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Writing that makes a Difference

Posted by Didi Gorman on

Writers work with words and words have power.

As a writer, one of my main goals is to use words to make a difference in people’s lives.

When a reader feels inspired by a piece I wrote, when my text is meaningful to someone, when it has made someone feel good, my work has achieved its goal.

Thing is, writers don’t often get to observe the effect of their writing on other people. We’re simply not there when the reader reads and reflects on our text.

Moreover, we’re sometimes commissioned to write about a specific cause. This could very well be for people we deeply appreciate and know in person. Even then, feedback is scarce. I have often mistaken this lack of response for indifference, though I know silence and indifference are not the same thing.

It’s precisely for this reason that I take special notice when I do receive feedback, and there was one particular case which was so significant, that it’s worth sharing it here.

It was from a reader from another country, who has been following my many online essays about one of my favorite topics - the Scouting movement.

He wrote in to say that his country had been recently troubled with civil unrest, and that my cheerful articles about the Scouts’ endeavors comforted him and gave him hope that there was still good in the world. They balanced the ample media coverage of the negative and the sensational. He was hoping for a future with more media focus on the positive and less coverage of controversies and political uncertainty.

It was a short message, but one I will cherish for a long time.

And so, an essay I had written about Scouts here, in North America, touched someone thousands of miles away. It made a difference. It had a feel-good effect when it was most needed, and this, for me, is truly rewarding.

By Didi Gorman