It’s been a funny old week, I have been busy doing the thing that brings in the money to survive, trying to find the time to do all the things I love and contemplating what it is to be a writer. It struck me, as I was standing washing the dishes one evening, staring out of the window, soap suds up to my wrists, washing the same plate over and over, that our words can have true power and yet can also be meaningless.
All words can have power, whether you intend them to or not. They have the power to hurt and cause pain, make someone happy, give comfort, profess love and joy or evoke a reaction in someone that you never intended. However, they can also be meaningless, empty and without emotion, regardless of the intention behind those words. Take an apology, it can be said with true remorse, with genuine regret, yet to the person receiving the apology, it can be completely meaningless. It depends on the perception of the person uttering the words, the level of trust in those words, the belief that they are said from a place of honesty, that they are genuine and spoken in truth. Take religion as another example, people of faith believe in such a variety of gods, deities, beings, whatever you chose to call them. They can believe in the power of energy and the earth, of reincarnation, spirits and heaven and hell, based on the trust they have in the words they read or hear from their trusted religious representatives. Does this depend on how convincing the writer or speaker of those words is, or the emotional state of the reader or audience and their desire to believe, or a combination of both?
Therefore how, as a writer, do I ensure that I evoke the intended reaction in my readers?
After some contemplation it is clear that all I can do is write from a place of truth and honesty and hope that those who read my work have a reaction that stays with them. Do I need it be a positive reaction? That is my hope, however to cause any reaction, means the words that I have written have had an impact, caused an emotive response, spoken something to my reader that resonates with them in some way. Can I control what that response will be, absolutely not, however I can only hope that whoever reads my work does so with an understanding of the respect with which I have written and the belief in my intentions as a writer.
As I write anything new there is always the fear that someone will think negatively about what I have written and for any writer, new or old, this is a fear that keeps us awake at night. Are we good enough? Will people enjoy what I read or will I be a complete failure? I can’t control how people will respond to what I write any more than I can control the weather, therefore I need to trust that among any readers, there will be those who respond positively and some negatively. All I can do is take anything negative as an opportunity to learn and grow as a writer and strive to be the best I can be.
My message to anyone that joins me on my path, is that my intention is always one of honesty and comes from the heart, please understand that as my words may evoke a response in you, equally your words may also have an impact on me in some way, which in turn will hopefully help me on my journey.