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!”
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.