I Live In A World Of Words

Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org
Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org

In one of Frank Sinatra’s musical resumes, he sang lyrics by songwriters Kelly Gordon and Dean K. Thompson, "I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king.. ." When I read that line I hear a drum roll of soft P’s that ends with a clash of a symbol on the hard ‘k’ in ‘king’. It is one of my favorite alliterations. You may think that I’m a bit strange because I hear sounds when I read words. Well, you'll surely think I'm ready for a psycho ward when you learn that I sometimes see words when I hear sounds. I know that I am a little weird because I see more then just words when I see words. Like color to a painter, pitch to a musician, and numbers to a mathematician, words are essential to a writer. He uses them to construct the vehicle that conveys his message. I like to think that words are my friends although none have ever admitted that they felt that way too. Never the less, I spend a lot of my time with words. Although I know very little about prose and even less about poetry, this has never stopped me from writing both.

I write because it gives me pleasure. Using recognition and income as yardsticks to measure both my talent and my success, it is easy to see that I have neither. But, I can still share with you the technique that I use to shape my new projects. You can freely use my technique at any time at absolutely no cost. Of course, what works for me may not work for you and, in the end, my advice is probably worth a lot less than what you’re paying. After all, I’m no expert and I have $8.06 in lifelong AdSense earnings to prove it.

My secret is simple. I ask myself three questions: Am I writing to myself or do I want to entertain or to instruct others? If I am not going to be the only reader, then have I considered the best way to communicate with my audience? And finally, have I chosen the medium that will yield the best results? That’s it. That’s the whole enchilada. Sorry but there are no refunds.

Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org
Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org

Am I writing to myself?

If I happn to be writing to myself then there is no need to heed any rules, and I simply ignore the other two questions altogether. However, aside from the babble I write in my personal journal, there is usually a particular audience that I'm trying to reach. So, I picture these readers in my head and mentally address my words to them. 

What is the best way to get my point across?

If my readers will be children, I will naturally choose a simple subject and use words that they will understand. On the other hand, if I’m confessing how I was once so angry and frustrated that I threw a diamond ring into the ocean before I even finished making the payments, then I have to use words that convey why those emotions made me do something so crazy. I shouldn’t assume that my readers already know. It is very important that I make my audience understand what I'm trying to tell them.

Should I use prose?

Finally, I consider what medium is best suited to deliver my message to my target audience. Most of my time is spent writing prose because my topics tend to be simple essays of little or no interest to anyone. (See my comments above about recognition, income and the lack thereof.) The rules of prose have been hammered into me during most of my academic life and I feel comfortable placing myself under their control. Prose is easier for me so I tend to lean more in that direction.

Or should I use poetry?

While some subjects may be more suited to prose, others need poetry to be fully developed. Only poetry arranges words, with all of their subtle nuances, into a form that applies meter, rhyme, alliteration, and an array of homonyms or polysemes, to expose the multiple layers of a profound idea. I firmly believe that poetry should be read aloud so the sounds of the words add meanings that will be resonated through the sense of hearing. Poetry requires more effort from both the author and the audience, which accounts at least in part, for fewer poets speaking to a smaller audience. Poetry is not the best medium for simple concepts nor for simple words having simple meanings. Poetry, not only requires analysis, poetry demands it. One should never stop looking for the meanings of a poem because the poet will only make his meanings clear to those who invest the time to scrutinize his words.

It must have been a Yiddish poet who first observed, " A poet is married to his craft for better or for verse."

Q.
Q.

Here are some excellant references...

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15 comments

Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia

I'm sure you will be read, not everyone wants to be preached to or learn religious dogma. Stick to your rules and entertain yourself first, I think you're the most important person in your world don't you think?


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 7 years ago from New York Author

Hey Jewels,

Thanks for stopping and dropping a kind comment. 

Q.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

I read your Hub today. Something happened . . . was there some kind of bait and switch or something? This Hub had a diferrent title in my email. hmmm . . .


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Q - I read and appreciated every word of this. HubPages is more than it thinks it is. More than monetising keywords. But I will not preach to the converted. Good evening, fellow writer. A pleasure to make your acquaintance ;)


wyanjen profile image

wyanjen 7 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

Hello Q

Recognition and income are not yardsticks, they are icing on the cake. Your writing is outstanding! And you topic is close to my heart, as is the case for many of us here on HP.

I'll be on the lookout for more work from you!

Nicely done

Jen


Niteriter profile image

Niteriter 7 years ago from Canada

I enjoyed this immensely. I chuckled aloud at the throwing a diamond ring into the ocean part. Great imagery! Words are our pals!


Bovine Currency profile image

Bovine Currency 7 years ago

Great words Q. In my short time reading a few comments you have made and a couple of your hubs, I find you to be peaceful at mind with your craft. Poetry is a very fine style of expression and requires a greater deal of faith in oneself as writer, it is hard (for me anyhow) to worry too much about the impression readers will make with poetry. There are so many ways of writing it. I will not carry on too much. Nice hub, thanks.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

good one, at times I am a poet too, I tried writing poems, Thanks, Maita


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

As usual, a very well written, enjoyable and thought provoking piece that was a pleasure to read. You make the important point that an author writes for an audience. He or she will write quite differently to one of their children than to an old friend or to a newspaper's editor. I am still thinking about your essay on censorship and again suggest that the audience for some classics are no longer school children since the works require an audience that is more sophisticated than most of their teachers let alone their charges.

I enjoyed and share many of your concerns; also my earnings from hubpages are on a par with yours however, rest assured, there is at least one reader who will eventually read everything you've written.

I suspect I will continue to try and find points to write about in the comment section since I enjoy the contact with an admirable and lively intelligence.

Keep writing - I believe it is some of the best I have come across on hubpages.

Sembj


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York Author

Thank you, Sembj, for your thoughts, advice, and encouragement. They are all valuable to me. Q.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

I found this to be a very thought-provoking Hub. Words sure have a way of functioning on different levels based on what the author wants to convey. Be it that they are put into an order of poetic rhythm or they are structured into sentences to pass feelings of sight or sound along with the message, it is all very complex, isn't it? Thanks for sharing these thoughts of yours. I voted up and awesome. Great meeting you today at the HubMeet.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Quill, I don't think you're a candidate for the funny farm for hearing sounds when you see words and vice versa. I do it all the time. After all, words are merely the media with which writers paint word pictures, and who doesn't "hear" the sun sliding below the horizon on seeing a painting or photo of a sunset? ;D


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York Author

Thank you, Glenn, for your kind comment. Words can tap out a tempo or lead a logical mind to a conclusion. Numbers can sketch a concept or prove a theorem. Colors can be blended to create images, suggest ideas, or to make a statement. Words, numbers, and colors are but different media tailored for different parts of the brain.

It was a real pleasure meeting the gang at the meetup. I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Q.


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York Author

Hi there, JamaGenee. Thank you for your confidence in my sanity. A sunset trumpets the close of another movement in the symphony of life. The time of day when the brass takes command and the violins play second fiddle. I love the sound of the sunset.

Q.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

So do I, Quill, as well as the optimistic "Ta dah!" of a sunrise. ;D

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