Writing is Mind Control

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As you pass by an alley on your way to the drugstore, a woman with a face like a dried apricot approaches you from the shadows. Her eyes are squinted so tightly, you’re amazed that she can see at all, but she aims a knobby finger directly at you, and a voice like tires on gravel announces that you have magical powers. You can draw little black marks on paper, she says, and when other people see these marks, their minds are filled with new images, feelings, and ideas.

With years of training and practice, you can hone this natural ability into a powerful weapon—so potent, it could change the world.

Minus the creepy old woman, this scenario is 100% true. Language is a form of mind control. In a way, it’s easy; I can write “mouse in overalls,” and the image will automatically pop into your head. But it’s more complicated than that; did you picture a mouse poking its head out of a farmer’s overall pocket, or did you picture a mouse actually wearing a pair of miniature overalls? You must choose the right words, and combine them in just the right way, for the magic to work.

Plus, in order to plant things in people’s minds, you have to get them to read your stuff—which will be difficult if it is boring or badly written. That’s where the training and practice comes in. The more accomplished you are at showing, not telling, through your writing, the more interesting the story, and the more relatable the characters—the more influence you have over your readers. And, like any power, you can use it for good or evil. Will you teach ideas that improve the world, or make it worse? Bring happiness, or pain? Inspire hope, or despair?

It’s your choice, oh powerful one.

About Stephanie Orges

Stephanie is an award-winning copywriter, aspiring novelist, and barely passable ukulele player. Here, she offers writing prompts, tips, and moderate-to-deep philosophical discussions. You can also find her on and Pinterest.
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17 Comments

  1. Hello Stephanie,

    It is with delight that I found your blog this evening. I think your writing is fresh and evocative, and I agree with the principles you maintain. I never thought about them quite that way before, so it’s intriguing to see them put into words.

    I just subscribed and will be back. I find that many bloggers say they welcome comments but never acknowledge them, and to me posting is only half of blogging–the other is responding to feedback from our readers. How else will we learn…works in progress every one of us.

    It’s a pleasure to read some fine writing.
    Take care,
    Debra

    • I so appreciate your thoughts! I checked out your blog, too; you obviously are not afraid to think for yourself, and you express your thoughts eloquently; consider yourself subscribed-back!

  2. Fantastic words and ideas. So true, so often forgotten.
    Let me see if this works.

    Read my blog. Read my blog. Read my blog.

    LOL!

  3. I’ve looked at your agency’s blog too. Part of my dictionary work is searching for new words. I’d never heard of “vlogging,” so that will be among my submissions for this month–so thank you!

    Just discovered (from your link) Six Word Stories for the first time. It makes the head explode, no? It’s an excellent exercise, and as you say in your About page, writing for work and writing for pleasure are mutually inclusive. A question I hope you can help with—are you only allowed to submit one story at a time? If I try twice, the second one causes a blank page to pop up with a tab that has a php extension. I don’t see any FAQ section, so it’s a mystery. No way will I come close to you front page folks—but submitting is part of the inspiration process.
    Thanks,
    D.

    • Ah, yes; vlog = video + blog; it’s definitely taking the cyber world by storm!

      I LOVE Six Word Stories. That’s strange. I’ve submitted two in a row a few times and didn’t have any problems. Maybe they’ve changed something since then? Hey, keep trying – I bet you can get featured!

  4. Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…

  5. Whew… you speak of the responsibility, but not of the terror! The fear of accidentally conveying something one does not intend can be frightful. There is interplay between reader and writer, and the latter never knows what the former will bring to the text. Whatever mind-control power we writers have, it is subject to powers far greater than our own.
    While this sometimes scares me, it comforts me as well. Perhaps a reader will glean from my writing something better, wiser, and deeper than I had the wit or skill to intentionally weave into the words.

    • Oh, so true – you have hit on a much deeper point than I have. We do have to be careful, as much as we can be, but there are some readers who will twist the falsest meanings out of the most innocent work. I think daily prayer for wisdom covers us just fine.
      You’re so right on the comfort part, too! I can’t tell you how many times plot elements have come together, seemingly of their own accord, to create something far deeper and more brilliant than I possibly could have come up with by myself. It is extremely encouraging to know that I’m not really writing it on my own.

  6. Pingback: How to control people’s thoughts with words « BeKindRewrite

  7. I have the power !!
    Ok, I feel strong now 😀
    People , here I write more .. wait to read 😉

  8. Pingback: How to control people’s thoughts with words « BeKindRewrite

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