- Books, Literature, and Writing
The Writer's Dictionary A-M
Did You Know One Existed?
Of course you knew of dictionaries. Between Oxfords and Websters we have been pounded over the proverbial head with dictionaries since we were old enough to tug on our teacher’s coattails. But did you know there was a dictionary written just for writers like you?
Well there is indeed and I happen to have discovered it while rummaging through my grandparents’ attic many years ago. Being the stingy sort when I was younger I did not feel it was necessary to share it with anyone, but now that I have grown older and yes, wiser, I have come to my senses and decided to pass along this bounty so that you can reap the same benefits that I have experienced all these years.
Please, don’t thank me; I embarrass easily!
And if you believe that malarkey I have some great swamp land I want to sell you. I just made all that silliness about grandparents up….but hey, I love fiction writing so there you go.
Here, then, is the long-lost “Dictionary For Writers, 1st Volume, A-M.” The 2nd Volume will be along next week, same time, same place.
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A IS FOR AFFECT
Affect is a verb meaning to bring about a change. Writers, hear me well: you have the ability to stir the masses and bring about change in this world through your written word. You have the ability to influence others, to radicalize, to elicit emotions and to reach the hearts and souls of your readers.
B IS FOR BENEFICIAL
Beneficial is an adverb meaning promoting a favorable result, as in your writing can be very beneficial. The world needs good writers. The world needs more beauty and information and education. We practice an art form and art will always be beneficial to civilization.
C IS FOR CARPE DIEM
A noun, Latin in origin, meaning to seize the day and that is my message to you. You have been given a gift. You have the passion. Now take that passion, take that gift, and seize your moment. Be the best writer you can be and find out just how high your potential truly is.
D IS FOR DEFEATISM
Defeatism is a noun meaning an expectation of the prospect of defeat. Let me ask you this; how many of you have doubts about your ability as a writer? Count with me…one, two, three….cast aside those doubts and start practicing PIPO…positive in/positive out. Believe in your writing ability and you will improve.
E IS FOR ELEPHANT
That’s right, an elephant, a rather large animal with tusks and a ton of fat, but in the old days, one was said to have “faced the elephant” when one was confronted with doubts and fear and carried on, and that is what I want you to do now….carry on despite the obstacles and be the best writer possible.
F IS FOR FAILURE
A noun meaning the condition of not achieving a desired end, but let me say to all writers that if you are writing you can never be a failure. The ultimate prize in writing is to feed the passion within you, so every single time you sit down to type you are a winner.
G IS FOR GENUINE
An adjective meaning of pure or original stock, as all writers should be. Develop your own voice. Be your own writer. The world needs what you can offer and not some regurgitated replica of past offerings. Be yourself!
H IS FOR HERITAGE
A noun meaning something passed down from preceding generations; a tradition. And what a beautiful tradition we are a part of. The greats came before us; one day some of us will stand with those giants because of the words we write and the tales we create. How cool is that?
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I IS FOR IMAGINATION
A noun meaning the power of the mind to create a mental image or concept, and that is exactly what writers do. We are creators. In a world of destruction we give birth. In a world of pain we provide comfort. In a world desperately in need of beauty we step forward and create it.
J IS FOR JIHAD
Jihad is a Moslem holy war against infidels and you’ll have to excuse my liberties, but that is the perfect metaphor for a writer’s mission, a holy war against ignorance, against the darkness of spirit and against the oppression of silence. We are the voices of a generation. We speak through our words and people listen and are moved to action and change. So it always was and so it always shall be.
K IS FOR KINSHIP
The state or quality of being kin. There is a kinship between writers. Only another writer can understand the loneliness and frustration we experience. Only another writer can understand the passion that fuels our daily quest. You are my brothers and sisters of the word and will always be my kin.
L IS FOR LABOR
Labor is of course physical or mental exertion, a specific task, and I would add one word to this definition and that would be love. Writing is a labor of love. How else can we explain the long hours of combining words in search of the perfect sentence? How else can we explain the anonymity inherent in the life of a writer, and the willingness to live that lifestyle? We love writing and always will.
M IS FOR MAGICAL
Magic is, of course, an exercise of sleight of hand or conjuring for entertainment; magical is bewitching and enchanting. In other words, magical is writing and writing is magical. We have about 200,000 words at our disposal, and with those 200,000 words we create, we motivate, we ingratiate and we infuriate. Is there a better profession in the world? I think not!
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And More to Come
N through Z will come next week so stay tuned.
A few years back I had a friend who was a fledgling writer. The passion was there; the skills were not. She worked long hours at her craft; we talked many times about her craft. She queried and self-published and was met with rejection at every turn, and finally, after two years, she gave up, tucked her manuscripts in a safe place, supposedly never to write again.
And of the date of this writing she has not, and quite frankly that saddens me.
This world needs her and this world needs you. There is too much ugliness in the world. There is too much dissention and bigotry and cruelty and close-mindedness, and writers can and always have been an answer. We may not provide all the answers but we at least keep communication at the front. We may not bring an end to ugliness but we at least balance it somewhat with equal amounts of beauty. We cannot right all the wrongs of this world but we can keep them in the spotlight so that their poison does not go unnoticed.
And those are but two of the values of writing; it stomps out ignorance and diminishes stupidity, and Lordy do we ever need the benefits of writing.
If you are fueled by the passion of writing then do not quit as my friend did; the world needs you. Tangible rewards may never visit you but do not let that deter you from following your heart. Write not because of possible rewards; instead, write because it is a part of who you are.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”