Writing

The Power of Writing

“My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see.”Joseph Conrad

Within the last twelve months, live-stream video apps like Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook Live have launched into mainstream communication. Broadcasting fleeting moments of our lives, we share our joys, sorrows, and tell our stories in ways unthinkable even a decade ago. Within the last few months, virtual reality popped onto the collective radar, potentially transforming the way we communicate.

Amidst the rapid development of audio-visual communication technologies, does the written word still have a place?  Why do we need to read or write when we can watch videos instead?

Although writing may seem like an outdated median in our high-tech age, it is just as relevant today as it ever was. Writing structures our thoughts and ideas in ways video cannot. It forces us to sit with ourselves for a moment, reflect, and consider how each word fits together like tiny building blocks, purposely placed to provoke particular thoughts and emotions.

Beyond the page, when powerful words are placed in the mouths of seasoned orators, crowds are moved to joyous applause, fits of laughter, or tears of sorrow. Even Martin Luther King, with his seemingly spontaneous delivery, spent long hours pouring over each and every word with his speechwriter, Clarence Jones.

Each word is a hue, each line is a brushstroke, each brushstroke is thoughtfully considered, yet intuitive in the hands of a skilled artist. Although the artist creates the work, it is the work that creates the artist. The work of writing shapes our ways of seeing, unlike any other form of communication. The writing process structures our ideas, allows us to discover new connections, and helps us make sense of our chaotic lived-experience.

As audio-visual communication becomes increasingly fast-paced, fleeting, and on-the-fly, we cannot forget the craft of writing.

For those who are interested, I am now offering my writing services. This includes ghostwriting, article-writing/ rewriting, academic-writing, copy-writing, or editing. If you have a project I can assist you with, contact me by filling out the following form:

 

 

 

 

 

23 comments

  1. This article just expressed everything I think about when someone says they can’t write. I love the way you explained writing in likeness to painting. I will have to share this on my blog.

  2. I think that technologies and all media are enhanced when the thought has gone into the script, the process of writing has the inherent ability to improve vocabulary, and invoke responses that may otherwise be missed without that structure. We can write and re-write to our hearts content, even for just a couple of lines, trying to make the flow of the words appear natural to the reader, even if the writing itself has been arduous.

      1. These words ring so true….It seems that we are only willing to digest information of any kind if it only takes a matter of seconds,this is a phenomenon partly due to the rise of the web….I will never forget the nights,back in my youth,sitting reading the works of Conrad,his intensity and descriptive power blew me away…i still collect “paper” books,i love the feel,the smell and the very act of reading them,by the fire,in the bath,but most ly ,in bed…Every one i know has a kindle but i would never desert “paper”…..Words are the greatest tools we have,and it has been amazing for me to watch as my children aquired language,the power of expression….This is a really thoughtful post on a subject dear to my heart…i am a follower……keep up the great work…. 🙂

  3. Nothing can beat the satisfaction of reading the written word. From non-fiction to fiction I would choose a book over a film version any day. No matter how good technology gets it will never better the imagination!

  4. Writing has its own charm that nothing can match. I don’t think writing can ever become irrelevant, no matter what technological developments are made. This is great read!

  5. I had a relatively serious stroke and a series of minor ones a couple of years ago. One of the peculiar things that happened was losing the ability to sign my name or write legibly. Once I was able to sign my name after several weeks, I took up handwriting and shifted to handwritten letters. Handwriting was able to nurture my thoughts and interactions with the world in unimaginably sensible ways. I was lucky to have a large vocabulary which covered a lot of deficiencies, but over time it was the personal handwritten word that accomplished the understanding of myself and my new situation in the world. I personally don’t believe that it would have occurred otherwise even with the dedicated work of the ‘helping professions’. It has provided me with succour in adversity with anxiety, trauma depression and disorientation. It seems to me that handwriting like music is able to draw the many parts of ourselves together and give them understanding and voice. Just sayin’ . Thanks for the great post.

  6. I love this article. As a new blogger, I love putting my thoughts to paper, or keys to the screen. I am a forever editor, always reviewing and reviewing until I can’t stand it anymore and press publish. I find myself more willing to read a post versus a video blog. The written word cannot disappear.

  7. Great article! It pushes the discussion on the future of books even further. We once worried about the place of books in our new technological society. Now it seems legitimate to bring the future of words to the forefront.

    I highly appreciate these words: “The work of writing shapes our ways of seeing, unlike any other form of communication. The writing process structures our ideas, allows us to discover new connections, and helps us make sense of our chaotic lived-experience”. As a writer and a blogger, my words mean everything to me. They are the way I express myself, I lead, I motivate, I identify to the rest of the world, and most of all I contribute to my community. The best way I can do all that is by writing them down, on actual paper, giving me time to reflect on my thoughts and decide whether it is the way I want to impact the world.

  8. I think you hit it spot on. There is an intimacy in writing, placing the pen in hand that is fading with each click. It makes every letter received by stamp and envelope even more cherished.

  9. The thing that makes writing so powerful is that, although it paints a picture, it is a finely nuanced picture in every mind that reads it. All these little connections happen as a result of one spark. No other media allows the imagination to flow in so many ways.

  10. I definitely agree. There has definitely been a downward trend as far as appreciation of language is concerned. No one reads just for the seek of reading or write just because they feel like it. I feel like langauge is one of the most beautiful things that humans have ever made. Words make so much possible. They have an undescribable magic! Writing is still as important as ever, if not more!

  11. This is a great post and as a writer and former journalist for the BBC I totally believe in the written word. You are so right video cannot structure our experience in the way that writing can. Because of this I rarely consume video apart from 5 second comic clips that people put on Twitter. Our brains are geared up to take in ideas through writing it is much easier to absorb than through video although I love movies are these are structured videos which can also disseminate ideas very effectively. In fact as someone who has survived all kinds of abuse in my childhood and is in recovery from drugs, alcohol, bulimia, OCD, shopping addiction, clinical depression, PTSD and borderline personality disorder writing gives my entire life meaning. Without it I would be tempted to feel sorry for myself as I have had such a difficult life. I am only now for the first time in my life experiencing sanity and recovery from all my mental health problems. But because I am a writer, and have been given the gift of comedy, all my traumatic experiences provide massive amounts of material which I can transmute from dross into gold and make people laugh.

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