At the beginning of the movie The Departed, Costello says
“I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.”
This is a very interesting statement that got me thinking. As writers, our work will invariably be shaped to some extent by the environment around us, but as writers, we also have the power to change the environment around us. Why? Because words have power.
It is put nicely by V, from one of my favourite moves, V for Vendetta:
“Words are the means to meaning, and for some, the annunciation of truth.”
I’ve often heard, and in different forms, that stories are lies used to tell the truth. As we as writers put forth words on a page, we put meaning out there for readers to read. In this, we have the power to change our environment.
If your dream as a writer is to change the world, is that a silly dream to have? I think not, for if a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the world can create a hurricane on the other side, what more could one word, never mind 60000 words, do?
Our environment becomes a product of every piece of written word we put out there. Each idea you put on a page has the potential to create mass change. I’m not saying it will, or that it should. What I’m saying is that it could.
Even in a world where nothing makes sense, words have the power to change. So don’t let your work become the product of your environment. Let your environment become a product of your work.
Finally, I leave you with a final quote:
"Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs."~Pearl Strachan