Writing Tip: Using Words


Photo Credit: Donna J. Sanders

Writing prompts and inspirational calls are great incentives to get your creative juices flowing, but sometimes a simple word or phrase can inspire me to write. Being the book nerd that I am, I often follow or subscribe to “word of the day” pages and sites where an unusual word or phrase will appear and a great poem will come of it.

On Instagram I follow @whiskeybooks – found by reading another poets post. They often post a word or phrase with its meaning. One in particular which I never heard of – L’appel du Vide – a French phrase meaning: call of the void, and often used to describe the urge to jump from high places. I loved the phrase so much and was determined to use it in a poem. I read its meaning over and over again and then thought of the Grand Canyon to be my subject. I ended up writing one of my favorite poems out of the thousands I have written by using this beautiful foreign phrase:

L’appel du Vide
How can one not be in awe

where Earth meets heaven

a fortress of plateaus

glistening in many a majestic sunrise

canyons carved by rivers of rage

gouged by nature’s distress

I would be humbled in its presence

overwhelmed by its power

anxiously waiting for it

to swallow me whole

As writers, we have the ability to see beauty in words – whether they reflect negative aspects (e.g., rage, prison, thorns) – a good writer can manipulate such words to create sensuous images or use them symbolically. So sign up on all your social media sites and search for pages like: Words of Inspiration, Inspirational Quotes, even the Dictionary will send you a word of the day on their app or via email. Snatch a word or two to use the next time you need inspiration. And always take a moment to see what pages inspire other artists as well.

Work Cited: Goldberg, Natalie. 1986. Writing Down the Bones. 2nd Ed. London: Shambala Publications.

Written by: Donna J. Sanders

Donna J Sanders About the Author

Donna is a freelance writer and blogger in West Palm Beach, FL. She is the author of AtaraxiaCardboard Signs, Devour Me and Charcoal Kisses.

Find out more about her here:

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Writing Tips Volume 1

Now Available in Paperback $10.95

Do you dream of being a writer? Have you already dabbled with words, but still need some help finding your style on paper? Or are you one of those who have so much to write, but just can’t find the time to get the task done? This book could be your saving grace. Put together by a group of talented writers from the Creative Talents Unleashed family, Writing Tips Vol. 1 is for any level of writer.

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Contributing Authors: Donna J. Sanders, Author of Ataraxia, Cardboard Signs, Devour Me, and Charcoal Kisses Jody Austin, Author of This Is My Pen, Volume 1 Laura Marie Clark, Author of City of The World Raja Williams, Author of The Journey Along The Way & Imprints In The Sand.



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