The Potency of Words
Have you ever contemplated the power of words? Words, ranging from a description of the wildest fantasy to the most complicated fact or idea, create thoughts and pictures in our brains, in ways I do not understand. I believe because of their power, they should be used carefully.
This belief in the power of words is a major reason why I am a writer. I enjoy the challenge of finding the right words to express my ideas. I appreciate the stress of professionals who say good writing contains only words which are necessary. I strive to use words that present familiar ideas in ways which will catch people’s attention. This means keeping my thesaurus (a resource which provides alternate words for the same thought) close at hand and using it. I work with commonly used words so the entirety of my thoughts can reach the reader’s mind quickly.
Words that describe an object are easily found. If I want to describe that thing flying above me, I call it an airplane. If I want to describe the round orange object on someone’s porch, I call it a pumpkin. If I want to describe the object on which I am typing these words, I call it a keyboard.
However, if what I am trying to describe is not tangible (eg. faith), the task is more difficult. This is a concept and may involve more time to find the right word or words. In my faith tradition, the word often substituted for faith is “trust”which suggests an action rather than an idea.
Words can take us to faraway mountain tops to join climbers struggling against a blinding snow storm or back through the mists of time to two raggedy cave dwellers arguing over how a dead wooly mammoth is to be divided. Words carefully chosen allow us to relax in a high alpine meadow away from the cares of our life or have us clinging to a piece of wreckage in freezing cold water after our boat was destroyed by a rogue wave. Words are amazing transports which carry concepts, images and even emotions from one person to another.
After quite a break from this blog, I am resuming it because words are my passion, my joy and my challenge. While working on my novel, I never had the chance to see a finished product. Now I can again.