I don’t very often talk about content in writing. In fact, I don’t believe I’ve touched on this subject before.
There are messages out there that need to be shared. A few questions I always ask myself:
1) Am I the one to speak about this?
2) Where/to whom do I talk/write about this?
3) What is the best format/presentation method/platform?
5) Is now the time?
I think for awhile Facebook hijacked my ideas in the sense that it was where I posted short scripts, rather than blogging them or writing a book. As writers we need to determine what specific message we are to make a priority and write about. After this we determine when and where and how we will deliver the message.
This morning I read a couple of blogs I follow. I noted this in one blog: The Russians, for their part, wanted paralyzing chaos and to destabilize the United States politically — Mission Accomplished, Ivan. This blogger posts political content and adds personal commentary. The reason I chose this quote is because I see a lot of material these days that is causing destabilization and I think as writers this is something we could respond to. I would add that Russia does not get all the credit for chaos and destabilization.
Another blogger I follow, who is an inspirational writer of poetry, confessed today that she is actually a “political junkie” on Twitter. She deviated from her usual form and wrote about being moved to tears by a mother who lost her son this past week when a passenger plane was shot down over Iran. She felt the need to draw attention to the plight of Iranians at this time.
I hear from more and more people who are distraught by what they see around them and want to speak out. Don’t allow your voice to be silenced when you have a conviction that you need to speak. Some things need to be said, even if there are repercussions.
Although our privilege to speak freely is being challenged, today, silence is not the answer. Wisdom is.
Count the cost. Be courageous. Be considerate. Be prayerful. Think through what it is you want to say, then choose your words carefully.
I read this recently:
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. – Elie Wiesel
As writers we have a very significant role. We communicate a message that has the potential to influence others. We pass on information. We help people look at things from different viewpoints. This can be encouraging to some while it is threatening to others. Once again, I do not believe the solution is for people of good intentions to remain silent.
What is your motivation? Why do you write? I am encouraged when I see writers who aim to achieve good in the world. As we have seen, there are those whose motivation is less lofty.
In deciding what it is we want to say, it is also helpful to know exactly what it is we are doing. One person may want to document their journey. Another may want to give a commentary, or an evaluation. Some write to teach and share information. Others feel the need to alert people to current events or developments.
Occasionally people write cathartically, as a form of personal therapy. Some want their words to soothe and heal and bring comfort. Others write to entertain with wit and humor.
Our personality will incline us in a certain direction. A few people have expressed a sense of “call” to communicate a specific message or to deliver it in a very specific way. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what sets us writing but I think it’s safe to say it is interest and concern.
Whatever your content, whatever your style, I encourage you to contribute. Your voice is unlike anyone else’s voice. What you have to say matters. Together we can work towards creating a more insightful, more caring and more peaceful world. We can address some of the chaos and hopefully bring a greater sense of stability. Let’s leave behind a legacy for those who will follow. Your voice could be the one someone has waited for.