Words are particularly difficult little creatures to organise. They have minds of their own and will misbehave if not treated with respect. Some of them have inferiority complexes! Usually, the large words engage the writer’s efforts. Then the little words feel ignored. Out of spite they will change the sense of something so subtly. This is why, out of politeness, I try to court them by avoiding the larger and more impressive words that strut across the page creating the illusion of self-importance.
In order to alleviate their usually mundane task, I call on little words and engage them in creative activity. I invite them to paint pictures of demons and souls. Hopefully, I solicit them to serve my cause.
Sometimes, I am forced to discipline them, orchestrating them in such a way as to convey mighty themes, dark, as well as light. Respectful, yet firm attention, brings out the best in them; and they perform beautiful symphonic melodies that give shape to underlying haunting, repetitive themes.
I ask words to pack profound ideas into simple, pithy sentences. If a larger word is cast in the starring role, I ask the little words to group together and sing the background metaphor. Without them, the stage could not be set, nor story told, nor meaning revealed.
I love the musical quality of words. I write to be read aloud!
Words have power. They are capable of conveying meaning on many levels of consciousness at once. They are imaginal catalysts and image-makers. I aspire to use them well, to paint pictures of not only the radiant soul and the way of transformation, but, uncompromisingly, the darker, treacherous reality of the unconscious.
It is a labour of love. I am still trying!
by Dr. Niamh Clune.
Thank you, Niamh, for sharing these wonderful thoughts. Who would appreciate the significance of words more than a writer? Dr. Clune is a writer, teacher and a spiritual psychologist. Read about her inspirational, thought-provoking stories to feed the soul here.
7 thoughts on ““Words” : Guest Post by Dr. Niamh Clune”
That is such a lovely way of describing how we write, using music and art. they are all part of the same aren’t they. i love the sound of words, this is why I also read aloud and sometimes talk out loud as i write.. c
I learned from reading James Joyce about the musicality of words, the relentless, pounding rhythm of them, the turn of phrase and change of metre, surprising phraseology, descant and harmony as characters pick up a theme and exalt in being heard.
So well said, Niamh. I don’t think anything can match the power of words — which is why we have to use them wisely..
I love the way you write about words as if they were alive, Niamh. In your hands they become creatures, some snarling and twisted, some blinking dabs of eye-shine in the night. It makes your writing as alive as the words you use.
I love that, Jenny. They are alive!!!
I really appreciate the guest post by Niamh and all the comments.
I agree with you, Niamh. Words can come alive, and I have seen that in the way you write. What a great post. Nicely done 😀