The Power of Words


Image by sirwiseowl via Flickr

Today was a two gig Sunday, with a solo performance at one church, followed by an ensemble performance at another. I didn’t write the lyrics for either set of music, but after the day was done, I reflected for a moment on the differences between the two situations and how much power words can have in communicating a message.

Realize, I am not normally a vocalist. I just happen to be a band person who sings okay.

But I am a storyteller, and when I write, I tend to write the way I would speak if telling a story. I hear the inflection, the cadence, the timbre of the words. All so very important.

Both gigs were successful. That said, I think the words of the solo, sung with an individual’s choice of tone, color, style, and emotion communicated more meaning, more power than the lyrics sung by the chorus. Don’t get me wrong, the group can do much in the way of expressing the music, just listen to any major symphony sometime, but the single voice, the Isaac Stern, the Joan Baez, the Hemingway – can do so much more.

Which brings me to appreciate lyricists and poets even more, since they are, so to speak, writing for the individual voice.

In this, my journey to become a better writer, I now have more to contemplate. Do my words have power? Is it the “right” power? Am I writing for the soloist or the chorus?

Are there such things as words without power?

I guess if writing was easy – everyone would be doing it. Maybe writing ‘is’ easy. More aptly put – if writing well was easy…

Just some thoughts as I start back to editing using my now easy four step process to novel writing. Which, by the way, isn’t easy.

Keep writing. And remember the power that your words can have!


4 thoughts on “The Power of Words

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