Words: Do You See It?

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed – Hemingway.

What do words mean to you?

If words become something tangible from our minds onto a book or screen for an audience to enjoy, then perhaps there is no limit to writing. It’s purely subjective. Is there anything that you can predict or control entirely in this world quite like your writings? They are your creations, after all.

So, if you want your character to jump off a building, attempting a fall, and then massive glorious wings sprout out his back mid-flight, then you better add that in. There are no boundaries, no rules, no how-tos. I love the power of manipulating reality into whatever I deem to be fit; that indescribable feeling that comes with conjuring up something so original, so unique, so completely and utterly belonging to just me.

Isn’t that beautiful? I get to be Queen of my imaginary worlds and the mysterious characters that only I will ever know the true paths of and inspirations behind. “Obey me fellow sentences, metaphors, and adjectives!”

This, my dear, is pure art.

What are words to you?

Here’s my little secret: often, in these moments of creating, I imagine words peeking over my shoulder. If words were something real and very much alive, he would be a large puffy cloud of whiteness – like a walking tuft of candy floss, with tiny glasses and friendly eyes. His presence is soothing. As I frantically capture my thoughts into a story, he offers a warm hug and a cup of tea. He makes you feel safe. Somehow, he just gets you.

And that’s what words are to me, at least. It’s a comforter, a friend when the world grows frightening and emotions are too overwhelming to contain. It’s the fuzzy embrace from the inside that reminds you that you are never alone. It’s the fire that burns within you with the desire to immortalise a moment; the craving to create something that’s an extension of yourself, for others to witness.

Yeah, words. It’s pretty remarkable.

– Extract from a presentation at Jeppe Girls’ High School for a creative writing workshop. 2023

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