I am an okay cook. I'm not extremely creative, and almost all of the time I have to use a recipe, but I know well that I can cook and make something come out well.
Cooking reminds me a lot like writing in some ways. You have to have all of the ingredients there to make it right. Sure, salt and sugar are very similar when you look at them. Similar shape, size, color. But if you screw up and put salt instead of sugar in your cookies I promise you it's going to turn out a disaster.
I think words are just the same. Two words may be similar. But they can change the meaning of your sentence. It's important that you have the exact right words when you're writing. Don't settle for the ones that are almost as good. There is one word that you need that will make your writing shine.
Word choice for a journalist (I'm a reporter) is extremely important. I was just in a debate yesterday with my editor over which word was correct: many or several. It's an issue. It's a thing. It makes a difference.
It makes just as much difference in your writing. So, choose the right word. Work on it. Consider each carefully. Keep your cookies awesome.
I'm sure I'll preach more on this later. What do you guys think? I get so excited when I get just the perfect word. Does anyone else share my elation?