I've always thought this but a recent conversation with a new writer friend of mine, the awesome M.C.V. Egan, made me start thinking about it in more depth. It all began when she informed me that my last name means "Word" in Swedish. Unfortunately, it isn't my maiden name but it's still pretty darn cool for a writer. When M.C.V. asked me if I had started writing more once I got married and my name changed, I was surprised to realized that I didn't get really serious about writing until after my marriage. Coincidence? Probably...
I know a few other people who take their names very seriously. Who actually draw inspiration from them and who represent the meaning of their names more than they know. That is power. Word power.
I went to a writer's conference last summer and in one of the classes we talked extensively about words. C.C. Humphrey's was the speaker. He's awesome: hilarious, passionate about writing, pleasantly scattered. Anyway, he talked about words in a way that truly touched me.
As if they are alive.
Makes sense. To me anyway.
We don't control words. (No, hush, we don't.) We can woo them, coax them, lure them to behave. We can corral them together into sentences and, hopefully, create something meaningful, but, still, one single word can have so many different meanings that a sentence you designed to portray one thing comes across meaning something completely different to someone else.
We may harness their power momentarily when we write them down but then they will do as they please, they will affect others however they want.
Like a reader raving about the brilliance of the double meaning in a certain passage of your book that you had no idea existed until that very moment. ("Why, yes, of course I meant to do that!")....But you didn't did you? It was those sneaky, brilliant, living words.
So, I guess this (pleasantly?) scattered post is my roundabout way of saying, be careful with words. Use them wisely. They have power to influence our very natures, they have power to change they way others see things. They have power.
What is your take on the power of words? Are they just tools to write with or something more?