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We can re-discover our mojo through the written word.

Words express ideas, which can arouse us emotionally, intellectually, spiritually — or leave us cold. If ideas have different levels of energy, so do words.

Generally, formal ‘high register’ words — derived from Latin and Greek — have less energy than shorter, mid-register, plain English words which come originally from the Germanic languages (I’m talking roughly 1500 years ago), eg ‘end’ vs ‘terminate’, ‘buy’ vs ‘purchase’, ‘ask’ vs ‘request’.

This came alive for me the other day.

I was running a writing clinic for some lawyers. One of them had written a turgid blog post on a legal development, full of high falutin’ phrases and verbose expressions. She could barely read it. So I asked her to ‘translate’ it into plain English.

What a contrast! Suddenly the imagery was concrete, vibrant and interesting; the turns of phrase were original and varied; there was even some levity in there. She’d found her voice. The piece was transformed. But so was she.

Her whole demeanour had changed. As she skipped out of the room, her face and body beamed with energy, confidence and joy.

This is why I do the work I do.

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