Saturday, April 4, 2020
Words. What are they Good For? ~ by Rebecca Thein
Writers will string words together to create a loving and euphoric scene. Or they can bring you to tears while you reach for a tissue. Their choice of words initiate how the reader thinks, feels, sees life, or themselves. Books often show us we’re not alone as we relate to the story and get drawn in by the characters between the pages.
In our everyday life, what we say matters. Whether the words are written or spoken, they can have a powerful impact. One vivid memory I have changed my view on how I saw myself. It was comments from my peers. When I was a child, I apparently walked (according to others), like a duck. My dubbed nickname was Waddles. That image of my feet pointing out and my butt swaying as I moved along the hallways made me self-conscious. Were they laughing at me as I passed them? However, when I see ducks, their feet point somewhat inward, not out. I’m not sure how my walk resembled a duck in their eyes, but obviously, it did. I tried like hell to correct the way I walked. I never accomplished that challenge.
One day, as an adult, a woman asked me if I was a Ballerina. I answered, “No, why would you think that?” She responded, “Because you walk and carry yourself like a ballerina.” Her comment impacted and altered, once again, how I viewed the way I walked. It made me proud to think, something that tormented my psyche for years became a walk I am proud of today. In my opinion, ballerinas are graceful and beautiful to watch, so I held my head high, straightened my posture and strutted what I had.
How we see ourselves can change with one word. Words are powerful. And the messages we tell ourselves, hold greater weight when the influence of others sneaks into our thought process.
Authors use their words to take the reader on a journey. One passage may make your heart sing or scare the living daylights out of you. But each word pulls you further into the world of imagination. Giving you the sense, you are there with the characters. You know them. Feel their pain. Yell, as you try to warn them to run. They are your friend in those moments you scan the pages, and you want to protect them, as you would any other friend.
Each book I write, I try to conquer something I have dealt with in my life. I strive to give positive power to a bad situation. Or change the outcome, to offer me another chance if only through my writing. I also hope it provides strength to those struggling with an obstacle, fear, or disappointment in their life.
In a world that we are all struggling to navigate. A world where we can’t hug our friends. Go to lunch and laugh with them, we open a book, turn on the TV, Skype, anything to feel connected and takes us to a place of sanctuary where we believe we are safe.
A language of love we all crave to feel. We can find it in books. And let me say, each author puts their heart and soul into their stories. They are sharing a piece of themselves. Readers may not love or like every book we write, but there is always a reader that will enjoy your tale. A person that needs those words to find solace in themselves. A moment or hours away from their own life to figure out where they go from here. A book you dislike may be someone else’s savior.
Never doubt that as writers, we need to tell the particular story we wrote. Either the characters are knocking on our brains, screaming at us to share their story. Or, there is someone that needs to read the story a writer was summoned to tell. For me, writing is my therapy. It keeps me sane in this crazy world. And I know those that need my stories will find them. And that truth makes me very happy.
You don’t have to look far to find a great book to escape to another world. Ask on social media sites, and people will be happy to share their favorite book with you.
So, what are words good for?
Compassion, Understanding, Reflection, Acceptance, and above all
Listen to Rebecca Thein's podcast episodes here and here.