Words Are Weapons So Don’t Waste Your Artillery
So you’ve read the title and you glimpsed the 1960’s Adam West “Batman” word balloon as the supporting image.
“What is this piece about?” you may ask. “Editing?”
“Using words sparingly for maximum impact?”
Kinda sorta, but not quite.
Yeah, sure. That’s it.
No, this post is about exactly about what it says in the title: Words are our weapons.
How will you wield yours before you run out of artillery?
I read something profound a couple of weeks ago: Dead writers talk to us through their books.
Of course, you can say this about any resonant piece of art. Still, the words stayed with me. Many of us take our gift for granted; maybe we shouldn’t.
For the purpose of this piece, let’s put marketing and the non-creative (but ever-essential) business aspect of writing on the side.
This piece is about channeling your ability.
Let’s do a simple exercise.
Ask yourself, “What messages do I want to leave behind?”
Then immediately write whatever you need to express, however you need to express it. The craft should be as natural as breathing; why waste time overthinking it? If you’re happy today, write about it. Edit later. If you’re grieving, write a remembrance. If you’re seething with anger, write as a catharsis.
Then review what you’ve written, and return to it. Add more context, more flavor. Create a story from it if you so choose.
Any theme you want to get across? Any lessons?
Anything you would like to share with your children that they can then share with theirs?
Complete all this in one sitting, and if you do want to share it post it online. The internet lives forever, and your words are now, potentially, a message in a bottle.
Who else will find yours? Who else do you want to find yours?
One day, our ability to express ourselves through our writing will cease, whether due to illness or passing. The power that writers wield is extraordinary, and yet relatively few on the outside appreciate or even comprehend our potential. Few recognize our ability to change the world.
And so many of us take our writing for granted.
J.K. Rowling is credited as having brought millions back to reading. George Lucas once sat and began penning what would become “Star Wars,” which forever altered mass media and technology, and inspired countless fans to become creators of their own. Ditto Gene Roddenberry with “Star Trek,” Mary Shelley with “Frankenstein,” Frank Herbert with “Dune.”
Salman Rushdie’s words were considered so controversial and blasphemous a fatwa was issued against him for “The Satanic Verses.”
Speaking of, “The Bible” and our religious texts, regardless of where you stand on the matter.
Are the words in the above examples weapons? Absolutely they are.
They’ve altered history.
Wars do the same.
See here for more:
The message of this short piece is this: As a writer, based on your morals, values and beliefs you have developed a unique ability to change the course of the world.
Don’t waste it.
Inactivity and regret will forever erase the empowered.
What then becomes of the writer’s purpose?
Thank you for reading.
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