Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Power of Words

Many years ago I had the privilege of reading a pretty powerful book on words. It was called, "The Power of Little Words." In this little book by John L. Beckley, I learned why short words are important. Why short sentences leave the reader thinking instead of lost. Most of all, I learned I how long winded I can get as a writer.

Getting long winded is a little bit like running a long race. Except, we don't take a break, we keep going even when it hurts. But sometimes, even in races, it's a good idea to slow down.

I remember one such race a few years ago. We always have a race right before the Days of '47 (pioneer) Parade in Salt Lake City. Every year, runners run the track that the floats and bands will be traveling soon after.

One year, as I was watching these runners, one of them left the track, and just a few feet away from me hurled his breakfast. Luckily, the tree got it, but I also realized, he was at his limit. It was time for this runner to slow down.

He left the tree and continued to walk. I don't know how long he walked, but I hope he walked until he felt better. I hope he got a few drinks of water before running again. I hope he took care of himself.

Writing is a bit like (you know) but it is also about slowing down. Writing short. Paying attention to the simple words rather than the dramatic. It's getting your point across as succinctly and powerfully as possible.

And some days it's a good idea to take a look.


  1. Kathryn - It was great meeting you today. Enjoyed our little adventure to Blue Iguana! Hope we connect on another day.

  2. Ann! I didn't see you after the class. So sorry to have missed you.

    Yes, it was great meeting you. Wasn't the food GREAT? Keep in touch. Really. I would love to hear from you again.


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