Twenty-six Letters – A Writer’s Origin of Passion

By Beth Winze

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

How often we take words for granted.  If you want to simplify them to their most embryonic form, it is a simple re-use and re-organization of twenty-six altered letters.  That is it.  But the use and construction of these letters can make an influence of greater inspiration than we can even begin to fathom.  They are like a steaming pot, with a volatile potential to overspill and leak everywhere.  Twenty-six letters that can be used to ignite fires in the hearts of a pastor’s congregation, but also used to tell a fading man about his medical test results.  Resorted to as a mother murmurs words of relief to her child in the pandemonium of a storm, and the husband tells his wife of his un-dying adoration on their wedding day.  It is the authority of the word that stirs in our cores as writers.  It generates an insatiable appetite for more.

I think there is a moment in every writer’s life, right before we truly determine our thirst for these twenty-six letters, in which we are struck by the use of the written word.  Books were my world growing up.  I let them sweep me away on expeditions that were only restricted by the volume of imagination I put forth into them.  This craving for reading, lead to my yearning of writing.  I wanted to be the author someday that could take a body down the rabbit hole and through a tale woven from playing cards, a delirious girl, and a Cheshire cat- all birthed from twenty-six letters.  Imagination takes over our concentrations, and we can’t be told the skies the limit, when man has walked on the moon.  Our ideas are our own, carried to term and birthed from our formed creations.  Our stories, essays, poems, articles, journal entries, and blog posts are our babies.  Nursed, taught and raised under our vigilant eyes.  They become a part of us and we take pride in our accomplishment.

The surface potential of words is enough to drive us mad in pursuit for the unsurpassed way to access our sensations.  When a writer is moved, it’s all that consumes our concentrations.  It can be in a quote from a book, a single word skimmed over in a text, or words articulated to us.  When we find the organization of twenty-six letters alluring and beguiling, we cannot be stopped.  It is seared in our brains until the nearest piece of scrap paper captivates our spirits at that instant.  Until those notes are turned into our pieces, it sojourns with us.  The worst feeling for a writer is having a pot of effervescing ideas, and having to let it boil over because no paper is obtainable.  If we cannot let our notions out, we feel as if we may merely combust.  It is an anomalous emotion, but it can, more times than not, reach the point of a natural high.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling

Artists paint to express themselves; singers’ pen lyrics packed with sentiment; the musician performs late into the night; and writers arrange twenty-six letters into their exact form anticipated.  The most insightful part about writers is that no one of us is comparable.  Our imaginings vary from dark mysteries to whimsical fantasies.  Not one true writer will duplicate another.  We appreciate the work and exhaustion that is put into our pursuit of passion.  It is a joint community of deference and admiration.  We are the most individual group of artists you will ever meet.

Twenty-six letters fuel a collection of individuals.  Twenty-six letters snatch our lives and flip our passions around by the head.  That is the true origin of a writer’s passion.  Twenty-six letters modest letters.

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth


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