“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18, New International Version
“If a man be under the influence of anger his conduct will not be correct.” – Confucius
Whatever your spiritual (or non-spiritual) leaning, I think anyone who knows the power of words will resonate with these quotes. Words can do many things – inspire, inform, excite, arouse, seduce, awaken, heal, poison, cut, shut-down, turn off, burn, bore, brainwash, deceive … The list is endless.
I didn’t do a lot of writing over the Christmas period. Aside from the holidays, multiple family reasons prevented words from flowing the way I wanted. One day, I sat at the computer for 20 minutes, writing and re-writing one sentence. I know, I know. It’s not the way you’re supposed to do it. My words were crowded with worry. So, I stopped writing what I thought I should write, and wrote something else instead. A chase scene. With geese and ducks.
The next day I had a critique session with Maureen. It’s our third session together and we are building trust and confidence in each other – it’s a beautiful journey we are sharing, one that benefits and inspires each of us as writers and friends. Maureen surprised me with a copy of A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves, which includes daily writing prompts, starting on the first day of the year. I did wonder how I would fit in these writing prompts with all my other to-dos, but they have turned out to be more healing and helpful than I dreamed.
Why? These last few days I have written some of the most honest, raw pieces about my inner thoughts than I have ever written. I have never been good at journalling; my need for beauty and perfection (ever notice how journals on TV and in movies are so arty?) have always trumped honesty. I’ve kept the best and worst bits back; I’ve self-edited myself.
I can see how some of these writing practice examples can be developed further and that’s an added bonus. I’m having a tough week. The quote at the beginning of this post is close to my heart, to the tears that have fallen this week, not because it comes from the Bible, but because it’s a reminder from a different source of the power of words. What I do with them, is up to me.
On Sunday, this is where the power of someone’s words took me (the link to the WIP scene I wrote a day earlier is coincidental … or perhaps not).