Elizabeth Simons is an editor by nature and writer by heart. She was born in Austria and grew up in a bilingual household in mid-Missouri. She has a B.S. in English Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Hungarian was her first language, but she fell in love with English in the first grade. She wrote her first short story at age nine, and her first poem at age eleven. She’s had many occupations, including news reporter, freelance writer, researcher, editor, and teacher. In 2003 she wrote a correspondence course on creative writing for young adults, and she’s currently re-writing her first novel. Elizabeth has an editing business, Prosecraft Editing Services, where she polishes articles and manuscripts until they shine.
This micro-post (essay, if you will) was penned by Elizabeth Simons
Writing is hard work. Make no mistake about it. But oh, the fun you’ll have! You get words, the stuff of language, and you get to arrange them in endless combinations until they sing or fly or glide or roar. You can make up tall tales. You can make people laugh or cry. You can inspire courage or show fear. You can help someone see things from a new point of view. In short, you are the master of all you say.
Some say the written word is the greatest form of self-expression. For painting you need a canvas and brushes and pots of color. For sculpture you need clay and tools to shape it with. For drawing you need paper and pencils. For music you need an instrument. For photography you need a camera. For stories? It’s all imagination.
You say there’s a need for paper (or in today’s electronic world, a tablet or computer), and a pen or keyboard? Ah, but you don’t really need these things to store your words. There was a time when people told their stories by memorizing the ones other people had told, and then making up their own, all without anything being written down. Before the written word, and long before the development of that keeper of facts, the computer, people had the amazing ability to memorize and recite thousands of stories. They knew their history word for word.
So with words you can paint or shape a scene that will inspire the imagination of the person hearing or reading the words. With words you can describe a piece of music that draws your reader right into the heart of the song. With words you can arouse curiosity or inspire courage.
But, hey, I don’t need to be telling you all this. I’m assuming you you already like words, and you want to practice ways to direct them and send them on their way, out into the world where readers will find them and say, “What a great story!”