You are so lucky to be a writer.
You're powerfully endowed with creative, investigative, analytic and/or expressive abilities. (Not so, you say? Then try this: "I'm actively developing my creative, investigative, analytic and/or expressive potential, and have a vast array of free instructional resources available to me whenever I log onto the internet.")
Given your writing abilities and potential, how can you enjoy your writing more today?
My suggestions are simple.
- Find silence.
- Use your words for good.
"Go to where the silence is and say something." - Amy Goodman, journalist
I love the sense of the sacred invoked by this quote. I also love its utility, its global usefulness to creative writers and journalists and technical writers and copywriters...you name it.
If you're writing creatively today, read "silence" literally. Still yourself with meditation before you write, or preface your time at the writing desk with a long, ambling walk, a la Brenda Ueland.
If you're thinking about new stories to pitch, train your investigative eye on the silent spaces in the culture at-large. Give voice to an under-examined trend, an overlooked causal relationship, a neglected-but-important population, region, cause or initiative.
If you're writing copy or content or white papers, "find the silence" by looking at your audience's needs with fresh eyes today. Discard your assumptions and ask your audience directly what they need. Find out if there's an angle or an important question you've overlooked, and address it.
Use Your Words for Good
The journalist I quoted above has devoted her career to activism. Whether you share her progressive stance or drive, you can still use Amy's words and example to inspire your writing.
See if you can set an intention to direct your talents to "good" today.
When you draft a fiction piece or examine your experience in memoir or essay form, you're expressing your individual stance and serving others. Good, creative writing is a form of service and has the power to bridge gaps between people. (Ever read The Help?)
When you publish a newspaper or magazine piece, you're directing attention to a particular subject. As you formulate a new pitch this week, challenge yourself to tackle a subject you care deeply about.
When you sit down to write copy, content or white papers, consider what skillsets you're using. (Marketing savvy? Analytical or creative thinking?) Dream up a small and meaningful project you can take on this holiday season.
- Could you offer a 1/2-hour brainstorming session to that friend who's struggling to launch a non-profit?
- Could you outline your own instructional e-book?
- Could you offer to generate infographics or give one-hour copy review by phone to a favorite organization you belong to?
I know you're busy, and the point here isn't to add more projects to your workload.
I'm simply asking you to consciously acknowledge your gifts and recognize that you have a choice in how/where to use them.
Find silence. Use your words for good. Two simple practices to help you enliven your writing career and enjoy yourself more.
What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.