“The pen is mightier than the sword.” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton, in Richilieu, Or the Conspiracy)
Authors have power through their writing.
Writers are creators. They can create new worlds, new people, new creatures, new ideas. Some aspire to create better worlds. Diversions from reality.
Authors share experiences. Readers can imagine traveling anywhere in the world (universe, even) without ever stepping out of their homes.
Writers can convey powerful emotions. Simply through words.
Wordsmiths make the letters themselves dance on a sheet of paper. Flow gracefully through action. Or. Stop. Suddenly. The reader enjoys the text without any idea as to how much care was put into the selection of each and every word.
Authors express themselves. And they express others. And others who don’t even exist, except in print and in the minds of those who have read their writing.
Writers disguise books that help people rebel against totalitarianism. Writers instigate revolutions. Writers spread fear through propaganda. Writers market freedom.
Poets sing. It may be beautiful, but very often it’s not. Very often, they sing suffering. And they sing it loud and clear. Yet it helps.
Authors plant seeds. Little ideas. Revolutionary ideas. Ideas that get people thinking. People with young and agile minds. People who may challenge the status quo. Rebels seeking a cause. Ideas that may grow with nutrients, time, water, and nurture.
The power of writers can be dangerous. Writers have much freedom to exercise, and coming with it is a great responsibility.
We may be weak in life, yet powerful in print.
It’s not the size of the pen that matters, nor the length of the words, nor how many words are written. It’s how the pen is wielded that really matters.
“Does he really think big emotions come from big words?” (Ernest Hemingway, in response to William Faulkner’s criticism, “He has never been known to use a word that might send his reader to the dictionary.”)
Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers (Volumes 1 and 2)