Prompted Posts

Precise Vulnerability

In class recently, we have been reading Letters and Life by Bret Lott. In this book, Lott expounds on how he personally ties his vocation (writing) together with his faith. As an aspiring author as well as a christian myself, this is a topic that holds great personal weight for me.

We’re a small bit of the way through the book already, and here I’ve been asked to reflect on the second section we’ve read so far—a section primarily on the precision called for by writing. Lott takes what I think of as a fairly unique viewpoint on this in that he argues that the words we use in writing, and the way we present them, expose a nuances meaning in and of themselves that changes slightly with every small adjustment.

His biblical tie in to this was the way God chose to word the Bible and the details left in it versus the things we don’t get much in the way of context on. As I am also in the William penn Honors Program, and we’ve gone through more than a few books of the Old Testament in that class at this point, I am finding myself in agreement with this assessment given my own experiences. Since reading the bible more in the critical way I have for that class, I have seen more and more that God chooses His language with extreme care, and a lot of meaning can be taken just from the words themselves.

What does this mean for the writers of today? If we are going to emulate the Author of the universe, and of the Bible, then we need to treat our words with caution. Writing calls for precision. This can mean diction, and it can mean integrating your personal experiences into the text. It can mean vulnerability. In the end, the more I learn of writing, the more I feel that if nothing else, that’s what writing is. Vulnerability.


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