Friday, 9 September 2011

All Great Things are Simple

As Winston Churchill would say, all great things are simple. And it's true. We have the freedom to write as we please, and we also, as writers, have a duty to do so. Words do not appear in our heads just so we can dismiss them. Have you ever noticed that many of our most profound thoughts come to us while we are sleeping? How many of you have risen to write down words that wouldn't go away, or have a tape recorder nearby to save those words until morning? I have risen in the night to write complete poems or songs, or opening thoughts for a novel, or just to scribble down a few words that resonated in my brain while it was resting.

It is often the simple words that are the most inspiring. Speaking from the heart draws readers to your words, probably because this is where the true mind lives, deep within the heart and soul of everyone. What made Oprah so popular? It was her ability to become one with her followers. I recall one season when she used the theme of I'm Every Woman at the beginning of her shows. This was simple but true. Whether Oprah is "every woman" or not doesn't matter. What mattered was that her followers thought she was and they related to her in that way.

On the other side of the coin, filling one's writings with too many big sounding words is nothing more than fluff. These words take away from the action of your writing and the true meaning of what you are trying to convey. A perfect example could be writing a speech. Short is always better...ask the audience. Complicated, lengthy and drawn-out rambling is just plain boring. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Write to an audience. How many times have you read this little gem? But it has merit. When you write a novel, poem, or song, the ones that become the most popular are the ones that have a general audience. Writing to an over-all group with thoughts and words that hit them in the gut is simplicity. Everyone is the same in their inner core.

Keeping it simple also helps to squash the misunderstandings that might arise. Many times an explanation is related in such a way that it ends up giving an entirely different meaning than was intended by the writer. Be straightforward and you can't go wrong.

Most of all, be sincere. If you can't relate to the subject yourself, then how can you expect your readers to? Write in the people's language and the people will respond.

Positive words are the most influential words a writer can write. Even if you have to write about doom and gloom, try and find a bright spot, something for the reader to hang onto thorough all the gruesomeness.

I leave you with one more thought: Think like a wise man, but communicate in the language of the people...
William Butler Yeats. 
Happy Writing everyone!

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