There is a story in each one of us; the difference is in how it is told. That becomes the difference between a writer and someone who can write.




A writer and someone who can write are two different people. Both love words, but the writer feels words; they are forever dancing in her mind and heart, often elusive and just out of reach, like a butterfly, but always there, fluttering, teasing, inviting.

In contrast, someone who can write chooses words; deliberately, intentionally and clinically. Someone who can write has power over the words they choose, whereas a writer is subjected to the power of words. Words choose her. Words are her friends. They arrive unannounced and begging.   

A writer’s heart, feelings, experiences, heartaches, pain and joys form the words and sentences. They cannot be stopped. This causes the writer to connect with her reader and the reader sees beyond her words. As they read, the writer’s experience becomes theirs. Her sorrow and heartache cause tears and her joys cause a smile. The reader is moved as the writer’s words speak, sing or scream.  

After writing, the writer feels spent; her story spilt emotionally, vulnerably and wholeheartedly in the words and phrases before her.

‘How did they get there?’ she asks in wonder.

For the one who can write, however, there is a feeling of relief, satisfaction or frustration after writing. The job is done. They can move on.

A writer’s story is rarely planned. There are times she is taken by surprise and has to stop what she is doing before the words escape. This could be in a supermarket queue, while driving, while walking, while listening to a friend or at 3am; the dark, silent hour of writers and thinkers.

The thoughts and ideas invade all other moments or activities. Unbeckoned, they demand a voice. The writer has to stop and quickly scribble the thoughts and words down in a notebook, on scraps of paper or the backs of till slips, before they vanish.

When a writer offers her story to a reader, she does so hesitantly, cautiously; almost reluctantly, pleading with the reader.

She is not offering up a piece of writing, she is offering herself, delicately interwoven between the words, sentences and paragraphs.  

She is inviting the reader to sit with her under the sombre ICU lights as she helplessly watches the machine flat line as her young daughter breathes her last breath. She is sharing that moment, that loss.

She is inviting the reader to touch the visible and invisible scars of abuse and rejection and share her confused anger and betrayal.

She is inviting the reader to help her pack her red suitcase; a silent cry for help from those around her to really see her loneliness and desperation. She is asking the reader to reach out to her.

She is inviting the reader into the harsh and cruel world of chemotherapy as the poison drips through her veins to beat the enemy. She desperately needs the reader to stay the course with her so she doesn’t give up.

That is how a writer tells her story.

She does so honestly and with integrity. She has no agenda or visions of grandeur. She just shares her story and in the process she makes friends she will probably never meet. But they are connected. That is what the power of a writer’s story does. Their story becomes part of yours.

That is the difference between a writer and someone who can write.