Living Life in Paragraph Form
In high school I was blessed with the most wonderful English teacher on the planet, Betty Mattson. All the elements of writing, that come so easily to me now, first passed her desk, her red pencil, and her kind encouragement. I learned well from her, and I think of her often.
Now, I tend to speak in paragraph form. Maybe one sentence, maybe a few. Then leave a line, breathe. Think about what comes next before throwing it out there. Finish the thought in the paragraph before blustering on. It’s not necessary to put everything you know in the paragraph. If you use the right words, you won’t have to use so many of them; shorter, neater paragraphs. Mrs. Mattson taught us that. And unlike algebra, I use this every day, writing and speaking.
I love writing paragraphs so much that I live in paragraph form.
One of my pet peeves with current accepted social behavior is everyone talking at once, each speaking louder to be heard. When conversation is written, each speaker gets his or her own paragraph. When I’m speaking with others, I want my own paragraph and I want them to each have their own paragraph. I want closing quotation marks, an indent, time to breathe. When speakers in a group crash into paragraphs that aren’t theirs, I want to turn the page, close the book on them and walk away. It’s rude to jump into someone else’s paragraph.
Thinking in paragraph form helps me to stay on task when speaking whether formally or informally. I get so annoyed with my dear husband who will run all his paragraphs together without referencing the fact that he’s now talking about a totally different person or incident. No empty line between paragraphs; no indentations to breathe, catch up or refocus. I’m lost! What or who are you talking about now? If they are worth mentioning, they deserve their own paragraph.
Raising seven and more kids and being active in a lot of different organizations and events, I was always well organized. I think that’s because of my tendency to live in paragraph form. Every person, every place, every thing, deserves a paragraph. What is this paragraph about? Give it complete attention, thought and detail. Then close it up. Take a breath. Indent. Move on with the next paragraph. It’s how I take care of business.
Writing in paragraphs makes a manuscript understandable to the reader. Speaking in paragraphs does the same for a listener. Thinking in paragraphs can keep one’s life orderly. Living in paragraph form helps edit out the junk, focusing on what should and shouldn’t be included. Nice neat paragraphs using good clean words. I’m all for that.