The pen is mightier than the sword.
Which means, for the most part, per my understanding anyway, that you can do more damage with your words than with a razor-sharp steel blade. Honestly, I think that’s highly debatable, because you can do some serious, permanent damage with cutlery (even a butter knife can take a person’s eye out). But, I don’t want to go off on a tangent, so …
Back to the point, which is, words can and do hurt.
Often, the pain of a bad review can be worse than a stick or a stone. A writer might rather be smacked up side the head, with or without provocation, than read a review about how much their book “sucks wet cat fur”.
Conversely, a glowing written review from Oprah or FLOTUS can have your book or product or whatever you may be hawking (or, if you prefer, pimping) at the moment selling faster than the speed of light. And that, indeed, is MIGHTY.
However, I submit that in some situations, the might of the pen depends on the penmanship. At least in my case.
To wit, I recently had to autograph five (5) books on the spur of the moment. Unprepared and flabbergasted, I was categorically flummoxed as I dutifully signed each book. And as I did so, I was painfully aware that my penmanship was subpar. And yet, there seemed to be no way to rectify the situation. In fact, the more books I signed, the worse my penmanship became!
The reason the experience was so traumatic and embarrassing was because I have always been proud of my handwriting. It’s very good and, historically, always has been. There were never any gray, greasy eraser smudges marring the pages of my Big Chief tablet. I always got As in Handwriting.
And yet, when I needed my handwriting prowess the most, my shaky hand failed me.
It was like grabbing your Glock to confront an intruder and discovering the clip is empty! What to do? Pistol whip, of course.
Anyway, I am of the opinion that I was just caught off guard that day. But, the experience taught me that I need to be prepared to sign a book at the spur of the moment (or, if you prefer, the drop of a hat).
So, don’t fret. If you see me around, just walk right up to me, ask me to sign your copy of Flawless Mistake and I will gladly do so with lots of looping flourishes and grandiose twirls.