This was brought home to me in a very real way recently and it’s all Gillian Flynn’s fault.

Firstly, if you aren’t reading Gillian Flynn then you should be. The woman is TALENTED.

I was reading DARK OBJECTS at Jordancon so I carried it with me and before a panel started John Hartness picked it up, read the opening section, and exclaimed the same thing I did when I read it in the bookstore: “That’s a great f**king opening!”

“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ. Slit me at my belly and it might slide out, meaty and dark, drop on the floor so you could stomp on it.”
Gillian Flynn, Dark Places

See what I mean?

So here is where she changed my life.

In the book SHARP OBJECTS the main character goes back home to the little town she grew up in. In this town is a pig farm owned by her mother.

And at one point, through the main character, we go to the pig farm and are given a look at the “life” of a breeder pig.

It’s about two paragraphs.

It is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever read.

Because it’s real.

Those two paragraphs made me put the book down and walk away. I was shaken to my very core.

And within 48 hours I swore off eating any factory farmed meat ever again.

I am a meat eater. A true carnivore. And I’m not stupid, I knew what happens on factory farms but could just handwave it away. But these words that Miss Flynn wrote just pierced the heart of me.

And as a writer that means that what we do is important. It can literally CHANGE LIVES. And now I have so much to aspire to. I sit down to write and really apply myself to reach for that level of craftmanship. I want to reach inside someone and give them a little truth, a little light, a little bit of change.

Words like a virus.



  • Razziecat

    So, so true. I’ve read things in novels that have literally changed the way I look at the world. I don’t know if I can write anything that amazing, but I know that when you read a thing like that, it stays with you.

  • Late to the party, as usual, but I love this post. Short, powerful, to the point. Yeah, words can change the world, for good or for evil. Hell yeah. Keeps me writing when all the rest goes to hell.