Writing isn’t only a skill but a gift we can use to do all sort of things. As writers we can entertain, educate, bring a smile to someone’s face, make them laugh, and even make them cry. It carries with it a responsibility and a few weeks ago that became perfectly clear to me.
I hate to digress with stories and posts, but for this to make sense, I have to give you some back story.
Many of you know that my father died from pancreatic cancer. Several times, I’ve volunteered for various charities who raise money for that type of cancer. From years of working in public relations, I knew that my father’s story would be one that would get media attention and maybe save some lives in the process. Each time I presented this idea to the charities they told me I couldn’t write it but gave no reason why. However, in my heart I knew why. It’s the reason, I stopped volunteering for them.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when I heard a PSA. It hit a nerve so deep that I went straight to my laptop, ready to fire off a letter to the charity who’d put out the PSA. I stopped, remembering what they say about calming yourself before you send out something you’ll later regret.
I walked away, took a deep breath, and not only thought about my own experience with this disease, but that I was a writer. If I didn’t write and tell them what I thought was so wrong about this PSA, then nobody would.
Back to the laptop I went and wrote the letter sharing my father’s experience, his journey and how their organization had prevented me from sharing it with people whose lives could possibly be saved.
I hit the send button, not expecting to get a reply but I did. Not one that I would have liked, but I felt good about using my words to maybe give this person (and if she passed the letter on), some food for thought.
It’s something that had been on my mind for years and it got me thinking about the gift I’ve been given.
Who better than a writer to do something good for someone in the world (yes, I really do believe my letter might do that some time in the future).
Not everyone can write and string words together and they might be the person who needs help to articulate a need or they might be in an underrepresented group of people who needs a writer’s magic to be their voice.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword so don’t be afraid to put your gift to good use and spread some magic in the world.