Writing: Fact and Fiction

It's only words...

They are powerful in the way they are used though.

It's the assembly of how words are laid out that is important. That is true in writing fiction or nonfiction as well as speaking to groups or in conversation.

As units of language words are strung together to make a whole structure; a sentence then also can become a paragraph and paragraphs become essays, blogs, books and so on. Generally words put together come naturally to me, both in writing and speaking. Very often I don't appreciate that and I should since, in my mind anyway, that is the only real talent and skill I have.

It is because of my ability to use words and compile them together to make thoughts, it is also how I construct my world and gather people around me. Whether I realize it or not, consciously or otherwise. The manner in which I write and speak has the effect of either drawing or repelling people to or away from me. I have learned that the hard way over the years.

This concept is not a revelatory groundbreaking idea. The power of words has long been recognized as having significant impact on the way people react to us, which in turn boomerangs and shapes the way we act. The entire effect also is significant to the way we perceive ourselves and how we believe others perceive us. Anyone skilled in communications, psychology and sociology knows this. Generally I am thoughtful towards others, try to remain positive and make others around me comfortable.

On a personal level it is difficult for me to be conscience of that. Although it is inherent in my nature to write and speak well, I am not mindful of that every time I put fingers to keyboard or open my mouth. It is my best asset but can also be my curse. I was reminded of this recently when I reached the end of my rope with a situation and a person. I have a very long patience but beware when I finally do lose it. That is because I also can have a very bad temper, normally kept in check, but when I do lose my patience it leaps forward and I have yet, even this late in life, learned to hold my tongue. Ninety percent of the time I can, it is the ten percent of the time that destroys good I may have done, the person it is directed at and witnesses. It also hurts me not only for reputation reasons, that can usually be repaired but requires a long amount of time and some people never forget it. The damage it causes me is because I feel terrible afterwards.

The way we use words, in writing or speaking, are powerful when linked together to transform any given moment in time our lives. This is not an original idea. When I do harm using words injudiciously, not only do I recognize the damage I have done, it is a compelling time to reaffirm that words are best used to encourage, influence and motivate others. The good news is that words, when used judiciously, can repair damage done and also inspire yourself and others.


  1. There's so much in this post, but it's beautiful and-though I can't begin to hit on all of it-great to think about.

    The scary part is, I could have written it myself. Not the same thing, but the same ideas.

    Mostly it strikes me right off the bat with two thoughts:

    1) Writing (or stringing words together) is something I too seem to be pretty good at...but I'd never call myself a master of the craft or anything like that because when it starts half the time I don't know where it will end and the rest of the time (all the time, really)I don't know it's even started yet. I usually write what I write or say what I say, then reflect on it and wonder what made it happen. Verbal schizophrenia, maybe. I don't know. But when it comes to words or music or photography or video or whatever I seem to be good at, I never think I'm the only one involved. Something else seems to be helping, because I couldn't possibly make the results-often good ones-show themselves on their own. I like to think it isn't religion in any sense of the word, and I think I'm safe there because none of it seems to be based on any belief. It just IS.

    2) for a long time I have thought one of my strengths is the ability to easily admit I am sorry when I've done something wrong. I don't know how this ties into the use of words other than that I am not afraid to use them to say I'm sorry. A lot of people seem to hesitate to do that and I can't understand why. What's so bad about being truly sorry for something? And what's so bad about saying it? And I don't mean, "I want to apologize for..." or, "please accept my apology". I mean looking someone in the eye and saying "I am sorry."

    I've always thought that had a lot to do with character or something, but your post showed me the obvious thing: it's about words, too.

    I don't know if any of this makes any sense, so I'm gonna go watch the Elvis video. But this is a great post and I could write forever about it.

    Thank you, JR!

  2. I've been trying for a day to come up with a good reply to your cogent comment. I will say this, much like the video you just did, these things just come. Like a window of the mind opening or something that I wish was open more often, so I could be more cognizant of what I'm writing or saying and the impact, good or bad, it has.

    Thanks for the great compliment and for commenting. Always appreciated!