Today I was reminded of how words give us much more than their mere definition. They bring us a 3D image of their texture, emotions and power. A good friend was trying to come up with a name for her management style with animals and asked a group of us for our input. In looking over the phrases on the list, each word popped out at me. The overall names may have been accurate for what she does, but some of the individual words weren’t right; they were either too hard, cold, or complicated. Her technique is soft, caring, and compassionate. Each word would need to reflect those characteristics if the name was to carry the message home to the hearts of her audience.

It dawned on me how much texture a word has to it. The word “care” feels soft, like a rabbit’s coat (still on the rabbit, of course), whereas “management” feels like a porcupine. Okay, so a bit of my own personal issues with being managed show in that last example, but words create emotions. Again, “care” wraps me in a warm blanket on a cold night; “management” leaves me asking for the blanket and waiting for approval to get it.

Words also have power. They attract the energy of their meaning. “She crept” makes me bring the book closer, crouch down with the character and wonder what will happen next. “She screamed” pushes me back, brings up my defenses and forms an invisible wall around the character, away from what awaits her. (No, I do not write horror; I write children’s stories. :))

I am aware of a word’s texture, emotion and power in my writing, but how much attention do I pay to those attributes in my speech or non-professional writing such as e-mails with friends or others? Hopefully, more now. Awareness is the first step…it’s the second step of doing that gets tricky.

Written on March 6th, 2012 , Uncategorized Tags: , ,
Debbie Emory

Making Magic Out of Everyday Moments