• Dan

Write to Change the World

Writing is, pure and simply a bastion for the soul. 

In the dark moments of our lives. We all need an outlet. We all desire and deserve the prospect of expressing ourselves simply and naturally.

As a writer, i work actively to enact positive change in the world. Change is, i believe, in all of our power, for ourselves and each other.

I have worked with and known people with mental health and creative struggles for much of my life. I have an intimate grounding of the nature and power of words to transform our mental processes.

This has inspired me, in large part, in my writing and creative endeavours.

The power of creative expression has untold benefits on people. It has been used by change makers and writers throughout the ages.

And you can use it too, whether you are an artist or author, you can similarly benefit, from the techniques i explore to inspire and challenge creativity.

Whether you need simple accountability, a point in the right direction or the knowledge of proven tricks and techniques to take your writing to the next level, there is plenty of options open to you.

First, it is important to understand what you want to achieve with your writing.

Being a change-maker

Work to combat the issues you face or see in your world, as you designate a path forward, focusing on the things you can do to effectively enact change.

What will you write with your pen of light?

It’s easy to feel disempowered by all the bad news these days, and how little one person can do anything. Do what you can to combat that. Focus on finding solutions to the problems instead of consuming more information on how bad the problem is.

Find solutions. Don’t get despondent.

Learn the tools to achieve that. As a writer, you are in a unique and powerful position to make a difference. You can speak your mind, state your case, and stand up for what you believe via your written words. And you can publish those words on a blog, in a magazine, or as an ebook or printed book.

There has never been an easier time to publish your work and communicate your ideas effectively and conveniently. 

What cause would you like your work to support? Whether you write for publications, publish fiction or nonfiction, or produce posts for your blog, your published words can support that mission.

How to write for change:

  • Be a citizen journalist. Study all the facts and research. Get the insight on the experts. Then bring it all together to write an article that supports your view.

  • Share your opinion. You can share your thoughts on the opinion sections of online and print magazines and newspapers. And watch for the ripples and effects of your new readers.

  • Blog about your cause. Writing your own blog gives you the power to be a citizen journalist. Blog about new facts and studies on your chosen area and share your perspective with the world.

  • Write persuasive letters to elected officials. Use the skill of your writing to craft deeply persuasive letters to officials in your area. Use that writing for good!

  • Write social media posts. Social media might be one of the most powerful tools in a writer’s toolbox. If you have a way with words, be sure to use it.

  • Write and publish an eBook. If you are able to write an article or blog post, you can also write an eBook. These are much shorter than full-length books. And can often, be an extension of an in-depth blog post. Inspire the change you desire in the world. Then work to promote it or publish it on Kindle for free.

  • Write and publish a book. Books have enormous power. Throughout history, people have tried to ban books they feel are making a difference—which they do not agree with. Write a book that inspires the change you want to see in the world.

You might have other ideas in writing for change, that are more immediate to your surroundings and circumstances. Grab those that most appeal to you, or that have the potential to reach the most people.

Do your part to write for change and make a difference as a writer.

Improving your mental health

Our mental health is paramount to success. It is up to us as individuals to fix our problems through self-reflection, and time and patience.  I have previously written about the incredible benefits writing daily can have on your mental health.

A fantastic way of tackling excessive thoughts and anxious thinking is through the age-old practice of writing. Therapeutic writing prompts through journaling and morning pages are excellent and proven exercises in overcoming mental health difficulties.

Julia Cameron first popularised the practice of morning pages in her book the artists way.

This influential habit allows us to rid ourselves of our obsessive and cluttered thoughts in our heads so that we can make way for more constructive and creative thinking.

Join 485,887 other writers in the best online morning pages writing community: 750words.com – of which i use often!

Therapeutic writing prompts and journaling, offer a considerable amount of benefits for your mental wellbeing too.

When we establish a daily practice to express our thoughts and process our feelings, over time, we can pinpoint our troublesome thoughts with increasing clarity and awareness.

With writing prompts, exercises and honesty, we can assess paths forward in our lives, so that we can be the best versions of ourselves we can be.

Take on a series of honest writing exercises, planning, and courses to learn more about yourself, your creative practice and your abilities to take your own mental health back under your control. 

The book ‘Opening Up by Writing It Down: How Expressive Writing Improves Health and Eases Emotional Pain’ is a fantastic resource for exploring the potentials of this practice further and has introduced tens of thousands of readers to the power of expressive writing for improving our mental health.

Establishing your creative practice:

Create the right habits to master your creative outlets, so you can achieve your book and/or writing goals.  Keeping ourselves motivated to write is probably the greatest challenge as writers. Writer’s block is no myth, it is very real! Thankfully there are solutions at hand!

Here are my recommendations:

  • Don’t break the chain technique:

The idea is simple. Each day write a big red cross on your calendar for when you wrote that day, and never break the chain!

It is sweet and simple, and very effective.

This method, which has an interesting backstory, is a constant reminder that, if we want to succeed as writers, we must acknowledge our craft and respect the process. Because the reality is, if you do work at your craft obsessively, you will find success. And if you do become a professional writer, you will need to write every day.

Not only that, but you’ll also be expected to prove that you can constantly produce worthwhile material, and the only way any of us can achieve that is to push ourselves tenaciously.

  • Writing prompts

If you find yourself stuck for things to write about, here are a few prompts to get you going. Though try to keep in mind that the topic is not always necessary. Unloading and tapping into what is going on in your mind are critical here. Get the good stuff out of your head and onto paper.

– What I am really trying to say is….. – My characters real struggle is that he/she is…. – My scene is exploring the ideas of…. – I want to write about….. – Today my challenges are….. – I feel very….. – I am thankful for…. – This week I am looking forward to these things … – My challenges today were….

Write for just a few minutes with these prompts, thinking openly instead of constructively of what you are writing.

The purpose of such writing prompts is to provide a cathartic space and practice to express ourselves purely and undiluted, so that our ideas come out and our brain can get working on that masterpiece. 

Writing prompts is an inspired routine designed to experiment and play with ideas and words. When you have finished with the writing, highlight the best bits.

  • Keeping a compost/inspiration heap with a notebook

You get ideas from two things coming together. You get ideas from things that you have seen and thought and known about and then something else that you’ve seen and thought and known about and the realization that you can just collide those things.

Many writers, says author Neil Gaiman, practice composting in one form or another—usually by collecting various things that inspire them and assembling them in a journal, folder, or online file.

Rereading your compost heap can not only give you time to process difficult subjects, but it can also trigger fresh inspiration and help you make creative leaps by linking up seemingly disparate elements.

Begin creating a compost heap. Title a page “Compost Heap” and write down the things that have captured your attention in the past week or month. These may become the source motivators of your writing, maybe of your career.

Any writing project is an undertaking, and novels in particular, because they take so long to write, will require sustained interest, so be sure to fill this page with your truth: What interests you?

This can be anything: a word, a movie, a person, an event, so long as it inspired you. It can be subjects (cactus species, muscle cars, a voyage to Mars) or people/types of people (therapists, spies, your Aunt Germaine).

Try to include things from other arts—for example, foods, music, or movies. In the beginning, make a practice of sitting down at least once a day to note things that interest you.

Build Your writing community

I think this is the most important of all. Nevermind finding your reason to write, as without the community to give your writing meaning and context, you might not write at all!

Having a sense of community in your writing, and a support network to feedback critique and input is critical to your sustained writing and reason for doing so.

This is where I come in!

As part of the writing community, we owe it to ourselves and each other to participate in the fantastic privilege of writing. 

Whenever you can surround yourself with like-minded, creative people, especially writers, it’s always a good thing.

If you are interested in signing up to a writers group, please feel free to email me. In my writing group, White Crane Spreads Wings, we will aim to connect to ourselves as individuals, each other and the world around us through the experience of writing and sharing our work in a supportive community.

You get writing prompts, and feedback from classmates as well as your instructor. Learn more writing techniques, in a supportive environment, and share your work for feedback in friendly monthly/fortnightly sessions.

Work can be in any genre or form: prose, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, all forms and styles are welcome!   

Email me, or sign up here.

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