Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Is it?

Why is it I yearn to write my story every minute of every day, but when I’m asked (told) to prepare a business letter I cringe?

And it’s not that I can’t do it. I can. Sort of. But my first reaction is “UGH!”

I’ve written personal letters since I was 11. That’s when we moved from Wilmington (in Los Angeles County) to Santa Barbara (more than two hours north). That’s when I started writing to the friend I left behind.

I liked writing so much, I started responding to requests for pen pals (my parents belonged to the Independent Order of Foresters – an insurance agency that sent out a quarterly magazine, including a section to request pen pals). I didn’t have much luck there, so I put in my own ad (and then I found out why I didn’t have much luck – I got more responses than I knew what to do with!).

But I loved writing personal letters (loved receiving them more), even though I didn’t really have all that much to write about.

When I joined the Army, my pen pals dwindled. When I married, they practically disappeared. Then I found another form of writing I enjoyed – Procedures.

I document EVERYTHING. I write out how do to each job step by step so someone else can follow. And once the procedure is written, I fix it every time I find a mistake (or the procedure changes).

So, why is it I can’t write a simple business letter? What is it about them that make my skin crawl? Just what is the difference? I really want to know!


Linda Leszczuk said...

I'll hazard a guess - when you're writing your book, you're writing about people you like (after all, they're your characters); when you're writing pen pal letters, you're writing TO people you like; with business letters, it's neither. They're just boring and possibly intiminating.

But you actually like doing procedure documentation? Wow. I hate doing those. Want to come to me office and do some of mine?

DL Hammons said...

I hate them too because they are so formalized and strict. Structured a certain way and the language always sounds so stiff. YUCK!!