Writing could be a beautiful thing. But as the words we write are powerful and can alter reality, we have to be careful with it. We may find it hard to express our real feelings sometimes. Words in the dictionary may not be enough to convey how we really feel. And failing or succeeding in writing can bring us to a place where we feel lost. We might be tempted to give up. Here are 3 TED talks on writing that will help solve all these dilemmas.
TED talks on writing
How fake news does real harm
TED talk on Writing by Stephanie Busari
With our easy access to the news and information through the internet, news travel fast indeed. But in order to cover up a scandal, a tragedy or to help clean an image of someone in power, fake news is being spread and is now very rampant. Stephanie Busari is a journalist and editor of CNN International. She talks about how fake news harms us and what we can do about it.
Spreading fake news could only delay justice by covering the truth. It can provoke people by spreading animosity and confusion, dividing people instead of uniting them.
What can we do? Verify the source and the facts. Before you hit the share button or engage in the comment section, do your due research about the topic. Be objective and think about what could be the hidden agenda or propaganda?
Stop and think. Trust your instinct and check with reliable sources. Don’t share it if you are unsure. That is only like spreading rumors. Think before you click.
Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions
TED talk on Writing by John Koenig
Words are powerful…and beautiful. They have the power to make us less alone. John Koening, writer of “Obscure Sorrows” who wrote talks about real words. Are words real? How do we know? A real word is one that gets you access to as many brains as you can. That’s what makes it worth knowing. The realest word of all by this measure is this: O. K. That’s the most commonly understood word in the world, no matter where you are.
The meaning is not in the words themselves. We’re the ones that pour ourselves into it.
A beautiful point of his talk about words is this: “When we’re all searching for meaning in our lives, and searching for the meaning of life, I think words have something to do with that. And I think if you’re looking for the meaning of something, the dictionary is a decent place to start. It brings a sense of order to a very chaotic universe. Our view of things is so limited that we have to come up with patterns and shorthands and try to figure out a way to interpret it and be able to get on with our day. We need words to contain us, to define ourselves.”
We forget that words are made up. Somebody at one point in history coined a term to describe or define something; a feeling, an emotion.
Remember that words are not real and they don’t have meaning. But we do.
Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
TED talk on Writing by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love found it challenging to write again after her big break. She said it was tough for her to think about writing a book that might disappoint those who adored her book that was turned into a movie and that will disappoint her haters knowing that she’s still alive.
But she can’t give up her vocation so she found a way to get her going again.
She had always loved writing. She wrote since childhood all the way to adulthood; waitressing and writing, sending her works to publishers and getting rejected every time. For six years, she received nothing but rejection letter.
Every time, it was devastating and she began to ask if she needs to quit and spare herself from the pain of rejection. She resolves to keep writing because for her, her love for writing is bigger than her ego. Her love for writing is bigger than she hates failing at writing.
Success and failure seems alike in the sense that both experiences catapult you abruptly to a place extremely away from where you are. Although success and failure are opposite, they both bring you to different places and your subconscious is unable to determine which is good and which is not.
When you feel lost after a failure or after a success, the remedy is to go back to where you feel most at home in. She gave a hint: your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself. It could be creating, service, or adventure.
If you’re feeling lost right now, be it because of debilitating failure or overwhelming success, go home. It is where you’ll find yourself. If you can’t find the words to express how you feel, make something up. If you want to be an effective writer, know how to determine the fabricated story from the real one. And help spread what is true. Words are powerful and beautiful and we must use it to make the world better.
Do you have any recommendations for TED Talks on writing?