The Power of Words
Please welcome today’s fantastic guest, Michael Sherer, to Murder She Writes! Mike was recently nominated for a Thriller Award for his book Night Blind, and I’m so happy for him. He’s a genuine nice person and has an interesting past as a freelance writer focusing on … food! (One of my favorite things — how is he so skinny?) Anyway, please give him a big welcome and we hope you enjoy this wonderful essay about the power of words … ~Allison
When people ask me how I became a writer, I tell them I majored in English in college because courses in and about my native language were the only ones I felt I could comfortably pass. And the only things you can do with a degree in English are teach or wash dishes. I washed dishes. That got old pretty quickly, so I took a small step up the economic ladder and became a writer instead.
As someone who makes a living from communicating through the written word, you’d think I’d have a ready store of them, a veritable treasure trove of graphemes at my fingertips I can use to describe the world. But I’m often at a loss for words, in more ways than one. As a writer, I’m often stymied by a blank page, unable (or unwilling) to commit words to it, and regularly stumped when trying top come up with a specific word that has suddenly become as elusive as a bonefish in shallow Bahamian water. And in social situations, my mouth becomes inexplicably dissociated from my brain, leaving me awkwardly trying to blend in with the nearest wallpaper.