When I was a new writer, I enjoyed stringing together beautiful words.
To this day, I’ll choose a word as much as, if not more, for its sound within the sentence as for its meaning.
But it took me a little bit of writing publicly to fully understand that writing words is not enough—no matter how beautiful or poetic or powerful the prose, writing words is not enough. Because words must have meaning.
It’s when words convey a simple, universally felt truth and are beautiful that good writing is made.
Great writing, though I won’t pretend to completely know it, can only exist when we are not scribbling words just to scribble.
“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
It took me longer than I’d care to admit to fully comprehend that sentence above.
And there are times when I write just because I feel like it.
The clickity-clack, clickity-clack on black-and-white letters soothes my tired spirit, uplifts my fragile human heart and makes me feel impassioned, empowered and whole when I feel none of these things until the words have crossed my heart and lips through my fingertips.
But for words to be shared with the intention of reaching the hearts and minds of others, they must have meaning.
Words that are beautiful, powerful, fill-in-the-blank sounding and that resonate emotionally become worth sharing when they also offer something worth hearing—something true—this is the recipe for great writing.
Or, at least, this is the something that I have to say today.