Friday, September 2, 2011

Can Your Words Change the World?

Many writers don’t realize how their words can change the world. While the average writer may never know the effect of his or her articles, books, or stories, just about all affect their readers in some small way.

As a writer, it’s one job to enhance knowledge and ultimately change the world in which you live and work by publishing a meaningful article on a controversial new topic or by writing a short story or novel that illuminates human frailties. It’s another to affect change.

Early in my career, I wrote an article in a travel trade magazine about Apple Vacations, a travel wholesaler that has since grown by leaps and bounds. A group of people had taken a charter flight with another travel company, which while they were on vacation in the Bahamas, suddenly closed its doors and disconnected its phones, stranding this large group of vacationers. Someone in the office of the travel agent who had booked the charter read my article about Apple Vacations and immediately called them. The representative on the phone connected her to the president of the company who immediately sent one of Apple’s own charter planes to the Bahamas to retrieve the stranded passengers. The travel agency was so overjoyed about the rescue that it switched all of its vacation charter business to Apple Vacations. And I also got a call from Apple’s president thanking me for writing such a good article.

An antique dealer read another of my articles, this one about Parian ware, a less expensive look-alike to marble, and was able to identify a piece in his shop that he had drastically underpriced The information in my article allowed him to make a tidy profit on the piece when he sold it.

The first time your writing affects your reader in a visible way—providing you find out about it—the romance of freelance writing will become clear. When you incorporate the reality of this romance into every thing you write, you’ll begin to realize how rewarding a freelance writing career can be.

But keeping your ego under control is just as important, for success is often fleeting. You may bask in the glow of it for a few minutes, hours, or days, then it’s gone and you have to begin the process once more.

For many writers, the best rewards aren’t monetary, but the satisfaction that perhaps they’ve changed their readers lives for the better.

1 comment:

C.J. Charles said...

I've always thought writing was one of the most powerful mediums in the world for helping people. And it's true that if it helps just one person, it's worthwhile.

I would also be amazing, to create one of those world-changing pieces, however, since world wide change starts with the individual, we should set out with the goal of helping or teaching just one person. Who knows how far that ideal will spread!