If you want to change the world,
pick up your pen and write.
It's my new favorite quote that I found three weeks ago. I have it written, in my hand, on a dry erase board in my office. It gives me hope.
When I was 17, I thought I could change the world. No, I really thought I could. I even declared such on a college scholarship application. However, decades later, my inner mantra has faded like my eyesight. I'm a bit jaded. I wonder if life is passing me by on this change-the-world thing. I've read Revelation and I know who the world-changer is and how it's all going down.
In the meantime, before the Apocalypse occurs, this new favorite quote is dwelling in my psyche and changing my pessimistic perspective. Can I really effect change at this late date? If I can't go somewhere and fight injustice in person, could my writing deliver the TKO necessary to right the wrong? Is Martin Luther correct? Do I dare dust off my buried, deflated dreams and put my pen to work?
This week in reading your writing, I came across a post with a link to an article that reinforced the concept of how powerful the written word is. I am changed having read it.
Wendy, who serves in Japan, linked her readers to the blog post, "After Shocks," by Philip Yancey, that gives his account of the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. Like Martin Luther, Philip Yancey is quite influential in his writings. This week, he unknowingly becomes our mentor.
By reading his post, I would like to point out several things Mr. Yancey does that could make your writing effective as you tell your global stories.
1. He educates and reminds the reader with his research and use of facts. He sets the stage by reporting in the first few paragraphs the details of the tsunami; he brings in scientific principles throughout the article; he accurately reports the numbers of deaths, locations, debris totals.
2. He then weaves in the human side of the tsunami with stories, quotes, and photos. Note how these personal stories are written: not over the top, no excessive use of adjectives. The reader is not manipulated by the writer; she is moved by the simple telling of the story.
3. He personally enters in throughout the course of the post...and writes with the hope of changing the world: "May we not forget Japan."
I would love to read about what's happening in your corner of the globe with stories written like Mr. Yancey's. Although he crafted his post to end with a call to action, I think I came to that conclusion somewhere in the middle of the article.
Good writing stirs our hearts, daresay, changes us and the world we live in.