It’s hard to believe that the pencil was invented over 200 years ago by Nicholas-Jaques Conte. Trust me on this, I looked it up. And almost another 100 years later, the ballpoint pen was invented by John J. Loud. I looked that up too. It’s amazing what you can find out from Google.
I always have so much to say, which in the times of scratching messages on rocks would have proven difficult. The thought that my life is literally held together by sticky notes of reminders, well, that would have been a hell of a lot of rocks! Plus, they wouldn’t all fit on the dashboard of my car.
I think of all of the topics I have written about and all of the articles and books I have read. We all read something every day. I’ve just been contemplating the power of the written word. And I’m not talking about the emoji’s we use to convey states of mind or feelings. I’m talking about the power of words linked together, followed by punctuation. Truth be told, I am a frequenter of the LMAO and, of course, the WTF abbreviations for my thoughts via text, but what have I learned from writing WORDS? A lot, actually.
I’ve learned that there is power in the written word. It is an expression of self. It is the art of storytelling, and trust me, we ALL have a story to tell.
For me, writing is an escape. A thought comes into my mind and I think, “I’m going to put this to paper.” Or Word doc, whichever. My sticky note supply is getting low.
I think what I have learned most as a writer is that our words, our streaming of consciousness that we decide to artifact, has an effect on those who read our writings. I honestly never thought about it in this way, and I’m not having a “brag” moment here. It is about all of us, as people. We all have ideas, experiences and things to say. Who knows the people we may help or inspire by writing about our struggles, our triumphs and just plain shit that bugs us!
Every time I read an article, a book, an inspirational quote – whatever – I’m thinking and reflecting on the words without realizing it. I bring all of this up because, recently, I have read some articles that made me think. And isn’t that truly the power of expression? That we invoke thoughtfulness in others? And maybe, we don’t even mean to create inspiration. It’s just a byproduct, a gift to the reader AND to the writer.
I have no problem saying that I will never EVER be a contestant on Jeopardy. I would just stand there at the podium, my name lit up in white chicken scratches with a blue background and the clicker in my hand with a blank look on my face. When I do watch it (rarely, as I get annoyed lol), I yell out answers. Well, what I think are answers. When I do answer correctly (surprise, surprise) it is often because I READ about it somewhere. Again, the power of the written word, and really, the story-telling of history.
I love to read. I was the kid growing up who read by flashlight in her room. I would often wake up exhausted because I read into the wee hours of the night, taking my mind on adventures outside of my bedroom with brown paneling and yellow wallpaper. I mean, who wouldn’t want to escape that? I still do that sometimes, I’ve just graduated to Audible to give my eyes a rest. Oh, and I now have a room of my own design, in my own house, not one from the ’70s.
Writing can be an escape for the writer. It can also be an escape for the reader and sometimes a lesson in life and learning.
We absorb stories sometimes as if they are our own. “Where do I know that from,” often pops into my head and then I realize, I read it somewhere. Personally, I want to give thanks to all of the writers who have inspired me. We are all a product of our histories, what we have read and how we have lived.
I’m just glad that Mr. Conte figured out that we can put our thoughts to paper via pencil so we could stop scratching them on rocks.