Story Tips

13. Paint the pictures

Over the years, I’ve come to realise something very important and that is the value of words. Of course, as a writer, words are what I do, but it's taken me twenty years to understand that words are nothing more than a tool and when we use them in this way, this is where the magic happens. My mother was the most extraordinary painter and she taught me so much. When people asked her how she painted, she often replied that her brush knew where it wanted to go. As a result, the images that poured out onto her canvases were filled with movement, emotion and layers of depth and meaning. She tapped into something real inside herself and in doing so, created an emotional journey for those who saw her paintings. Words, like a paintbrush, are a powerful tool, but they do not hold any value or importance in themselves. The value comes when a writer uses words to paint the pictures and take their audience on an emotional journey. Use your words like a paintbrush. Create beauty, ease someone’s pain, deliver hope and make us laugh till we cry. Trust your pen. It knows what to do.

A painting titled ‘Faces’ by a beautiful, talented artist and my wise mother, Ditte Slade


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