Have you ever read a story or listened to the lyrics of a song or seen a play or looked at a piece of art that convicted you in some way?

Maybe it caused you to question a belief you’ve held much of your life.

Maybe it invited you to look into your heart and to examine important aspects of your life.

-Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced.Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Maybe it resonated with you and motivated you to take action on something that mattered deeply.

Maybe it angered you or inspired you or brought you to tears.

Words. Art. Music. Stories.

They have the ability to pierce our soul, to break our hearts, and to consider the world differently. These words from Aldous Huxley remind me that as a writer, my words hold a power like little else: they’ll go through anything.

Of course, the caveat is they must be used properly. For me, this means they must be honest. They must carry the integrity and vulnerability of the writer’s soul unabashedly into the world and invite the reader to examine them; but even more, they must encourage the reader to examine them: the words, the writer’s soul and intentions, and, hopefully and eventually, his heart and soul.

Words intended only to guilt or shame or judge will go through nothing. They will be left on the page, left to wither like unharvested fruit on the vine.

But words intended to inspire or encourage or question or examine, words that carry truth and humility and vulnerability and beauty (even in their potential condemnation or conviction), those words can go through anything: hardened hearts, ignorant responses, shallow minds, stubborn refusal to listen. Those words will become newness, change, possibility, opportunity.

Here’s to inviting readers into your stories and leaving them pierced with hope, truth, possibility, and inspiration.

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