I'm about to make a bold statement (literally; it's in bold typeface):
I'm a good mage.
My GearScore is adequate. I am fully capable of putting out an acceptable amount of damage over an acceptable timespan. When folks want free food and water, I somehow manage to provide it for them. My dress is appropriately pretty, and my staff is sufficiently formidable in terms of both size and the manner in which I employ it.
I'm about to make another bold statement:
Anybody -- absolutely anybody -- can be a good mage.
I can, you can and yes, even that defecting warlock who has finally outgrown his dark eyeliner, Taylor Lautner posters and hating his parents can be a good mage.
The problem is, not nearly enough of us manage to move beyond that particular tier of magehood. I know I'm still working on it, five years after I started playing this wonderful game, and chances are you are too. There are a whole lot of good mages out there -- but not a whole lot of truly great ones.
But fear not, my fellow mages. Though I have not yet attained greatness, I can recognize it when I see it. I'm willing to bet a good number of you can, too. Follow me past the jump and we'll discuss the fine line that separates a good mage from a great one. Because I'm going to make one final statement, and this one isn't even bold:
Every mage can become great. Every single one.