Words are powerful, not only the spoken word, but also the written word. While not all who write have the flair of Shakespeare, Faulkner, James Joyce, or Hemingway, we who write do have a responsibility to those who read our words to be clear in our intent, with a focus on the reader’s emotions. Stating not only what we need to say, but also what the reader needs to hear, and the way they need to hear it.
Writers do not have the luxury of looking across the table at those we speak to through our words, so that they may read our intent in our eyes. No, our words are confined to the imagination of those we wish to transmit our thoughts and ideas too. But our words are not inert; they are translated by the mind into images, and felt deeply by some.
Knowing this, as a writer it would be foolish to hide behind the mask of proximity, when we offer up our words to the reader, without taking into account the feelings we may sometimes invoke.
Yes, words are nothing but print on a page, made up squiggles of wind song with no meaning but for the meaning we give them. But they are much more than that. Words can be used to inspire or conspire; they allow us to speak of love, or condemn those who have hurt us. They can ignite passions and fuel fires, or be used to make peace with enemies. They can open the minds of others—-while being just the helping hand one needs to be brought into the fold of friendship. We can use them to bring hope, or offer dread. It is up to each person who has ever put pen to page, (writer or not) to know how he or she wishes to use their words, and what intent they want to convey.
But without understanding the emotional tone of the words we write on a page, we cannot hope to portray our true intentions. While love, intimacy, and passion can easily evoke powerful images in the minds of a reader, so too can the most banal words of the most ordinary pen. For this, we must be careful in our use of them.
It is my promise to the reader of my words to never hide behind the silent words on the page. Knowing full well the risk and feelings my words may at times invoke. I offer you this: I will risk honest scrutiny of every word I choose to use, and accept the consequences of the powerful feelings those words may sometime invoke. While it will never be my intent to do so, I may at times offend. If I do, let me know that I have done so and I will rectify my error with God’s speed.