Claire Dawn blogs at Points of Claire-ification. She's a YA writer who's easily distracted by—oh, pretty butterfly!—um, where were we again? Oh yeah, Claire is currently busy compiling a list of 100 Books Every Writer Should Read. Stop by and find out how to submit your lists. (Also, I feel compelled to add that Claire lives in Japan, which makes her infinitely cooler.)
The Power of Words.
Once in Bible Study, my friends and I wondered why it is that we pray out loud. I mean, if God knows all the desires of your heart, he doesn't need for you to say them, does he?
The conclusion I reached? Humans need words!
When we are born, we have only thoughts.
"If I bite this, it's hard."
"If I bite this, it's soft."
And then we learn to speak and our thoughts become more complex. It's a bit of a chicken and egg argument for me.
Would our thoughts be this complex if we didn't have words to express them?
Would we need words if we didn't have complex thoughts?
Whatever the arrangement, at the end of it all, we depend on words. Even when there's noone around, we solidify our thoughts with words, maybe out loud, maybe in our head. We often think in words. Only when a thought is completely sensory (the beauty of a painting, the nostalgia of the smell of homecooked tomato sauce) that we seem able to avoid words.
Isn't that ridiculous? We take the pure ideas of our thoughts and confine them into restrictive words within our own minds! And somehow this restriction makes us MORE expressive.
Words bring order to our thoughts.
And words can do other things for us.
They can help us reason. When we're trying to make important decisions, we make lists in our heads or on paper of pros and cons. The situation hasn't changed at the end of our list, but we can understand the best path more clearly.
They can comfort us. When something's wrong, it often helps to talk it out. At the end of the conversation, the sky is still falling, but we feel like we've got an umbrella now.
They can change us. When I started my blog, I started it to encompass everything I do and everything I'm interested in: Japan, music, fitness, foreign languages, travel, and writing. When I started out I was a girl who wrote. Thanks to the blog and the people I've met as a result, I am now a writer! (Thanks Marsha, Jon Paul, Natalie, Jen, Julia, Erin for inspiring me in so many ways!)
Words can give us an immense amount of power.
"Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me!"
Really? What delusional soul told you that? Of course words can hurt!
But they can also heal. And they can convince people of an opinion, or make them doubt the ones they were raised with. They can create beautiful new worlds or expose the flaws in the current one. They can exalt or they can devastate.
Isn't cool that the tools of our trade are so amazing?
You are the wordsmith. You have the power. Word?