Feb 252022
 

February 25, 2022 — I did not get today’s Wordle, and I’m horrified. Wordle has become a happy part of my day, and I’ve enthusiastically played every day. My supreme triumph was getting “bloke” in two!  My first guess had two letters in the appropriate places–sheer luck, I guess.

Not so much today. My first two words had no clues at all. Ten letters in two lines stared me in the face. I eliminated all vowels, except for “I” on the third, fourth, and fifth lines. I had a few constants left, X, Z, N, K, V, and D.

I could not get there, so I put the puzzle away, hoping a breather would jog something in my brain.

Copyright New York Times 2022

I went back to the puzzle, and the solution, for me, didn’t appear. If you have completed the puzzle today, you know it had a double vowel and a double constant. My husband got it in four.  But he always beats me at anything involving words (and our son usually beats him, an event in which I feel a strange sort of pride.)

Here’s the lesson: my assumption about the game held me back. I did not get the puzzle because I assumed there could not be two vowels and two constants. And I’m not sure this bias was in my conscious but more deeply held. And that’s nuts. That may be the definition of inherent bias, so deep we don’t know it is there.

A couple of hours later, something happened that wholly reinforced Wordle’s situation and made me truly understand the lesson. I’m taking an online class from a national provider of writing classes. I’m in the eighth week of a 10-week class, and I’ve been frustrated because the instructor’s comments have mostly been without substance.

What’s the cliche?  Don’t always ask for what you want? I got a critique back that had valuable and critical information. Of course, I immediately went to that place most writers go — The I am a Fraud Zone.  Have you been there?  It’s crowded.

But I got on the other side of it because I realized a mistake I made came from a long-held bias. It was precisely like the Wordle — yet time and time again, I’ve let it go.  It took this voice of authority to get through my thick skull.

Writing is an activity that I adore, but I’ve learned that I adore editing more over the years. The great thing about my revelation today is that I can still learn and am willing to put it into practice. And just like with Wordle, that’s how we get better. It makes me wonder what else is hiding beneath the surface that I need to address.

 

-30-

Pray for Ukraine.

 

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