"Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by doing so to make it true."
One of the things that makes us humans special is our ability to learn and understand verbal language. We name things. That is what writers do. That takes courage. We conceive a thought, write it down and share it with others. And this also makes writing different than painting.
Eric Fischl, an American artist, says it this way: "The difference between painting and other forms of creativity like writing or filmmaking is that painting is a preverbal experience." The language of painting is the language of the eyes. We communicate by seeing. The language of the spoken word is the language of the ears. We understand by hearing. Language was first spoken before it was written. It takes courage to speak and to hear what is spoken.
The ability to conceive a thought and then speak it is an amazing gift. If you ever become depressed because you feel you don't have talent, stop and think about the many gifts you have been given — the ability to think, the ability to comprehend language, the ability to speak words and the ability to write and read. Consciousness itself is an amazing gift. If you don't think of it as a gift, imagine being dead and having no consciousness.
|Painting by Eric Fischl|
And because we can speak words, we are able to imagine that which is not. We are able to conceive ideas and worlds that do not exist. We are not limited to the world that we see, hear, taste, smell and touch. And writers have the power to help us see worlds that only exist in our minds. Imagination is an amazing gift. Celebrate your imagination. Celebrate your ability to speak.
Here is Salman Rushdie discussing his creative process.