on Words…

Words are like formulas; an amalgamation of symbols. We use words in such a way in the hope of conveying emotion, meaning.

But, what are words? [philosopher mode]. Words… a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l,m… different words mean different things. The dictionary contains over 171,476 words, most of these words are synonymous, while others are conditionally antonymous. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, and when we pair some of these letters together we have useful words. Some letter pairs mean nothing and are illegitimate while others are legal. For example, ‘Presh’ isn’t a legal word, but it means something to me; a well-dressed girl’s back view is presh. Do you have words that are illegal but mean something to you nonetheless?

Written words are a mode of language, just like spoken words are. Words on paper or elsewhere are meant to strike something in us; a familiarity. We are meant to read words and discern something, sensible or insensible. But do words always convey the same meaning? No. You could read a book and get a visual, and I could read the same book and get a totally different visual. Words are like that, they mean different things to different people.

Is it really about words than it is about you? This is a very important question. The writer wields words, but what do words mean to the writer, what do words mean to you? As a writer, while wielding words, it is less about the words themselves and more about you. Whatever you are writing, you are indirectly trying to convey your ‘personality’. Yes, your thoughts are you. Your personality is what shows. That’s why most writers find the craft insurmountable every now and then. They don’t know themselves! Yes, when you write, it is like meditating. Just like the Buddhists meditating; you are trying to get in touch with yourself. So don’t rush it, be calm. Each time you hold your pen or mount your laptop to write something personal you have to be calm. Breathe, decrease your heart rate and feel the magic.

Language is universal: written words tell us about our environment, about ourselves, and about others. Just like music, just like spoken words, just like art. What does this mean? It simply means that all these modes of language are “interwoven”. Your words don’t stand alone, just like the human senses are in most ways connected to each other. Words could provoke smell, vision, touch, taste, and hearing. That’s why some writers work with music, some work with wine, some with pictures, some with nature’s many scents, and so on. It’s never about what you want to write alone, you’re never alone. Words are beyond words.

Perspective yields perspective: Look at this post, I’ve succeeded in talking about words by using words. Isn’t it interesting? In order for me to talk about words I inevitably have to use words! So, perspective gives birth to perspective. We use this universal law a lot in writing techniques. For example, a writer might compare the wavy surface of an ocean to a lightly scattered bedspread, or the fluttering of trees to actual whispers, or the beauty of a woman to sunlight. This is how nature works; perspective yields perspective.

Last but not the least; breathe. Before that pen touches paper, before your fingers hover the keyboard, breathe. Get in touch with your story or writeup or whatever it is you want to write before you even think of starting. Remember, it’s not about words, it’s about worlds. Every sense is interwoven. If you don’t feel it, readers will know. Take the craft seriously at heart. Be calm, be calm.

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