Daniel Fox

photo of Daniel FoxDear Student,

In 1865, Swedish scientists discovered dragons. It’s true! Rather by accident, they came upon what they thought was just a new kind of lizard, deep in the Amazon rainforest. Cool, right? Well, not exactly. Unfortunately, they did not discover that they were dragons until it was too late. Deep into the night, the “lizards” began terrorizing the scientists with their fire breath, setting aflame much of their equipment, and many of the scientists themselves.

Of course, none of that story is actually true. There was no study; there were no dragons. I made it up! However, if I had you going for even a second, it is because of the super power all good writers have.

Much as Spider Man has the power to climb walls and swing from buildings, the written word also has enormous power. It can misinform others, as I just did, but it can also spread great truths. It can bring pain, and it can bring joy. It can condemn someone, and it can prove someone’s innocence. Words can make readers feel something they have never felt before. Words are powerful!

For example, if you are writing fiction, your readers should feel as if they are right there in the middle of the action, running alongside Princess Elizabeth through the dungeons of Thorowell. If you are writing about the life of someone important to society, your reader should be able to almost feel the hot, sticky leather of the bus seat from which Rosa Parks refused to get up. If you are writing a resume, your employer should walk away from his or her desk knowing that you are the most qualified and intelligent person out there for hire. Writing is a super power!

You do not have to be bitten by a radioactive spider to become a great writer, and you do not have to come from a different planet. We all have this power within us, but in order to use it, it must first be developed. You have thoughts, stories, and ideas tucked deep in your mind that are trying to escape. These are ideas that no one in the history of the world has ever had, or will ever have again. But just getting them on paper is not enough. You must take the time to develop good writing skills, so that those ideas can become the best version they can be. The world needs your ideas!

If you do not develop good writing skills, you will never be able to get your message across effectively. People will pass over your work, throw away your resume, and ignore your ideas if they are not presented in a way that makes you stand out. It takes time and effort, but I promise you, all that work will be worth it in the end when you receive the recognition you deserve. If you develop these skills, you will go far in life. People are not drawn to someone who is average. People are drawn to those who rise above!

Here’s the catch: you must start now. Start while you are young, to come up with your own specific writing style - your own voice - that will set you apart from your peers and future co-workers. If you work hard and develop this super power, you will create new opportunities for yourself. You may even become the next JRR Tolkien or JK Rowling!

I leave you with one last piece of advice: Be careful. Do not use your super power to manipulate, to lie, to stir up anger, or even to make up fake stories about dragons (unless you are writing awesome fiction). Writing is indeed powerful and must be used wisely. As it says in the Spider Man comics, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Are you up for the challenge?


Daniel Fox