Saturday, 15 January 2011

Words that mark the difference

At a young age, we strive to fit in with everyone else. Trying to be normal is the common aim at school and any difference with the rest will probably trigger a complex, so we hide it to blend in with the masses.

However, as we grow older, we strive for the opposite. We seek the unique quality that will distinguish us from the rest. We no longer want to be lost in the crowds but rise above them. Both in our professional lives and our personal lives. We want to be remembered and I think this is driving force for many writers.

I've read many books and blog posts worth remembering. Each with a different idea or phrase that made them memorable. So even if those writers haven't been published or been recognized for their uniqueness, they will be remembered by those who read their work and maybe their words will make a difference to their readers at the time or in the future. Their efforts will have an impact.

When I was 12, my Spanish teacher said I wrote beautifully. I believed her at the time and her words had more influence on me than she could have expected. I felt I was good with words and it gave me the confidence to use them and try to improve the way I used them. I often wonder if she really meant it, but even if she didn't, they gave me something to exploit and pursue.  

Words said by the right person at the right time can change your life for the best. So we should always take great care over our words. We never know the influence they may have on our readers or listeners. They may mark the difference.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Feliz New Year

Feliz Año Nuevo, or Happy New Year for non Spanish speakers.

Many of you are sliding back into your routines, but the Christmas holidays haven't finished yet in Spain. We are now awaiting the arrival of the Three Wise Men on the 5th of January. Traditionally, children wouldn't get any presents on Christmas Eve in Spain, they'd get them on the 6th of January, brought by the 3 Kings on their camels. Many families are still faithful to this tradition, but Father Christmas has begun to creep into some houses here and sometimes shares the workload with the Kings.

In any case, this means that we are celebrating, eating and drinking during two weeks. By the end of it, many of us are pretty glad it's over. I think I need another holiday to get over the festivities. However, I do enjoy Christmas and part of me is sad when it ends so I'll try to make the most of this week before we're back into our daily routines. And most importantly, I'll build up on the calories before I say goodbye to them.

I hope this year is full of writerly and personal success for all of us and I hope we can share and celebrate them together.

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