Writing as Magic

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

Robin Williams

Reading and writing have been important to me from a young age. I started teaching myself to read when I was about two. My first brother was born, and my parents didn’t have time to read to me, which was my favorite thing in the whole world. If I wanted to enjoy my favorite stories, I had to figure out how to read them on my own. When I learned to write, it wasn’t long before I started creating my own stories.

The question I constantly ask myself is this: Why is writing so important to me? It’s the only thing I have any real talent for, and I genuinely enjoy it, but that’s not the only reason. I make my living writing – I got hired at a company called Publishing Concepts, Inc. (or PCI) writing oral histories, and it is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had – but that’s not it either. My love for writing goes deeper than that, and the only real reason why is that writing is magic.

I know that sounds crazy, but words are powerful spells. They have the power to drive people to their deaths, and they have the power to save lives. I can create worlds and paint beautiful pictures with just my words, but thinking them is only fleeting. I can speak them, and they’ll last a little longer in the minds of those who hear them, but eventually my words will be forgotten. Writing them down preserves them forever. Carl Sagan said it more eloquently than I can:

“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. […] Books break the shackles of time – proof that humans can work magic.”

Carl Sagan

Writing isn’t just my hobby or my career. It is the medium through which I perform my magic. I write my rituals and my spells. I write my Intentions and my Reflections. Scientifically speaking, you are more likely to make things happen by writing your goals down. There’s a lovely graphic that shows exactly how that works; neuropsychologists call this phenomenon “the generation effect,” but we witches call it manifestation.

Beyond the practical uses for writing, we can’t ignore the fantastic benefits writing provides. Both writing and reading offer us an escape when the weight of the world becomes too much to bear. It’s a much needed rest for our brains, yet still stimulating. We learn much about ourselves and the world around us through reading and writing; as a matter of fact, I can name two book series I read as a child that taught me the basis for my own moral code (Spoiler alert: it’s not the Bible). I only hope my own writing will one day influence other children like me. “Writing is magic,” Stephen King says, “as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”


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