Michaeline: Communication: The Most Basic of Basics

Three cute young women in the 1920s tuning their radio in the parlor. One is holding a teddy bear.

Are they programmed to receive? (The Brox sisters, tuning their radio in the 1920s, via Wikimedia Commons)

When it gets down to the nitty gritty, writing is about communication. We, the writers, almost always want to reach readers, and then a slightly smaller percentage of us are intensely interested in the feedback.

But communication isn’t a simple process; if it were, we wouldn’t need the zillions of books and lectures and classes that we get from a tender age in how to communicate.

At the most basic level, communication breaks down into four parts: sender, encoding, decoding, receiver.

When we say sender, we’re mostly concerned on this blog with the writer. What can go wrong with this part? Writer’s block, no ideas. What can we do about it? We can feed our writerly selves with good information (reading, art, experiences, conversation). We can make sure we’re in writing shape (sleep, food, shelter while writing). And we can give ourselves the gift of scheduling to make sure we can sit down and write regularly.

The huge bug-a-boo that we all worry about here is the encoding. How do you put Continue reading