What does a writer do? – using only the ten hundred most used words

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January 23, 2013 by Tracey S. Rosenberg

There’s a Thing going round on the Internet which is this: can you explain a hard idea using only the ten hundred most used words? It’s not very easy.

Here’s mine:

I make up stories by writing words on paper or typing them on a computer. (It changes because sometimes I feel like writing words in different ways.)

The words need to make sense in the order I put them in, and when people read those words they should have a picture in their mind of what the story is about. It’s okay if people get a slightly different picture than I did, because words shouldn’t just mean one thing. But when people don’t understand the stories it might be because I wrote the words in a confusing way. This means I sometimes have to write the words over and over again in different ways before I can say, yes, this is a good story.

Sometimes my words make people angry. That might sound bad, but it’s okay to make people angry with your words! You are making them think carefully about your stories. That is always a good thing.

Most of the time, no one gives me any money to write stories, but I do it anyway because I love doing it. I love it even when a lot of people tell me “sorry, but these words are not very good.” Sometimes two or three people tell me that in a single day. Sometimes they tell me that even though I gave them money to read my words! Then I cry and hug my cat and say, “well, who needs to write words anyway? Stupid words.”

But it feels great when people say, “we love these words and want to put them in our book” or “we love these words and here is some money so you can write more stories”.

Sometimes, instead of writing the words, I stand up in front of people and say them out loud. This can feel even worse because the people who say “we don’t like these words” are right there in front of me. But at least they are usually nice to me after I say the words even if they don’t like them. When people like the words I say, they are happy, and I like that a lot. I don’t usually get money for this, either.

When I do get money for writing words, I buy books, because as much as I love to write words, I love reading the words other people wrote, too.

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Photo credit: Rahima Subhan

Tiny bio

I live, work, and write in Edinburgh. I travel to other places as much as I can. To contact me, email writingmostly at gmail dot com.

Books

CURRENTLY READING: The Ginseng Hunter by Jeff Talarigo.

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