Words matter; use them wisely

Published 4:38 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

By Jan Penton Miller
My writing group, Royal Writers, is resuming after a long hiatus. I could not be more thrilled
since the leader is a wealth of information and inspiration both to seasoned writers and those
just starting out. We met last week for the first time, and it was such a kick reconnecting with the
old crowd.
Years ago I stood on trembling legs to read in front of the group with my heart almost beating
out of my chest. My palms were sweating, and I kept my eyes riveted on the page in front of
me. When I finally sputtered the final word and looked up I found a room of kind faces smiling at
me. I immediately felt at home, and I truly missed my people when Covid and other things
snuffed us out.
But the flame is flickering again, and I’m excited to write with more purpose and passion. A
group of like-minded people does that for you. They cheer you on and get your creative juices
flowing. Proverbs 27:17 states that iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. This is
true in many areas of life.
If I spend time in corporate worship I am encouraged and sharpened to live a more Godly life.
When meeting with my writer friends my skills are honed and sharpened. That old saying be
careful of the company you keep may have been meant to encourage people to stay away from
harmful influences, but it is also true in the positive sense.
I love to spend time with writers at conferences and other events who have achieved great
things. Instead of feeling jealous or inferior I always leave with stars in my eyes thinking of the
possibilities! We all need encouragement and an Atta girl once in a while.
On our first week back at Royal Writers we were given a list of topics to choose from for our first
writing assignment. That is really helpful to encourage fresh and new material. One thing
spoken about was letter writing; we all know that’s almost a thing of the past, but when I do
receive a hand written correspondence in the mail it means someone has given of their time.
I suppose that one reason I enjoy writing so much is because I can search for the word that
comes closest to conveying my actual meaning. Unfortunately, in real time I sometimes speak
before my brain has fully kicked in. I wind up wishing I had worded something more precisely or
In my favorite picture of my Daddy he stands proudly in his Marine Corp uniform with a huge
grin on his face. For years I only noticed what a great smile he had, but one day I looked closer

and found that he was holding tightly to a letter from his Mamma. I’m sure she searched to find
just the right words to encourage and send love to her son who was far from home.

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