The caption on the lower right corner of my business card reads ‘Words Count’. A professional acquaintance thought I was trying to emphasise the importance of a word count so that I can bill clients accordingly.
Couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
As a writer, words are my currency. I’m not the best writer there is, far from it. But I’m good in my chosen field, and I work hard to do a good job. After two years of freelancing, I’m gratified that (a) people I’ve worked with in the past still recommend me to others, and (b) people choose to continue working me with me.
Years ago, when I first started working, my father told me once that my being able to write well is a gift, and that I should be proud of it. Even though it’s taken years for that to sink in, I realise now that I am.
A large part of this realisation is wrapped up in those two words. I believe words matter, whether they’re spoken or written. You only have to pause and think for a moment to know this for a fact – think of a speech, a eulogy, a poem or a line in a novel that resonates in your mind because it expresses something so simple or profound or moving that you’ve never forgotten it.
On the flip side, we probably have less positive words imprinted on our hearts and minds that come to mind just as easily – harsh statements, unkind remarks, rude and disrespectful comments that have been directed at us or left our own lips/fingertips.
Words can carry hope, inspiration and comfort; they can also instil fear, pain and resentment. Whether it’s a Facebook post or tweet, a politically-charged statement or call-to-action, it all depends on how we use them, to make them count for something.