Thursday, August 22, 2019


“My opinion will not be lenient. My opinion, it’s real convenient, our words are loud, but now I’m talking action. We don’t get enough love? Well, they get a fraction.”—Tyler Joseph, Neon Gravestones by Twenty One Pilots

I think words have been too important to me.
I was never able to exchange them with others, to find that connection of words. I always struggled with words—struggled to find the words and then struggled to say them. Words became mythical in proportion. Words were all I could think of. They were the way to bond with other humans. How do you open the door to another’s heart? The door to your own? Words.
As a writer, words are power. Words allow you to say what you mean, and to invent new worlds when yours is cold—wordless. Their importance was so inflated, I thought if I could say the words, that was enough. More than enough, that was all. The be-all, the end-all.
If I could just crack open my vault and spill my words to others, then they would become my friends. When I failed to break open my lips and shed my words, I thought if I wrote them down, that would be enough. Maybe it would be all. Even in a world of speech—of flowing words—people seldom say the important things.
But I could. If I wrote them down. Masked them in fiction or bared them in a letter. In a text, perhaps.
But sometimes words need to not be said.
Sometimes they are not all. Sometimes it is not enough to force them out, to write them down. Sometimes it is more important to keep them inside. And sometimes, you need more than words. Sometimes you need something else entirely.
Something that can actually be more powerful than words.
I think I am a writer. I think that all the power of human meaning is mine, because I can command the words.
That is not true.
Writers always tell each other: show, don’t tell.
There is a thing called action.
A verb.
Sometimes, we must do. We must show, not tell.
That is not to say the telling is not important—that the words are not important. But there is more to life than words.
Sometimes words fail, and that’s ok, because there is a recourse, if you remember that words are not all. And sometimes, words are useless, because there is no meaning behind them. They get used and used again until they lose their savor, their zest, and their menaing.
Words need meaning. They need to be verbs. Not passive verbs, but active.
Words are important, but sometimes action is more so.
And we writers mustn’t forget that.