This is the final day of the WordCount Blogathon. I finished with flying colours, posting every day of the month. Speed River Journal received more visits than ever before. The three most popular posts have a common underlying theme of making a difference in the world:
- The Baillie Birdathon: My Biggest Day of Birding Ever
- Guelph’s Two Rivers at Risk
- Diversity in Community (Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat)
Why do we write? Like many writers I hope to make a living at it, but we also want to influence our world for the better. And while we write for change, writing changes us. Here are three life lessons reflected in those stories.
1. Be Active in the World
The stereotype of the reclusive writer has some basis in truth. I have often been one of them. Unfortunately, those who hope for a better world must at least engage with other people. Get involved in the community. Participate in a sport, amateur theatre or a musical group. Support a cause. Teach some classes. These involvements make happier, more experienced writers. In community we become players in the game.
2. Write Your Stories
While participating, write about your experiences. Even if you want to write fiction or poetry, make a habit of recording your life. My most interesting ideas come not when I sit aching over an empty page. Writer’s block breaks when I have time for both activity and reflection. Analysis happens when we prepare our stories for an audience.
Posting every day requires more time than I can afford. Now that the Blogathon is over, I plan is to post three times a week. That allows readers to build some expectation, but most importantly, it demands planning and investigation by me.
3. Network With Your Communities
Promote your work. Tell people about your stories. Use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or other social media. When you read someone else’s blog that relates to something you have written, comment and provide a link back to your story.
For introverts this is probably the hardest part. Sometimes I feel like an insecure child demanding attention. This is where being more involved in the community makes a difference. Experience lends relevance. When I have something valuable to offer, I am not wasting anybody’s time. I am making a difference.
It was exhilerating to concentrate on the craft of writing for a month. I wrote roughly 15,750 words and carefully edited each post. That is 500 crafted words per day. It suggests how much I can accomplish with dedication and encouragement. At that rate, I could write a novel in six months.
What difference would you like to make in the world?
Dogs running, photo by Tudor.