Here’s a strange confession in a blog post: I really don’t enjoy writing. When I create something, I like it to have some shape, color, texture. Words just sit there on the screen or page. Sure, when you read them they can form a picture in your mind (and I LOVE to read, other people’s words). But, to me, creating the words leaves me flat.
Here’s a way I discovered to give text some depth
Word clouds are a visual way to represent a collection of words. They take a document, blog post or website and organize the words that appear in it by frequency. The word cloud below is from the Sirona Springs website. Can you find the other word cloud on this page?
It’s no surprise that the most prominent words on our site are “oil” and “fragrance”. But look at the first specific scent words that pops up: “lemon”, “woods”, and “floral”. Interesting.
Do it yourself
I made the word cloud above at the Wordle site. It’s a very easy to use site, that even includes a gallery of other folks’ word clouds. You can create your own cloud by typing in a URL, a del.icio.us user name or even your own text (like that dissertation you’re working on, or your to-do list). And then change the font, the color, the layout… It’s a fun way to waste a few minutes. But it can also give you some insight into the overall feel of your writing. And a whole new, creative way to look at your words.
Go ahead. Try it out and post a cloud on your own blog. Or add it to the gallery at Wordle. Leave a comment with a link, because I’d love to see what shape your writing has.