Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Power of Words in Writing and in Life

The words we speak, write, and even paint have power. I learned a lesson long ago as a child that words can hurt and that hurt can last forever. As a little five or six-year-old, I was happily singing a popular song when my uncle laughed at me and said that I couldn't carry a tune. His words stung, and I never forgot them. My childish joy was gone, and I didn't try to sing again except later on as part of the church choir.

"A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword." Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

As writers, we understand the power of words. We recall the first time we saw our names in bylines on stories we wrote for newspapers or magazines. We were proud of the headlines above those stories. The words meant something. Other people were reading the words we hammered out on typewriters and, later, on our computer keyboards.

Many of us have discovered the power of words in the titles of our books. Those words, the titles, can mean the difference between good sales and minimal sales. A few years ago, I was enamored with the title, Night Watch, for my novel. Since part of the story featured an art theft of old master paintings, the name of one of the most famous of those paintings seemed perfect. Not so. Other books had the same title, so mine did not stand out. I lost the power of words I once held in my hand.

Artists find power in the words they paint, or sometimes hide, in a work of art. I have a series of work
"Will There Be Peace Anywhere" ©Mary Montague Sikes
that I am creating that usually includes the word "peace." That word is quite powerful. Its use in art adds to the power, I believe.

Words have power and so do good deeds. Do you use words wisely?

©Mary Montague Sikes

5 comments:

Nancy LiPetri said...

I enjoyed this post and the art!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great post, Monti and always, enjoyed your art work.

Helen Macie Osterman said...

So many writers are also artists.
That's because we are right-brained. That's the creative side of the brain.
Yes, words do have power and so many people forget that.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Nancy!

Thank you, Marilyn. I love sharing my art!

Since I was a small child, I have done both, Helen!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Nice art piece. What medium did you use? It looks like a collage, so I'm guessing mixed media. Size is also important. Is this a small or large piece. I'm also an artist in addition to being an author, but I tend to work in 3D formats. Combining words in an art piece adds power and interest. Beryl