I watched an old favorite of mine this weekend, a movie called Dangerous Beauty about a Venetian courtesan and poetess, Veronica Franco. Beyond it being a romantic movie, what I really love about this movie is the use of words. It just got me thinking about how much power the pen can have, especially as I spent the week reading about climate change, the markets and the differences in how men and women cope with stress—I realize this is quite a diverse range of topics.
We can write to tell stories, to persuade, to dissuade, to compel to action, not to mention to cause confusion. Most of what I read this week persuaded me in some way or the other and that persuasion in turn does lead to some action on my part. When I think about that collectively, it really does give you a sense of what the pen can do (I say the pen symbolically but I also realize we type, speak, etc.). And yet, I can say with absolute certainty that most of the writing I read this days is so devoid of skill that it is confounding. I’m not simply speaking journalistic writing or even novels. I’m talking about reports, emails, texts, even college level papers. Some of that I get. We aren’t looking to take on the grammar police as we text back and forth. But as for professional or even higher level educational correspondence—I’d expect much more.
I do not think you need to have a fantastic grasp of language to tell an amazing story, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. And if anything, a master of words only adds greater fuel to the fire. Moral of today’s blog – words are powerful and writing can be art as long as we continue to nurture it and learn the craft.
Happy writing this week!