived difficulty with the words. I was motivated by a desire to create a message unique, separate, from all previous greetings. I wanted the words to be fresh and new. I wanted to produce a message that meant something to this special person. Generic will not cut it when it comes to writing on cards. I was seeking a match between the recipient and the words that would eventually appear on the card...

My message was well received. Birthday greeting and birthday present success. Phew.



Comments


  1. Rehearse the words in your head:
    tumble around with syntax;
    juggle the synonyms;
    play with form
    until words fall into the pockets of the page
    and then,
    play even more:
    Shout them out in your stage voice.
    Whisper them to your cat
    Tuck them into your wallet
    and pull them out when the time is right
    to write.

    -Kevin

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  2. "Someone else chimed in by announcing she consciously purchases blank cards in order to avoid the saccharine sweet clichéd comments that often come pre-loaded. ‘I don’t want them to influence, or contaminate my message. The blank card forces me to think. I want my words to be original and particular to the person that card is for.'" This spoke to me as I have made my own cards for years. I want my words to be in the card, not another person's. Rehearsal of all writing happens in my head first often in the shower or car:) Thanks for the piece Alan.

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  3. Thanks for your post Alan; it certainly got me thinking. I often talk to my students about reading providing a dress rehearsal for life, but I had not considered "rehearsing" for writing. To its detriment, we (teachers) often refer to rehearsing as planning which is viewed as tedious and a waste of time. I think the shift in thinking and connotations of rehearsing may more likely be received with open arms.

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  4. I realized "I rehearse" my words before writing. Then my thoughts shifted what an interesting writing prompt this would present. Your writing always feels like a conversation to me. I greatly enjoy it.

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  5. Interesting term to use - and it makes sense. I enjoyed how your post moved from Dan's comment, to other examples, to your card writing, to rehearsing writing for your wife's birthday card. The 'phew' ended the slice perfectly.

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