One Day I Will Find the Right Words

Goats in the Dolomite Mountains

Jack Kerouac  is a literary icon, someone who has great power with the way he wields his words. There are ever so many quotes of his that I love (I have two pages of them stuck to the wall beside me as I type this), but there is one quote of his that stands out for me above all others. In fact, it stands out as one of my favourite quotes of all time. It is this:

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple (from The Dharma Bums)

For me, this quote encapsulates the power of words and how very difficult it can be to find the right ones. I write a lot for myself, but in the past year I have written much here for other people to read. Sometimes sharing words is the hardest thing to do.

A few days ago I finished a draft of a long story that I may eventually (and hopefully) share. It is an awful lot of words, unfortunately not the best ones. I find myself a little burnt out right now because of the recent experience. Words elude me and I need time to recharge. In the meantime, I will be reading lots instead. Do you ever feel the same?

Whether for nonsense, expression of emotion, or the simple sharing of a story, words are powerful: wield them wisely, wield them often. They shape the world, they change lives.

I must go outside now, possibly to climb a mountain. I hope that the fresh air will recharge me. Maybe on the mountain I will find more words. I am sure that they will be simple.

5 Comments

  • Jack Kerouac’ writing is pretty exceptional! There’s so much power in his works and words… The quote you mentioned above is great too! The waiting or better say “working” for the moment to be able to explain, put things into words close to perfection. Rare moments indeed…
    Not meant to be a smart-arse, but I think it should be “Dharma BuMs” instead of “Dharma BuRNs”…
    Jamie, I hope you have been able to unwind a bit while climbing a mountain or something and I’m sure the inspiration will come back. Reading is always a good idea and so is music. Your will probably find a “soundtrack” for pretty much every moment in life. Listening to these tunes may act as a wee teleporter too… 🙂
    Take care, Oliver

    • Thanks for pointing that out!

      And yes, music is a powerful tool. Tomorrow I am climbing on a bicycle and cycling to Japan (only about 250 miles). I will sleep outside, read, and be disconnected from everything. I can’t wait.

      • Sounds fantastic Jamie! I hope you have a wonderful time and I’m sure you will find loads of inspiration along the way… Take care and speak soon, Oliver

  • I adhere to a 3 day rule with serious writing. (Not, obviously, blogging, which is the writing equivalent of whizzing down a hill on a bicycle at top speed with your feet off the pedals and your hands off the brakes and then hitting publish and then wandering off to have a snack.) If you’re dissatisfied, put it away for three days and then come back to it and you’ll see the mistakes and the ways you can say things to mean more what you mean them to say. And- this is even more important: if you are perfectly satisfied with what you have written, then you need to PUT IT AWAY AND COME BACK TO IT AFTER THREE DAYS. Seriously. Hubris is dangerous in any artform. If all else fails, let someone whose writing you trust read it over for you.

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