Two weeks ago, I talked about the three main abilities each writer needs to develop. And today, I’ll dig in a little deeper with the first one:
A Love of Words
Of course, for a writer, words are the building blocks of her or his craft. Without words, we cannot tell stories.
In a craft, we must know our material well, experience it, feel it, play with it. And we must learn more every day, to become masters of the word.
So set out to learn new words every day. It’s easy. Read books, within and without your favorite genre. Sign up for a “Word of the Day” website or email list. Look up the origin of words that look funny or strange. Find out the history of common expressions and what they used to mean. Revel in words.
When you write, look up synonyms. Figure out the very best word to express what you really want to say. English is the language with the most words. That’s because it has incorporated words from so many different languages. It’s a real treasure, ready to be used. You just have to open your mind.
Here are a few resources that I use in my own writing:
That’s a great website if you’re stuck for words. Just use the one closest to what you want to say and go through their suggestions. You can also switch to a dictionary on that site, to get explanations for word you don’t know.
Online etymology dictionary
This one is great to look up the history of words. You’ll find Latin, French, German and many other references, plus when the word was used for the first time – well, as far as we know, since a lot of early books were lost. It’s fascinating.
Merriam-Webster Word of the Day
Great place to learn new words. You can get the Word of the Day via email, Twitter or Facebook. Plus they have an archive. They are British. You have been warned.
Word of the Day offer, supported by the New York Times. Also as daily email (with ads in the free edition). This is created by a volunteer group from all over the world.
And here are three set-up phrases for doing EFT to reduce resistance to learning new words:
Even if it’s so hard to learn new words, how will I ever remember them, I’m okay the way I am, and I can choose to make it easy to love words.
Even if it feels like I’m back in school again, learning vocabulary, I’m okay the way I am, and I now choose to love discovering new words.
Even though it feels so tedious to learn new words or to look up ones I don’t know right away, I’m okay the way I am, and I choose to enjoy my craft now and learn to play with words.
What’s your favorite word right now?
Image Source: F. Moebius
PS: I help writers with blocks, resistances and craft issues. Just click HERE, fill in that email and we’ll see how I can support you best.