Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Two-Edged Pen Cuts Both Ways, and There's Blood On My Hands

"If it's using my power, it makes me responsible for what it does with it."
"Harry, that's irrational."
"That doesn't make it any less true."
-Harry Dresden and Bob from Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

I've been misquoted and I hate it. I've had someone take one of my chapters on dreams, and thanks to the 140-character limit, use my own words to suggest that I agreed dreams are dangerous.

I've also been misinterpreted. What I Say and What I Meant are too often different things. This is another reason I prefer the written word to the spoken word: I can edit it before I publish it.

And I've had words I've written used in the way I intended but out of context. I don't have any examples coming to hand, and this is rarer than the others, but it happens.

I consider myself something of a wordsmith, but people still like to try and use my words against me. They're my words, so I do feel responsible for how they're used. I've lied to protect people, and had those lies turned against me by a non-involved third party who had just been listening in, used for an agenda that didn't involve the second party at all.

But I've also drawn people back from the edge. I've reminded people that there is some light in the world, even when all they can see is darkness. I've used words to help them stand when everything seemed to be crushing them down, to swim when they were drowning.

For that reason, I keep doing what I do, no matter how the first three instances make me regret every trial.