Can You Picture It?

For years, many a writer have attempted to express the inadequacy of language to tell a story without exhaustive detail. There have been many recorded phrases that attempt to illustrate this shortcoming.

“One timely deed is worth ten thousand words.” – The Works of Mr. James Thomson, 1802

“That tear, good girl, is worth ten thousand words.” – The Trust: A Comedy, in Five Acts, 1808

“One fact well understood by observation, and well guided development, is worth a thousand times more than a thousand words.” – The American Journal of Education, 1858

The old adage that stays with us to this day that “a picture is worth a thousand words” may not be easily credited to a specific person, but you’d have to agree with the author’s sentiments. We, as writers, try to create pictures in the mind on our canvas of white, but when edited, rewritten, and published, the description still falls short of what our eyes can take in.

Visual art, paintings and photography, can capture so much more emotion and detail more efficiently that descriptive language.

It is a skill that, apart from the necessary equipment, takes a considerable amount of patience and persistence. To capture a shot of a sunrise or sunset, the artist needs to be at the right place and right time. The lighting, the angle, everything must be right. If moment is missed, the opportunity may not return for days, even weeks.

I’m excited to present to you a friend, a writer, an artist, from the shores of Toogoom Beach on Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. Please visit Maggie Macleod’s Facebook page for more of her stunning pictures and watch for my weekly blog posts on the Internet Writing Workshop Blog where I will be featuring some of her selections.




  1. Courtney · · Reply

    Wow, what a timely post. My next blog post is full of pictures because I’ve run out of words. I believe that images speak louder because each person is free to write their own story. Mrs. Macleod’s images are stunning, thank you for reminding me of the beauty in the world.

  2. and yet, if you were to look for a picture to express what you have written here in less than a thousand words, you could not find it.

    1. Thank you, Feskin. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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