A Passionate Love Affair with Words: A Response to Marilyn's Challenge
And Here Is the Challenge
Words: The Writer's Resource
“I'm always amazed how each writer takes the same words and creates a completely different story. Some educate, others enchant and a few entertain. Which category is most authentic for you?
This challenge is to write about how you value, use and create your finished piece using our common denominator - words.”
It seems, to me, that we have two separate questions asked by Marilyn. How do we value words, and how do we use words to create a finished piece. I may be wrong about that, but that is the assumption I’m going to use in accepting this challenge.
- But, Have YOU Said It? A Writing Challenge
“Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you... but you are the only you." Neil Gaiman
The Value of Words
“Loneliness is the coat you wear,
A deep shade of blue is always there.”
There have been times in my life when loneliness and I were best friends. I embraced it as any of us would a dear friend. It provided comfort from fear and distrust, a difficult concept to grasp unless you’ve been there.
To make up for lack of companionship, I always had books. The loner and his tomes, safely tucked away, sheltered from harm….that was me. Socially, for sure, this was an unhealthy situation, and yet it was the situation I needed to survive and eventually thrive.
I learned about life through books. I learned about love and nurturing, trust and friendship, empathy and compassion, through books, and through books I found the courage to place the books aside and actually live life.
The Mockingbird taught me about integrity and equality. Superman taught me about truth, justice and the American way. I traveled to far-off lands with Kipling, learned of long-dead dynasties through Michener, and fantasized with Verne. I visited the Bridge of San Luis Rey. Learned about the Heart of the Matter, and rode with an Old Man as he sailed the Sea. Brave New Worlds opened before me, lessons were learned on an Animal Farm, and preconceptions were discovered and eventually Gone with the Wind.
I loved it all…learned from it all…had my thirst quenched by it all….and eventually found the courage, through books, to become one with life. I tore down my walls and walked bravely into that world I read about, and in so doing found the secrets that had remained hidden for so many years.
Today I do for others what others did for me. I give them the gift of words, and by doing so I continue a legacy that is so very important for society. I am a writer, proud of my craft, learning daily to listen to my muse and follow her guidance. Some day there will be a lonely boy, or girl, and they will discover my dust-covered books on a shelf, and they will read those books and find companions that will pass the time with them on lonely nights when sleep is absent, and perhaps, if I have done my job correctly, they, too, will leave their rooms, go out into the world, and discover the joy of living.
The Use of Words to Create a Finished Piece
Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.
I am an artist. That may sound grandiose, but it is how I feel.
With a stroke of my pen I bring a scene to life.
With a stroke of my imagination I transport readers into a new world. I invite them to visit, explore and experience. I raise their temperature, chill them to the bone, reduce them to tears and elevate them to new levels of joy. I mix and match random verbs, nouns, adverbs and adjectives, and from that randomness I magically transform the inanimate to life.
I attack the senses with letters. The arrows from my quiver can sting, rebuke, chastise, praise, energize and congratulate. I can find commonality with all of my readers by sharing experiences that we all comprehend, and in so doing bridge the gap of our differences.
If I have done my job correctly I will entertain, inspire and force the reader to contemplate the intricacies of life. I can establish rhythm and take the readers on a break-neck ride of a lifetime, or change the rhythm and gear down for a leisurely excursion through the tranquil valleys of their psyche.
My brush strokes consist of over one-hundred thousand colors, and my job is to blend them together to create a painting unlike any other ever seen, and when that moment comes, when the creation has been completed, I experience a high that leaves me craving the next hit, and the next, and the next, because writing, for me, is addictive, and at the same time I’m the pusher, the dealer, the man who gives you your fix, the man who injects wonder into your veins and leaves you in a paradise of words.
There are no shortcuts to brilliance and I must always remember that. If it were easy then everyone could do what I do, and then the miraculous would become the mundane, I must build my stories upon a solid foundation. I must make sure the frame work rises from the foundation square and true, and a weather-proof roof tops it all. It must be insulated and ready for the harsh winters, and when the heat of summer arrives the air must flow freely and provide comfort.
I am the maker of tapestries, the seamstress, the weaver, the single-minded artisan creating works that will stand the test of time.
I am a writer.
I am an artist.
And I am blessed.
Join me on my writing blog
- William Holland | Helping Writers to Spread Their Wings and Fly
Let's talk about the craft of writing and learn from each other
Thank You Marilyn
I loved this challenge, and I invite all of you to take part. Share with us your thoughts about words. Through your reflections we will all gain support and strength, inspiration and comfort, and after the last word has been written about this challenge, we will all be able to recline and find peace, knowing that we are not alone on this quest and the quest truly is worth all the sacrifice.
Today I am not lonely. Today I walk among my peers and I celebrate the magic that is life, but before I learned to take those first tentative steps, I read words. Writers from previous ages taught me through their words. Writers lifted me up, showed me the way, and gently pushed me out into that world and not-so-gently demanded that I partake in the bounty.
And thank God they did!
2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”