When words collide

Posted: 16 January, 2012 in writing

There have been many times in my life when I’ve wished my whole life could be scripted. It would be wonderful. No more wondering what I would say next and whether it was going to sound stupid or offend someone.  No more wondering whether I was going to have the right answer.  No more guessing what ridiculous comment I was going to make when I was introduced to someone.  The whole conversation would be on paper, edited and perfected before I even opened my mouth.

This past week has been one of those times I wished I had a personal scriptwriter around. I seemed to say one stupid thing after another and spent most of the week explaining myself out of some giant hole that just got deeper and deeper the more I spoke.

Terry Tempest Williams once wrote in her brilliant poem titled “Why I write”: I write because then I do not have to speak.  Williams’ poem has always been my all-time favourite but this one line especially speaks to me, and always has. I remember writing stories when I was younger and loving that I could make my characters say the most clever things (well, clever for an eight year old anyway).  It’s a real gift to be able to say the right thing at the right time but I’ve never been able to perfect that skill.  That is something I love about writing – if it’s not right the first time, I can do it again.

Jane Austen is said to have created a man that no man could compete with.  I wonder if that’s why some people write; to create that perfect, controlled world and make it real enough to share with others.  Science fiction writers have been creating whole new worlds for decades.  J.R.R. Tolkien even created a completely new language in his books, a language that Tolkien’s fans and Peter Jackson have brought to life.

This is the magic of words.  This is what I love about writing.

If only I could bring some of this magic to my real-life conversations.

  1. Janey says:

    Truer words could not be spoken, I so totally agree, I have a saying about myself that sometimes really I only open my mouth to change feet.
    If only life was scripted, in my head I spend hours thinking about what would be the ‘correct’ thing to say only but when a situation arises catching me off guard, I blubber like a fool and then feel really annoyed with myself.
    The spoken word cannot be taken back, but the written word, until shared, can be altered.

  2. RickyB says:

    I knew I wasn’t the only one! It helps to know there are others who suffer with the chronic “foot-in-mouth” syndrome.

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