Tuesdays Word of the Day – Conversant

Last nights word at my Toastmasters group was conversant.

Merriam Webster’s definition is:

adjective \kən-ˈvər-sənt also ˈkän-vər-sənt\
: able to talk in a foreign language

Full Definition of CONVERSANT

1
archaic : having frequent or familiar association
2
archaic : concerned, occupied
3
: having knowledge or experience —used with with

Tonight as I was listening to the others work the word into their speeches, I thought about how little this word is used and how rarely I’ve heard it.

You’ve probably heard this one. “Write what you know.”

We tend to talk about and write about subjects we are conversant with. It is more comfortable for us and we have more confidence when writing about or speaking about subjects we know.

This falls into the category of what I call the “comfortable familiar”
It can feel very good to be within whatever is our “comfortable familiar” and we can stay there a long time. Sometimes that’s what we need. But there is little or less growth if we stay there.

It can be a good place for a beginning writer to start. It can be a place to return to when you feel the need.

But to grow, as writers, we have to step outside our “comfortable familiar” sometimes and try new things. Or try old things, but in a different way.

What are your “comfortable familiar” things to write about? Try writing about them in a new way and see what happens.

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Threading the Web – Word of the Day – Obsession

Tonight at my Toastmasters group, the word of the day was obsession.

Merriam Webster defines obsession as:

: a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal

: someone or something that a person thinks about constantly or frequently

: an activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing

Often we view the word obsession in a bad way, but let’s look at that third section in Merriam Webster’s definition. An activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing.

Obsessions are those things we are drawn to again and again. These are things we can write about and if you start writing about your obsessions, the writing can get very juicy. The flow could become more like a waterfall and less like a trickle.

The things that call to you, the things that drive you, the things you return to again and again, these are worth writing about.

What do you love?

What is the thing you can never walk away from?

What is the subject of the book you wouldn’t want to put down? The subject you could spend hours watching documentaries about?

What do you collect?

What are your hobbies?

What do you spend your spare time doing? What do you like to do on your vacations?

What are your obsessions?

Start writing about them. Let them trickle into your work. Share the hours of accumulated knowledge on the page so others can learn from and enjoy your obsessions too.

What are you waiting for? Start now. Pick an obsession, start writing and see how juicy your writing can be.