Monthly Archives: April 2013

Writing for Cause(s)

Writing for Cause(s)

What is your favorite cause? What cause gives you the courage to write about, pursue its ends, and speak up for? For what purpose is your writing for them, about them? What will your writing for them do for them?

As a writer, I know the inherent power of words. To that end, I’m immensely interested in informing and educating people about certain causes. I want to ease some of the uncertainty in the question, “But, I’m only one person; what can I do?” I want to show them how their commitment – a few hours, a few dollars, a link to an influential person – helps the entire cause. Words are the power to reach people; writing is my medium.

My personal causes, the ones I spend time figuring out ways to help?

  • Clean air
  • Clean water
  • Food security
  • Reading
  • Art

Clean air

As an asthmatic, I’m committed to finding an end to polluted air. Air is vital to our survival. We humans don’t live beyond a few minutes without air. Even the Brazilians who surpassed the Guinness World Records need to take a deep breath when they come up out of the water. Clean air is a wonder to breathe, healthy and alive. Will I write about it – for myself and for others? Absolutely!

Clean water

Closely following clean air is the need for clean water; we can go only a few days without it. As an Oregonian, I admit that sometimes I take it for granted. Water is abundant here – but not all of it is good water anymore. Growing up, drinking the cold, clear water from the high-mountain streams was part of camping. Drink that same water now and you’re likely to get sick. Will I write to clear up the water? You better believe it!

Food security

I’ve been hungry and Ive been full. Full is obviously better. Never worrying about where your next meal is coming from eases stress. When my children were small, there were some months that all I had left was macaroni, canned vegetables, government cheese and spongy white “bread.” Children and adults suffer from more than hunger when they dont think theres enough to eat. Will I write so that none of that happens to anyone else? Count on it!

Why reading and art?

Reading gives us the tools to make lives better; it gets into your mind and then to your heart, where understanding begins. Education gives us knowledge, which pays forward into imagination. When those three enter your heart, you understand the world around you. That gives way to the will to improve lives.

Art is for our souls, your and mine. Its for the souls of those who might need a bright spot in their lives. Even if it means they get to take a walk through a museum. Or listen to a concert they might not otherwise get to hear. Or, even better, learning how to create art themselves.

Writing for cause(s)

Writing for a cause that you firmly and wholeheartedly believe in makes your writing stronger. Why? It succeeds because your heart is in every word. It achieves its multiple purposes: informing, educating and calling on people to do something in support of your cause. Even if it isn’t what you usually write about, begin today to write for at least one cause.

What cause (or more than one) do you believe in? Which cause will you defy anyone who tries to dissuade you from? Are you working for that cause now?

Keep On Writing

Words come naturally for me, writing as well as talking. According to my parents, my first word was “Hi!” because everyone said it to me. I haven’t stopped talking since. I also haven’t stopped writing countless words since learning how.

I’m sure I’ve already written over a million words. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover it’s closer to two or three million. I write every day; I’ve written something daily since I was 15 (I’m 56 now, thank you); I used to lie on my bed or floor to write. I write journals; my old ones are scattered in boxes and filing cabinets in a storage unit. I’ve blogged and deleted them; I’m blogging now – and it’s both scary and liberating. I write daydreams and stories. I’ve a Kindle-flavored eBook in the works. I even write thank you notes (remember those?) and send them through the mail!

I’ve written for other people:

  • Darlene, who wanted a complaint letter and got better results than she’d requested.
  • An “on spec” business letter aimed toward informing wholesale customers that their rates were about to change.
  • Kaje, who wanted a brochure and one-page to advertise her organic makeup line.

I received token payments from them, my own decision. I didnt believe I was good enough for anyone to pay me more than for my materials (paper, ink, card stock).

This year, last month even, I made the decision to create a career out of writing. After decades of waffling and being afraid, I realized that I’m good at writing! I’ve never been so terrified in my life – and yet it’s a good fear. It’s a motivating fear. Best of all, I get to write it out, get paid to write for others, and spend a good portion of my day with one of the things I love best: words.

What motivates you? What terrifies you? When are you going to live that dream?