A limited vocabulary is very bad for an author. You don’t have to know every word in the dictionary, but you need to have a varied vocabulary so you aren’t using the same words over and over again.
How to Expand
So how do you expand your vocabulary? First off, you have to want to. It’s starts with the mental desire to learn more vocabulary words.
Second, you need to practice using new words. Okay, let’s backtrack. You want to expand your vocabulary. You have to have a resource to pull from.
There are various ways to get words to study. You can sign up to get notifications from various dictionary sites that will send you the word of the day. They can go right to your email or to your phone. I find that these are great ways.
Now you practice them. Read the word out loud. Read the definition. Think of how you can use it. You might consider putting it up on a piece of paper or note card where you can reference it periodically.
An expanded vocabulary shows maturity in you as a person and as a writer. You’ve progressed beyond always using the same words a first grader uses. You’ve grown up to where grownups will want to listen to you use more advanced words.
That being said, you don’t have to use words that less than 0.0001% of the population knows. Unless you are writing to them, avoid those words. Use words that are mature yet not too high above the average intelligent person’s head.
Power in Words
Most people forget how powerful words can be. Think about it. You can be hurt much deeper with words than with a blade. And that is just the start of the power of words.
Why does the English language have so many words for the same thing? Because one word can be more powerful than another one. To say someone cried over the broken dish is one thing but to say they sobbed is something entirely different. The image in your head is much different. The sobbing is more emotional and intense. Both involve crying, but the crying is different.
Words can bring any emotion into someone. Words can cause conflict. Words can bring healing. Words are powerful. The more you know and can use effectively, the more power you have.