Thursday, November 14, 2013

Coming To Our Senses Over Words

Is the written word a sixth sense? To all writers and perhaps many readers, it is. Or, is it?

How do we even define what a sense is? To me, a sense is a way to experience/communicate something. We certainly agree taste, touch, hear, see, and smell fall into this category. But why not thinking, or emotions, or the written word?

It seems we can’t really “know” anything unless it comes to us using at least one or more of the traditional five senses. We can’t understand life without our senses. But to really interpret what we experience through our raw senses, I think we need to feel, think, reason, and write.

Not all senses are equal. Most would take sight over smell or touch over hearing. Further, the senses are most powerful when experienced in unison. But some senses can overwhelm us. Too much taste could lead to obesity; bright or flashy can blind us. But humans naturally like too impair themselves and put their body and mind in another state. Drugs, alcohol, stress, lack of sleep and other things can change the way our senses experience life.

To me, writing is a sense. I don’t really experience anything until I’ve written about it. That experience then lives on forever once it’s been recorded. Whereas our senses are fleeting, writing becomes a permanent sense.

Reading the written word is a sense as well, for to take in life through the expressed thoughts, dreams, ideas, questions, and experiences through a book is to experience life as a voyeur of the mind.

The written word can be so powerful. It can reflect a declaration, a confession, an eyewitness account, and pieces of history. It can also provide a bold vision, a statement of theory, a moment of inspiration or a fantasy. If the written word can mean and do so many things, it may be considered a super sense. Words can cause us to kill or love. They can inspire and empower or suppress and instill fear. They can lead us to take action or cripple us. Words shape us -- and we can shape anything with our words.

I drink and eat words. I can see them, hear them, and touch them. They can leave me with a smell, too. Words represent all of the senses and are a sense unto themselves. I couldn’t think of a better way to experience life than through the written word.


Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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