We, as writers, have a special ability. Like magic, but more powerful. Like a spell, but more permanent. Indeed, this gift is perhaps the most powerful and dangerous ability ever known to man. While some men cut up other’s bodies, we, as writers, can work, influence, and even alter others’ minds. While all men die, those who wield this gift have the ability to speak long beyond the grave.
The pen truly is mightier than the sword. A sword may change people’s behavior, while a book will change people’s beliefs.
When we write, we bend the reader’s reality. We can warp the world, put a different spin on it, twist and weave into it a history that never was and a future that never will be. We can take people to places they have never been, let people do things far beyond their abilities, let them see sights so glorious their equal cannot be found on earth. We can involve people in relationships so deep that they may never see the relationships of their own lives in the same light again.
We can mold them to accept things they had passionately opposed. We can create an entirely new person from the shell of an old one. We can take a man who sits in utter despondency and give him a reason to live again.
We can pull people up from the depths of depression, or push them down to places where they may never see the light. We can ease rage and pride, or we can fan them into a forest fire. We can save people from the clutches of fear, or shackle them so tightly that they flee from their own shadow.
Most importantly, we can lift their minds to the higher things above, or allow them to dwell in the darkest abyss of evil.
Fantasy is not just fantasy. It is the bending and twisting of the mind, an art so subtle, even those who practice it do not often understand it. It is the ability to refashion someone’s reality. To drop the most distant and unreachable concepts right into their hands.
This gift we’ve been given is not a toy, and must not be used carelessly. For each word, each idea we plant in someone’s mind, we alone are responsible. However, it is not us alone who are affected. If we use our gift for what it’s meant to be, then all who are shaped by it will receive the reward. However, if we use our gift for our own ends, all who succumb to it will suffer the penalty.
As a writer, you have great power. Use it wisely.