I had another writing revelation today. It's something I've always known but hit me in the gut again after a conversation today. It's profound how an old truth can become real again when it is said in a new way. (This, by the way, is something writers need to know. There are no new Truths, just new ways to say old Truths. Originality comes in saying an old Truth in a new, unique, coherent or powerful way.)
I came out of the movie theatre today after watching The Hunger Games. My uncle joked that "You're only one year away and then you can be a Career." I said something about not wanting to be a Career. Then someone else with us says "Your weapon can be writing." I replied:
"Writing can't kill people."
And then it hit me. What I said wasn't true.
Writing does kill people.
Mein Kampf. Origin of Species. Communist Manifesto. Many, many other writings. Writings that have led, either directly or indirectly to wars, injustices, lies, the murder of the innocent, and other evils.
Writing is always about ideas. Whether it's a story, song, poem, essay or blog article, it's ultimately undergirded by ideas, views on the world, on life, and on right and wrong. Ideas have consequences. That's a cliche, but a true one. The ideas expressed in writing may be just words, but they lead to actions. Good ideas -and by good I mean True- lead to good actions. Bad ideas -and by bad I mean False- lead to bad actions. Wars start as a result of bad ideas. Every thing we write has consequences.
"The tongue has the power of life and death." -Proverbs 18:20. Our words- both on paper and in life- have consequences.
I want to be sure that I know what I'm saying and to ensure that I am writing ideas that are grounded in Truth and that lead to good.