Possessed by Words

Naming this blog “Possessed By Words” was not a throwaway gesture. Words are intimately connected with the human condition and are a massive part of my life. I love words, genuinely love them. I love the way that we can trace their origins yet our language is constantly evolving with old words falling from our vocabulary as new, more relevant, words take their place.

Words aren’t just objects, they are living, breathing things in their own right. They have their own stories and their own power. Through them we connect with each other, to the world, to the past and the future.

We think we possess words but actually they possess us. They describe us, our names, occupations, places, feelings. We paint pictures with them yet really we are placing them on a canvas and they take on their own lives, inhabit our minds and change our experiences in wildly different ways for each and every one of us.

Words have power and the greatest minds have tried to understand and quantify this power. From the Kabbala, Confucius, Lewis Carroll, Karl Marx and innumerable others humanity has been changed by words. We are all possessed by words and like all things they have their unique vibrations.
You don’t need to be an avid reader or writer to love words, we can all let them into our lives and embrace them.

What words do you love and why?

What has Ritual got to do with Reading and Writing?

It’s simple really – the use of ritual enables a particular state of mind and this can be helpful both with reading and writing. I am not suggesting that you cannot do these without the use of ritual but I would recommend using ritual that you’re comfortable with to get yourself into the zone.

I’ll clarify what I mean by ritual. It is an action that when repeated over time will create a subconscious ripple and speed up access to the required state. This ritual can be a simple action such as wearing your lucky socks, playing your favourite music or stirring your coffee 3 times anti-clockwise. Or you could channel the spirit of William Shakespeare – whatever floats your boat.

image

It doesn’t matter as long as it is meaningful to you and gets you into that zone quicker and takes you deeper into it.

I am a great lover of creating superstition and myth and believe it has a powerful role to counter a lot of the madness of modern life. When I really want to write and block all else out I shut the door, put on some Fields of the Nephilim, don my lucky writing hoodie (yes, really – I bought it for this sole purpose) and brew a strong, thick cup of coffee. I made a New Year’s resolution this year (which is unusual for me) and that was to only drink coffee when I’m writing. I love coffee, the thicker and treaclier the better, so this was a real big thing for me and I’ve stayed true to this.

Once I do this I’m instantly in the zone. No, more than that – once I have assembled the ritual I am a writer. Nothing else exists but writing. I have created a magic circle around me in which I have invoked the best writer I can be. I have created a myth inhabited by the great writer who quite naturally writes mythic tales.

Now think about it whether you write or whether reading is more your thing I bet you have developed some rituals around your reading and writing. But don’t you think you could up the game a bit? Add another layer, just one simple ritual and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits.