On most work days over the past 30 years, I’ve sat in front of a computer or a notepad searching for the right words to communicate an idea forming in my head. The physical distance between your brain and your fingers isn’t much, but the chasm between your thoughts and your written words often feels as wide as the Milky Way. Those of you who are writers—and especially those who aren’t—understand the frustration of not being able to translate into words what the mind is spouting.
In my experience, the “right words” often aren’t the easiest words. They’re usually not the first words. And they rarely have to be the perfect words. Like most things in life, “perfect” can be the enemy of “good” when it comes to writing—so I aim to be the best writer I can be, not the perfect writer. And sometimes, when I least expect it, the words flow like butter—as Randy Quaid (playing a newspaper columnist) says in my second favorite journalism movie, The Paper—and I momentarily feel that all is right in the universe.
When you work with words every day, you tend to develop favorites. Among mine is possibly the most insignificant word in the English language: “the.” It’s especially valuable when differentiating between these two sentences: She runs a new restaurant at 14th and Vine streets; she runs the new restaurant at 14th and Vine streets. The first describes a new place no one’s heard of; the second recognizes the savvy reader is already “in the know.”
These thoughts flowed like butter as I contemplated this month’s “Our Future Is Female,” celebrating 25 women driving change in Cincinnati. Note that we’re not interviewing the 25 women driving change; the absence of that small word says a lot. (It’s also a pre-emptive explanation to those who will inevitably complain Why didn’t you include….)
It takes a village to drive change in any community, and thousands of women are doing their part across Cincinnati. These 25 leaders are some of our favorites; get to know them a little better and maybe they’ll inspire you to be the change you hope to see in the world.