I can still remember the advice of my author-friend years ago, “If you want to be a good writer who have to be a good reader. You have to love reading.” And I do. It started with the Nancy Drew detective stories penned by Carolyn Keene to lengthy novels and straightforward non-fiction books. The simplicity of the author’s words inspired me to read more because everything flowed naturally and what they said resonated with me.
As a writer (goosebumps), I have adopted a similar style of writing. I want to encourage, uplift and empathize with the readers using uncomplicated words that are easy to chew. I have a message to tell and I want them to get it. If I can affect them in a tiny way, give a glimmer of hope, I have accomplished my goal. At times, when I can’t contain the inspiration to write, I would deviate from the simplicity and use “big words” to spice things up a bit.
I truly admire writers who can produce an article, a blog post or a book that is not at all intimidating to the ordinary reader. Sadly, I have encountered some writers who make me want to scratch my head while reading. Why? Instead of enjoying the published post, I find myself closing the page without finishing the article or putting down the book altogether. The constant use of the dictionary to search for highfalutin words is such a waste of time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love learning and I delight in adding new words to my vocabulary everyday if possible. But to use references per paragraph while I’m leisurely reading is a cross to bear! It just tells me two things: either I’m so dumb because I don’t get it or the writer is too … puffed up.
These kind of writers intimidated me when I was starting out. I wanted to produce quality written work but reading theirs made want to go back inside my shell and hide forever. I felt very discouraged and insecure. I had a hard time composing because those big words didn’t come naturally to me. I don’t have a degree in English or Journalism. All I have is a heart to express myself in words.
By God’s divine appointment, I was able to reconnect, meet and get to know a handful of local writers who simply told me to “just write”. Their books and blog posts were heartfelt and expressed so excellently. Their use of highfalutin words was not at all terrifying but added excitement to their already engaging post.
I am reminded of a status post of a friend, years back. I remember having to read it twice or thrice because my head was spinning in discombobulation haha! Google that! I couldn’t understand what she was saying. It was such a pain to read! I was not impressed. I was turned off.
I have nothing against using ‘difficult’ words but to capitalize on these words to impress rather than connect with the audience is appalling. But then again, the brainy writer can express themselves to a select few, the highly intelligent reader 🙂 But for the common reader, including myself, can manage about thirty percent of big-talking words in an article. If it exceeds fifty percent, I will think that the author is speaking in tongues!
And with that, I would like to invite you to the 36th Annual Manila International Book Fair which opens today until Sunday from 10AM to 8PM at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia. Prepare your Christmas lists and get discounted books, toys, and educational materials for the entire family. Have your books signed by your favorite local authors. See you there fellow book lovers!