Writing Practice

The Feel of Your Words

I shared some reflections last week on an experiment I was doing with the look of words:

how I could start playing a bit with words when they were scribbled or differently typed to create a look on the page as well as a meaning in the mind.

From (Re) Learning How to Write

Many of you shared ideas, thoughts and perspectives on your own writing experiments: ways that you slow down and change not just the look of the words but the feeling you get as you write.

Really the comments were too good not to share, so, with thanks, here’s some of what you said:

The Act of Creation

It’s the reason why I prefer writing with pen and pencil instead of the computer sometimes. There’s a sensual feel of watching your ideas flow out from your brain through your hand, and seeing the ideas take form on paper.

It literally feels like an act of creation, and it’s a very intimate and in some cases, sensual experience.

For me, watching my words take form forces me to an extent to be careful of the words I choose, because they have a much stronger impact that way.

Naoko, Broken Shield and Sword

Making Words Come Alive

This weekend my special needs niece showed me her sign language skills. Amazing how words can be acted out with the hands.

Your post and her signing are making me wonder about more possibilities when it comes to making words come alive.

Lori Hoek, Think Like a Black Belt

Permission to Experiment:

I remember vividly being given pure, bright acrylic paints and lovely paper, then just starting to daube.

I luxuriated in the sheer joy of having the time, the space, the opportunity, the materials and permission to experiment. I was irritated with my neighbour in the art room who wanted to chat whilst I wanted to play, to lose myself in the process, in the moment.

Jan Scott, Creative Baby Boomer

When Words Dance

Before my times with computers began two years ago, I abhored the typewriter and did all my writing longhand. I would play with the flow of words, the placement of words on the page, the pressure on the pen’s nib.

I still return to a cartridge pen for the luxury of the it, or pen and ink for a calligraphic feel, and my daily journaling wouldn’t be journaling to me if it weren’t scrawled and scratched-out, filled with dances and lunges and flitterings across the page.

Bo, Seeded Earth

Connecting to the Source

It’s interesting that your word choice was “source” as for me it brought up tapping into the true source for our writing, that internal creative compass from where the words flow.

So often we (or at least I do) focus on the output – the end result. The tools are an instrument but serve to disconnect me [us] in a way.

Karen Swim, Words for Hire

Writing Should Be Fun

Last but not least, Karen Chaffee from Building a Positive Life reminded me of something important:

It seems to me that you learned: writing should be experimental and FUN :)

Indeed I did :-)

And in that vein, I’m continuing to play with words, colours and images to see what comes out.

Here’s possibility from my visual journal:

What One Word?

As a PS, for those of you who are on Twitter, there’s a fascinating meme going round that you can take part in.

Dr Mani  (@drmani) is asking: What One Word Changed Your Life?

You can take part by using the #what1word hash tag - just share your word, and how and why (in 14o, of course)

You can see the results on Twitter search for what1word.

Creativity, trust, belief, courage, possibility…

Just some of the words I saw when I was tracking it earlier today.

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12 Responses to “The Feel of Your Words”

  1. On July 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm Emma Newman
    Twitter: emapocalyptic
    responded with... #

    Seeing as that was the one word I chose, I especially love that choice! Thanks for sharing these here, it reminds me that I need to unplug soon and get creative without a keyboard…
    Emma Newman´s last blog ..The terrible tale of the cinema trip without a handkerchief My ComLuv Profile

  2. On July 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm victoria responded with... #

    Ahh, the “organicness” of words, swaying, swinging, wrapping in and out, dancing, tossing, bouncing. No greater joy . Alas, at the moment struggling to get my meter back and jump into the pool of verbalness. How to unblock, is the question. Could use hearing some suggestions.

  3. On July 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm Lori Hoeck responded with... #

    Thank you for posting these and for the link love. Wonderful stuff. Here’s what I tweeted:

    “Blogging” #what1word It opened up my writing, my passion, helped me meet awesome people, helped me give back, helped me see a better world
    Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..Three ways a narcissist can take control My ComLuv Profile

  4. On July 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm Debbie Yost responded with... #

    I find it interesting how many people prefer to still write long hand instead of by computer. I understand their purpose, but for me, when it comes to writing, I sometimes find it hard to keep up with my thoughts that way. Now that I type better, I am much more productive writing directly to the screen. For me it’s the combination of the words. However, I do take care in what font I use and I like different fonts to portray different meanings.

    One thought on Lori’s comment; I agree, words can be spoken in many different forms. My daughter has Down syndrome and we believe she has verbal speech apraxia so at 4.5 she has very few verbal words, but with some hand gestures and body language she gets her point across quite well. She has a cute way of showing her frustration when you say no by stomping her foot and then repeating her request. She also now has a communication device that she loves being able to use to “say” what she wants or needs. We don’t realize how much freedom words can give us until they are taken away from us.
    Debbie Yost´s last blog ..Childhood Memories My ComLuv Profile

  5. On July 14, 2009 at 6:28 am Davina responded with... #

    Hi Joanna. I love what Karen has said about writing being experimental and fun. And this meme sounds intriguing. How will I EVER choose just ONE word! I’ll have to marinate on this.
    Davina´s last blog ..To Smile A Smile My ComLuv Profile

  6. On July 14, 2009 at 6:45 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Emma glad you liked these words… unplugging is good sometimes - maybe a creative exercise will help you figure out what to do with those plates too…?

    victoria hello and welcome :-) Suggestions… well I might suggest starting where you are - could you do something hand written, painted or otherwise ‘unplugged’ with the words you’re using to describe your blockedness, even the word block itself? What happens when you unpick it, look at each letter separately, spin them around a bit on the page maybe and see where they settle? Or you could do something with ‘jump into the pool’…. from that it sounds like you know what you want to be doing :-) Good luck!

    Lori wow, I love your one word answer, and particularly the reasons you give for it… Me too.

    Debbie I know what you mean, I couldn’t hand write more than a few lines or sentences, and they’d need to be pre-thought. Whereas writing with a keyboard allows me to let things spill out and think as I go. But there is something that happens, some way the relationship shifts, when you use your hands to do more than just type. That’s what I found anyway.

    I love your description of Peanut’s communication skills! What a girl. And was struck by this point:

    “We don’t realize how much freedom words can give us until they are taken away from us.”

    It’s a good reminder of why we should take care with our words.

    Davina it’s been a really interesting meme to watch and take part in. I’ve loved the choices that friends have made, and their reasons why… never ceases to amaze me what people can communicate and convey in just 140 characters

  7. On July 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm write a writing responded with... #

    I love doodling with the pen or pencil when I am juggling around words but when it is about writing them down then cannot even think aside MS word. but yeah the pen n paper gives you more free hand as in CREATING !
    Sometimes love the feeling :)
    write a writing´s last blog ..Learn Business Writing: A Few Commandments My ComLuv Profile

  8. On July 14, 2009 at 7:14 pm Karen Chaffee responded with... #

    Your example, “Possibility,” gives new meaning to the expression: words as art.

    Have you thought of framing it? Hanging it somewhere near where you write? I think I’m going to “borrow” it and do exactly that :)


  9. On July 15, 2009 at 7:30 am Wilson Pon responded with... #

    Joanna, by reading your article, it makes me feel like dancing with the words (Not the wolf Lol)…

    If you want me to spell out the word that had changed my life, I would probably say, “Faith”!

  10. On July 18, 2009 at 3:44 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    amna yes, when there are a lot of thoughts I think typing helps us to process them. The pen and paper is different - slower, more deliberate, creative, and maybe even fun ;-)

    Karen what a lovely thing to say - no I hadn’t… but I think I will

    wilson dancing with words, what a delightful image. That’s a very powerful word too, thank you for sharing it.

  11. On July 20, 2009 at 6:33 am Davina responded with... #

    Hi Joanna.
    I’m back. What one word has changed my life? Metaphor! I’ve been playing with tuning in to see what messages are there for me intuitively and watching as they transform right before my eyes. They come to life. The possibilities for adventure and self-discovery are endless and continue to excite my curiosity.
    Davina´s last blog ..Roaming with the Metaphor My ComLuv Profile

  12. On July 21, 2009 at 8:14 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Davina wow, thanks for sharing that. Metaphor. Brilliant, because of course it’s a word that works at so many levels. Here’s to endless adventure :-)


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