4 min read

writing: on words

Toward the end of March I had an amazing business trip to Japan. It was my first time there, and it was wonderful. But I lost traction on my writing and still haven’t recovered.

I had a great writing streak going before Japan...ugh, why did that have to get derailed? Even though very few things made it from Writer (my writing app) to SunSed (my blog) I was writing every, single weekday without exception. Whether or not I had something earth-shattering to say, something that was only important to me, or was just ‘wasting time’ by putting pen to paper / fingers to keyboard, I was writing. And I was writing consistently. Losing traction is awful—both in a vehicle or in a habit. I could make up some pious excuse about not writing during Lent (ha, ha) or spending more time in Bible study, prayer, etc. but it simply wouldn't be true.

I've lost momentum. My wheels are slipping...and I have to gain traction again.

I want to write. I enjoy writing. Even writing about writing—or in this case, writing about NOT writing—is enjoyable. The simple act of typing and watching words fill up the screen gives me joy. These words were hatched in the recesses of my mind, and whether or not they end up changing the world or even me, it is a joy to take the time to put them down.

As an introvert, writing IS thinking. Writing is how I reason. Writing is how I form ideas, critique ideas, and create. Writing is a creative process--for me, since I don't spend much time drawing anymore, writing is THE creative process.

Words create reality. Through words, new ideas are born and communicated that bring about new inventions, new realities, new states of being that have the potential to affect limitless lives. In that sense, words affect reality and bring change. Theologically, we recognize that It was through words that God spoke the universe into being, announced the arrival of his Messiah, and delivers to us the good news of forgiveness and eternal life.

Word are mightier than weapons. All the military might in the world is powerless without an idea to spread or protect. Only psychopaths go to war simply for the purpose of war fighting. We fight over ideas and ideals, both of which are expressed in language, like freedom, justice, and equality. We rally others to our cause using words penned by poets and charismatic speakers. In the history of our nation, we are willing to fight and die for the words like liberty and truth much more eagerly than we line up to die to fly a particular flag over a particular piece of land.

Words are the stuff of love expressed and love lost; the way to the hearts of those we hope to sway; the vehicle for sharing dreams and contagious visions. Words set to music can send the heart soaring or bring it to the very depths of human existence. We need not a multitude of words in every case, but ultimately we do need some. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a rightly placed word or two can change the history of a relationship or a nation.

Maybe I've seen Dead Poets' Society too many times or read too many books or written too many (bad) poems, but our words are one of the most precious things we have: they must be cherished, they must be used carefully, and they must ultimately be shared or given away if they are to be of any value or use.

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