The power of words
by Rick Watson
Feb 05, 2012 | 1293 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Watson
Rick Watson
slideshow
There’s power in words. I’ve said that time and again but last night as I struggled to think of a topic for this column, I picked up a journal from 1992 and read an entry I wrote long before I became a freelance writer.

I wrote that I want to take pictures, play music, and write stories about interesting people.

At the time, I was a night shift supervisor for the phone company in a data center, and at times I felt like a ship lost at sea without engine, compass, or rudder. It was a good job, but I longed to do more with my life.

I was trapped by the security of my job. We needed insurance, and we had bills to pay, so we had to have a steady paycheck.

We’d built a new house a few years before, and I wanted to go back to college for my master’s degree, but I felt that was a pipe dream without a steady job with a regular paycheck.

It seemed crazy at the time to even consider doing anything else, but that didn’t stop me from writing those words in my journal.

I laughed out loud as I read that passage tonight, because I shot photographs today of high school kids who’d received sports scholarships to colleges around the country.

This afternoon, I interviewed a man who played football on a University of Alabama football team that won two national championships. He got a great job after college, got married, had kids, then lost it all when he got strung out on pain meds after problems with kidney stones.

He was homeless for a few years; he pawned his college national championship rings to buy drugs.

I don’t want to say too much right now, because the story has not been published, but he did turn his life around and his story is nothing less than remarkable.

I’d say he was an interesting person to interview.

Tonight, Jilda and I are finalizing our set list for our gig tomorrow night. In the past year, we’ve played at festivals, art galleries, and coffee houses around the area. We don’t make a great deal of money, but playing music seems to be good for the soul. So maybe you can see why I smiled when I read the entry from 1992 — I want to take pictures, play music, and write stories about interesting people.

I think everybody has dreams, but I guess too many believe their dreams could never come true. Back in 1992, I didn’t know how I would ever make my words come to life, but those dreams were important enough to me that I wrote them down in my journal.

Things didn’t happen over night, but I marched steadily in the direction of my dreams.

I think I can say with some authority that words have power.

Even if you don’t see any way possible that you can make something happen in your life, write down what you want.

I’m living proof that it pays off.