The Roman poet Juvenal once said, “The incurable itch of writing possesses many.” Whether it’s a blog, a handwritten diary, a website, a Twitter tweet, a LinkedIn discussion group or a Facebook page, millions of people create millions of words every day as they huddle over their laptops, desktop computers or smartphones.
Everybody’s got something to say, but it’s tricky to say it well and get the desired response. Gifted writers enjoy playing with words, making those words run, jump or even dance a Highland fling if necessary. One of the blogosphere’s best examples is the blogger year-struck, a master wordsmith and supreme goddess of puns. We have a battle of wits going on in her comments section and she outpuns me every time. Arrrrgh.
Other writers don’t realize that their words can be misinterpreted in ways far removed from their original meaning or that their writing needs to be carefully double-checked for errors. Now, it’s even more important to avoid these problems, since one’s writing travels across the world to a global audience via social media platforms.
I think that a good writer not only has to be an accomplished wordsmith, but also a competent analyst as well. Your writing seems clear to you, but is it clear to someone who reads your words later? The ability to disassociate yourself from what you’ve written and put yourself in your reader’s shoes is an important ability for any writer to possess, no matter where those words appear. It’s a lesson I’d like to see more people learn.
(High school bloggers, take note: Once I realized the importance of clarity and being my own word analyst, that’s when teachers started putting the letter “A” on my papers. Try it.)
Since I love to play with words, I am lucky to be a professional writer. My words heal, comfort, inspire, motivate, rejuvenate, sell or do whatever else I want them to do. (Highland flings are optional.)
And if you really enjoy playing with words, check out Lexipedia. You’ll enjoy making the words dance around a webpage (in six languages!) with your cursor.