Group Writing Projects

What Does Powerful Writing Mean To You?

Introducing this month’s theme at Confident Writing: power.

When I first talked about powerful writing I meant this:

Writing with clear, simple language and powerful words. Recognising the power of the written word. Writing that gives power back to your readers. Trusting your instinct and intuition. Writing that flows from your own power source - and knowing what and where that is.

But I have come to realise that my definitions, my understanding of these ingredients of confident writing will grow, shift and develop over the course of the month through the ideas, words, posts and comments that we share here.

This month is a special one as the 11th April marks my 1 year anniversary of writing here. One of the ways I want to celebrate is to highlight and share as much of your writing as possible.

I’m inviting you to join me in talking about powerful writing this month. There are three different ways you can take part (as well as commenting, linking, stumbling in your usual lovely way!) But each one will be in response to the same question:

What does powerful writing mean to you?

The three ways you can answer are to:

1. Write a guest post here
2. Write a piece on your own blog and link back here
3. Send me your one line summary (30 words max)

I would love to get as many one-liners as possible over the course of the month, and I’ll be reminding you about the project and inviting submissions as we go along. You can send them in comments, by e-mail, or by sending me a message on Twitter. I’m intending to post some as we go along, and then to pull them all together into a celebration of powerful writing at the end of the month.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what your answer is yet - I’ll keep on reminding you about the contributions as we go through the month. I’m looking forward to where the conversation takes us - it seems like the perfect follow on to the fire-power of inspiration.


I write to a monthly theme at Confident Writing, based on these ingredients. This month the focus is on power.

If you want to follow the discussion as it unfolds don’t forget you can subscribe to the RSS feed, with in-box and weekly digest options too.

Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count

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39 Responses to “What Does Powerful Writing Mean To You?”

  1. On April 1, 2008 at 12:46 pm Robert Hruzek responded with... #

    Joanna, you can count on me for a guest post!

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  2. On April 1, 2008 at 12:48 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    An early congratulations on your one-year anniversary, Joanna. Seems like you’ve been blogging a lot longer than that. You’ve chosen yet another magnificent theme this month. I’m thinking now about writers who strike me as powerful. Several come to mind, but I can’t quite see their common denominators … hmmm …

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  3. On April 1, 2008 at 5:29 pm Catherine @ Sharp Words responded with... #

    ‘Power’ in writing is something that I wasn’t too sure I could define, but then it struck me: to me, a powerful piece of writing is one which makes its readers think ‘I wish I’d written that’.
    They may admire the use of language or they may admire the actual content, but either way, they’re slightly in awe of it. I could probably think of a few examples if I put my mind to it.
    Powerful writing should also be inspiring!

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  4. On April 1, 2008 at 7:46 pm Karen Swim responded with... #

    Joanna, Happy Early Bloggerversary! I am so excited about this month’s theme. Every month has already been a delightful journey. While I hate to see one theme, I always eagerly anticipate the next. I’m looking forward to reading and participating!

    Karen

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  5. On April 2, 2008 at 3:42 am Damien Riley responded with... #

    How does one inquire at CW about writing a guest post? I am interested in writing one. :) Have a great evening.

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  6. On April 2, 2008 at 9:24 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Hi everyone

    Sorry for the delay in replying, I took a day off to get exceptionally wet in beautiful rain drenched Scotland. And would you believe it the sun is splitting the sky today.

    @ Robert - great news! Your first guest post here was a stunner

    @ Brad - keep thinking about it then you can let me know when your guest post is cooked up :-)

    @ Catherine - the first contribution! Thank you. It’s as if there’s something in the essence of the writing (as you say language or content) that speaks to us or connects with us on a different level - has a different energy (power!)

    @ Karen, don’t worry I’ll be demanding you congratulate me again when we get to the 11th :-)

    I think this theme’s going to be fun too

    @ Damien, you’ve just done it. I’ll e-mail you.

    Joanna

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  7. On April 2, 2008 at 11:55 am amypalko responded with... #

    What a great theme, Joanna! Just what I need after being clobbered with my writing deadline. I need to feel empowered by my words again.
    As for a guest post - count me in! I had such a positive experience contributing here before that I would love to do so again. I’ll let you know just as soon as I’ve come up with something!

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  8. On April 2, 2008 at 1:13 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Amy, that’s great news. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

    Joanna

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  9. On April 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm Debbie Yost responded with... #

    I love this topic! I’m not sure how I’m going to particpate yet, but I’ll get something to you! It’s going to be a great month.

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  10. On April 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm Nick Betten responded with... #

    I’m pretty new to this. This is inspiring in and of itself. I think I can wrap my mind around this and give it a go.

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  11. On April 2, 2008 at 4:05 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Debbie, that would be great. I’m so glad you’re still blogging after being fooled (momentarily!) by your post yesterday :-)

    Joanna

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  12. On April 2, 2008 at 4:07 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Nick, it’s good to meet you. I’m glad the theme is one that resonates with you. Look forward to reading what you come up with…

    Joanna

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  13. On April 2, 2008 at 4:21 pm Robyn responded with... #

    Some folks have power diets and power lunches and power cars and trucks. Power writing’s a great idea and we’ll see what perks in the next little while.

    Thanks for the new challenge, Joanna!

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  14. On April 2, 2008 at 11:03 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Robyn, you’ve given me some ideas just in those short lines - I love the way we spark off each other!

    I’m looking forward to see where you take this in April

    Joanna

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  15. On April 4, 2008 at 11:09 pm Jasmin Tragas responded with... #

    Hi Joanna, thanks as always for your writing hints and tips. Here’s my response!

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  16. On April 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Jasmin, thanks for responding to the challenge!

    The ingredients you identify are very important to me too, and I particularly liked this summary

    “Powerful writing delivers a message, speaks with authority, communicates simply, takes a risk and makes a difference.”

    http://blog.wonderwebby.com/2008/04/04/powerful-writing/

    Making a difference is an important litmus test for me too.

    Joanna

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  17. On April 7, 2008 at 6:53 am Confident Writing responded with... #

    What Is Power? Guest Post By Jim Murdoch

    Joanna has defined powerful writing as:Writing with clear, simple language and powerful words. Recognising the power of the written word. Writing that gives power back to your readers. Trusting your instinct and intuition. Writing that flows from your …

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  18. On April 8, 2008 at 4:12 pm radha responded with... #

    Dear Joanna, thank you!, my entry is: When you write “with power” you are yourself. The only real influence that makes you powerful by writing is the spiritual force within you, that is your inner self. It is made out of pure wisdom, pure creativity and pure joy. Powerful words are words of integration and compassion, love and generosity. You are identified with that power and you are revealing it by writing. It could be also done by painting, dancing or singing…It is just that you feel much joy by sharing thru writing.

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  19. On April 8, 2008 at 10:04 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Radha, thanks so much for that contribution.

    I like the idea that powerful writing is when we share or reveal our self. Sometimes we need to clear excess words out of the way. Sometimes we need to dip in and find just the right to reflect that inner force.

    I’ll be sharing these contributions starting from next week I think, if everything goes to plan…

    Joanna

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  20. On April 9, 2008 at 7:53 pm --Deb responded with... #

    Okay, my post is up!

    http://punctualityrules.com/2008/04/09/passion-driving-your-writing/

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  21. On April 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Powerful writing in 30 words or less? Here goes …
    Memorably evocative. Powerful writing lingers in the mind, sometimes forever. Powerful writing evokes different responses - an emotion, attitude, or desire - but the intensity remains strong with every reading.

    ReplyReply
  22. On April 10, 2008 at 2:54 pm Robyn responded with... #

    Hi Joanna, I just wrote my contribution on “The Power of Thanks.” Not only can saying thanks from the heart change the nature of your day, but writing your thanks to someone you really think deserves thanks from you and then reading the letter you write to him or her, creates a very powerfully moving experience for both.

    This takes writing one step further and the power unleashed is amazing.

    Thanks for a very significant challenge.

    ReplyReply
  23. On April 10, 2008 at 2:55 pm Robyn responded with... #

    I neglected to share the URL…

    http://brainbasedbiz.blogspot.com/2008/04/power-of-thanks.html

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  24. On April 10, 2008 at 11:39 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    - Deb, thanks for your contribution. I found it highly motivating and conveyed a lot of your own passion for the things you write about, and the art of good writing. Thanks for joining in!

    Joanna

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  25. On April 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Brad, thank you. I knew you wouldn’t let me down!

    Isn’t evocative a great word?

    The ability to move, to change, to leave that lingering impression or feeling is powerful indeed.

    Joanna

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  26. On April 10, 2008 at 11:43 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Robyn, thanks for your contribution. I share your belief in the power of gratitude (and not just for good writing)

    I’ve never tried reading out a letter of thanks in that way. It does sound very powerful.

    Joanna

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  27. On April 11, 2008 at 2:24 am Dale responded with... #

    My line on Power Writing: Writing flexes its power behind the reader’s eyes, when the words fade away and the meaning takes over and he reads in great gulps, drinking in the experience.

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  28. On April 11, 2008 at 11:53 am Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Hi Joanna, it took me a while to arrive at my definition, though I still feel something is missing. Your posts and guest posts have great insight.

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  29. On April 11, 2008 at 6:39 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Brad, you know you’re always welcome to come back if you work out what that thing is that’s just at the edge of your mind…

    I’ve been blown away by the quality of the contributions and posts people are writing elsewhere. I’m really looking forward to the final compilation.

    Joanna

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  30. On April 11, 2008 at 6:40 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Dale, that contribution is so powerful it brings tears to my eyes. Without knowing why.

    Thank you

    Joanna

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  31. On April 14, 2008 at 6:46 am Confident Writing responded with... #

    Powerful Writing In 30 Words Or Less: Part II

    What does powerful writing mean to you? I’ve been asking readers how they’d answer that question… in 30 words or less. Here are some contributions. Each one helps to shape and develop my understanding of powerful writing. Which one speaks

    ReplyReply
  32. On April 16, 2008 at 6:51 pm Jason responded with... #

    Fascinating challenge Joanna, after some consideration this is what I came up with:

    “Powerful writing reflects the heart, mind and soul”

    Congratulations on the anniversary,
    Jas.
    http://www.jasonslater.co.uk

    ReplyReply
  33. On April 17, 2008 at 10:03 am Confident Writing responded with... #

    Exploring The Dimensions Of Powerful Writing

    I’m exploring the theme of powerful writing this month and inviting readers to contribute with one-liners, guest posts and pieces on their own blogs. The results have been electrifying and I’m delighted to have the chance to share some of

    ReplyReply
  34. On April 17, 2008 at 11:46 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Jason, thanks very much for taking part, and well done on coming up with such a succinct definition!

    Joanna

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  35. On May 2, 2008 at 7:00 pm Easton Ellsworth responded with... #

    Joanna, great idea.

    What does powerful writing mean to me?

    Making words that lead people to change and improve their thoughts and choices forever. That’s powerful writing.

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  36. On May 4, 2008 at 10:21 am Mervi responded with... #

    Simply: writing which moves me. Even if I end up hating something it still had the power to make me feel. These days we are constantly bombarded with all kinds of messages and I find that I’m indifferent towards or jaded with most of them.

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  37. On May 5, 2008 at 1:22 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Easton, thanks for that powerful to-the-point definition. I think a lot of great blog writing achieves this, don’t you?

    Mervi: I know what you mean, powerful writing can get under our skin somehow, permeate the barriers we put up to deal with the information overload.

    Thanks both of you for adding your words to this conversation.

    Joanna

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  38. On May 7, 2008 at 11:38 pm Bo responded with... #

    Powerful writing makes me pause, then stop and not do what I had intended to do next, simply because I want to think - hard - about what I have just read.

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  39. On May 7, 2008 at 11:58 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Thank you. I like that one a lot. It also happens to me a lot!

    Joanna

    ReplyReply

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