Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Season Full of Words

I don't have much energy to frame up a perfectly structured post.

Life has been too full of words.

I feel hoarse in a way.

Words--My characters constantly whisper in my ear and challenge my interpretation of their story as I barrel toward a deadline.

Words--"Characters" in the media shout them loud and ugly, my newsfeed is covered in hurtful ones, joyous ones, deceiving ones, tormented ones. And I am a contributor.

Words--My kids use them as weapons against each other, and I throw out angry word OR manipulative, encouraging words to trick them to kindness.


My ears are tired of hearing, my eyes are leery of what they'll see at every click I make, my heart is heavy with the use of words. The unbecoming words of the world out there push down my hope and peace. And my ever-opinion-forming brain wants to retaliate with too many words of my own.

Words. Such magnificent, terrible things. I mean, we writers LOVE words...I LOVE WORDS! But they are my biggest foe in many ways. If only they were all lovely and life-giving. If only I controlled all of mine like I control the words of my stories.

As I slash and splash words on my manuscript pages, I wonder at my process. It's one of digging deep into the heart of my characters, stepping into their world, understanding their point-of-view and circumstance, and realizing their journey--as fictional as it may be. I learn from their heart's cry and discover truth and ideas that I'd never have found if I kept my words within my own reality.

Is that something I can begin to do, not just as a writer, but as a real-time 21st century human being?

Before finalizing my actual words--status updates, blog posts, comments, arguments, conversations--shouldn't I look at the heart of those I'm tending to, the "characters" in my very non-fiction life?

I can explore their world, take a peek from their point-of-view, discover their own circumstances and realize their actual journey. I can allow God to change my heart about my own biases and judgement, before I jump into spewing words of my own.

Maybe then, my words would't be a burden, but a reflection of THE Word, making way for an uncluttered newsfeed and room for something God-breathed. My words would bring life and love in an authentic, compassionate way--the same end I hope to share in a brilliant story description, or a tender moment between a hero and heroine.

Words are powerful, wonderful things--if they are used wisely and with deep, sought-out intention. Same as the written word. Same as fiction words.

I write this. And I'll forget. Just like I forget grammar and spelling and showing vs. telling. But I'll try. Try to be different. Try to craft my real-time words as heartfelt and empathetic as I craft my fiction.

Yep. That's all I have. Sorry for all the...words. But, I think I've hashed out what I needed to say.


Angie Dicken is a mom of four, an adult ministry staff member at her church, and is married to her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, Angie currently has two novels under contract. Her first full-length novel by Barbour Publishing comes out in November 2017, followed by her winning entry for Harlequin's Manuscript Matchmakers Contest, a Love Inspired Historical novel. Angie is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Connect with Angie at:
Twitter: @angiedicken


Robin E. Mason said...

wow Angie!! Love this!! so many voices... words!!!! silence truly is golden isn't it—when we writers can find it! ( I might need to go sit outside now)

Angie Dicken said...

Ahhh....silence IS golden. So true, Robin. But then there's that pesky voice inside that says, "change the world!" Bwahahaha!

Glynis said...

Perfectly said. Thank you.