Yoda crushes it with his wisdom. And he’s a pretty awesome jedi, too!
Sometimes, Yoda nails it.
Words have meaning.
What we say, we become. This is a mantra even of self-improvement gurus, but it goes double for authors.
I was chatting with someone at a local writers meeting who said to me that she was “trying to be a writer”. This is someone who has completed a novel and is working through the process of a second round of editing. I asked if she wrote regularly, and she stated she did. I replied that she was already a writer, whether it was a page, a chapter or a complete manuscript.
She paused and then nodded.
And inside, my brain echoed the sage words of Master Yoda: “Try? There is no try. Do or do not.”
Words, both internal and spoken have power. The power to change our minds or our mindset.
To me, words have always had power. I’m a pretty literal person and I try to be intentional in my word choices. I was especially attracted to this characteristic in the portrayal of Aesop in HETAERA:
“I find myself drawn to this girl,” Sappho said, moving to stand by me. “She is young and clever. I have need for such a girl at present. Will you sell her to me?”
I was dumbstruck. When sense returned to me, I found Aesop considering Sappho with an expression not unlike my own. He shook his head.
“I cannot, fair poetess. She is bound for Xanthes the Samian, by order of Iadmon himself.” He placed a hand in the small of my back and drew me nearer to the colonnade.
“To what end? One sale is as good as another. There is somewhat about her expression—there, you see it?—in the eyes. I could learn to love such a face, I think. You will not deny me.” She smiled sweetly, very sweetly indeed.
Aesop furrowed his brow further. “I cannot, dear lady. I gave my word.”
“Then take the words back again. For me.” This time Sappho’s smile did not quite reach her eyes.
“No, Poetess. I cannot take back my promise.” Aesop gave a slight bow. “Not even for you. My words are all of what I am.”
I just loved Aesop and judging from reader reactions, they did too. Aesop stands by his assertions. He’s a man of words and a man of his word. He’s the consummate storyteller. The great fabulist.
I try to do the same. Writers write. On their own schedule, in their own time, in their own way. Tell a good story. Live with meaning.
Who knows? Perhaps years from now, someone will find something that touches them in what I had to say.
Try not to let anyone’s standards define you, in anything that you do.