While reading 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card, I was struck by how each of the main characters (Ender, Valentine, and Peter) responded to their abilities and power differently. Ender cultivated a sense of resentment towards the administration and Cause that led him to use his skill set towards a certain end. He eventually brought himself to a place where he preferred not having power.
Valentine allowed herself (and her power) to be manipulated according to the will of her older brother Peter. She knew exactly what she was doing and she knew exactly how her actions would support the intentions of the dark-minded Peter.
Peter unashamedly used his power to further his own interests. Selfish ambition - pure and simple. He used his ability to discern what people are most afraid of in order to create a culture that would look to himself for guidance. And, he succeeded!
Anyhow, after reading this (AMAZING!) book, I saw all the more clearly the important role of responsibility and maturity in managing my skillset. I suddenly experienced an intense and soul-heavy burden.
I know that books change the way people think. They change the way we look at ourselves and at the world. When people read books, they open themselves up to the ideals and notions of the writer. Even as I type this out, I am aware again of the 'power' that an author carries - the influence she or he exerts over the readers. I'm afraid to just empty my talent and efforts into a vacuum, without purpose or intent.
So then, Why Should I Write? What is the calling that echoes in my heart? Why Write? Honestly, this 'writer's calling' idea strikes me very close to home. I want it. I am pursuing it, uncovering it inside me. I feel like it is a hidden heirloom in a cluttered attic. I sense it there, just out of reach, awaiting my efforts to find it and hear what it would speak to me. For now though, this question burns in my mind:
"Joshua Gordon, why do you write?"