A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Friday, June 22, 2007

E-mail Trouble

I'm not the only one. I couldn't be.

I'm talking about send-anxiety. I could be writing the most innocuous e-mail imaginable. You know: "Hello. Dear Mary,. Whazzup? Hi Mary. I was wondering am writing to see if whether you're still interested in joining our the writing group . . . .

But if it's addressed to somebody who is:

a. in the profession (esp. with more experience or authority than I have), and

b. not somebody I already know well

then I am liable to reread the text so many times to make sure it doesn't contain a silly mistake or a carelessly worded phrase that its seems to lose all meaning and becomes mere inscription.

Of course, send-anxiety doesn't happen every time, even when conditions are favorable. But when it does, it's like being sucked into a psychological pothole that could swallow a Mini Cooper. The longer this goes on, the harder it is to send the damn thing. Pretty soon, the entire recursive revise/reread/revise process--itself anathema to most e-mail correspondence--collapses in on itself, becoming instead a blank, affectless staring at a pixelated screen.

Ah, composition.

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At 10:40 AM, Blogger k8 said...

I definitely suffer from that compulsion! As far as I know, there is no cure.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Lance said...

Compulsion is the right word.


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