Why Great Words are Electric

During a weekly broadcast a couple of years ago, internet radio host Glen Brooks introduced me to his audience as a "Word Alchemist." 

My new self-image! (PS: that's not really me in the picture :-)

My new self-image! (PS: that's not really me in the picture :-)

I loved the image those words generated in my mind. Suddenly, I had a vision of myself hunched over a table in my mysterious "word laboratory," my face lit by glittering, alchemical light as I spun lead into gold with a few clicks of my mouse.

I still giggle when I think about that.

That moment was magical for me. In two words, Glen summed up my gifts more powerfully and completely than any resume or byline I'd ever written. I've used the title ever since, and consider it one of the best gifts I've received in the course of my career. 

Great words have power. The titles we bestow on ourselves and others, and the labels and identities we assign to the things in our world, all have a magic beyond what we can immediately see and sense. 

When we use powerful language in our writing, we take the energy of our belief, intention, and desire and stuff it into a neat little package of letters. When the reader opens this packagewhen s/he reads our wordsPOW! That energy bursts forth like a jack-in-the-box, creating an electrifying experience. 

So, when it really counts—like when you're creating your book's back cover copy, or putting a name to your amazing spiritual gifts—I encourage you to go on a quest for those totally awesome, punch-packing, vision-inducing words that hit your readers like a meteorite.

(Hint: polling your visionary pals is a great place to start!) 

Finally,  I'll leave you with a quote from the incomparable Mark Twain: "The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter. 'Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.


Bryna Rene Haynes is the founder and President of The Heart of Writing. In over a decade as a writer, editor, ghostwriter, designer, and publishing consultant, she has helped hundreds of authors find their authentic voices and create powerful, memorable, successful works. She lives outside of Providence, RI, with her husband and their little Moonbeam, Áine.