When it comes to the craft of writing, it is typically viewed in a black-and-white manner. Simply to be just words on a page or on a digital screen. However, in reality, words can end wars, save lives and provide a brighter sense of clarity then sunlight in some instances. Writing can and has changed the world in so many ways, and its impact shouldn't be dimmed. So here are some ways you can use your own writing to make a difference and an impact.
Diverse Points of View-
One-way writing has been used to make a difference in the world by acting as a platform for diverse points of view. Writing has no limitations when it comes to age, race, gender identity, and social class. Through writing, everyone can share their opinions and their own stories that wouldn't be heard otherwise. These stories being shared allow people all over the world to hear stories about different situations and hardships that many can see themselves in. Stories like these show others they aren't alone and that there is a light at the end of a tunnel that may seem eternally dark.
This is exhibited in “Crying In H Mart” written by Michelle Zauner, where Zauner shares the experience of growing up in a traditional Korean American family. She drives the story as she describes family values and emotions surrounding the passing of her mother with the constant metaphor of Korean dishes and the Korean supermarket she spent many days in with her mother called H Mart. Through her memoir, Zauner allows readers who are also experiencing grief to find solitude while also bringing the Korean American experience to light which commonly goes underrepresented in the media.
Bringing Attention to Social Causes-
Through writing, you can also bring awareness to different social causes that are constantly clouded by stigma. For example, some topics that fall under this are mental illness, LGBTQ+ experiences, and sexual assault. Through writing, many can be shown that their mental illness and emotions are valid and this can give people the courage to reach out for help. In regard to LGBTQ+ experiences, different forms of writing have shared experiences and stories of trauma that members of the community have experienced. These hard conversations need to be had and allow readers to sit in the shoes of another. Shifting over to sexual assault, which is another hard topic to discuss and a triggering one for many, these hard conversations allow readers to bring these issues to the surface in an effort to stop the cycle and hold perpetrators accountable for their horrid actions.
This is exhibited in “Know My Name” written by Chanel Miller, who shares her experience and the aftermath of being sexually assaulted in January 2015 by Brock Turner, who was then an athlete at Stanford University. At the time Miller chose to keep her identity undisclosed commonly known as “Emily Doe” by the media and the court. However, in her memoir, she brings her experience to the page granting herself a sense of healing after a harrowing ordeal, while also amplifying the voices of other sexual assault victims who have been silenced and blamed by the media.
Valuing The Truth-
One of the greatest ways writing can be used to make an impact is through truthfulness. Although writing can be used to bring fictional and fantastical stories to the page, it can also provide clarity. It allows readers to engage in the chilling truths, this is seen in both news writing and the nonfiction genre. Whether it's through the truth about a crime or someone's life story in a memoir the truth is one of the most precious things that can be constructed through writing, because when everything else is lost all that remains is the truth.
The truth is exhibited in “1,001 Voices on Climate Change: Everyday Stories of Flood, Fire, Drought, and Displacement From Around the World” written by Devi Lockwood. Throughout her book Lockwood gives voice to the voiceless as she shares the stories of different people who have been impacted by the major effects of climate change. Lockwood values the truth and that is mirrored in how she brings these raw stories of pain many have experienced to the page.
More or less the world can be dark, filled with sadness, death, and utter disappointment. These themes are exhibited in many different forms of writing, however, there are lighter themes that allow readers to escape from the darkness of their everyday lives. Whether it's a story of two falling in love, ethereal poetry, or a comedic tale of someone's mischief during youth these stories help to ground a reader and allow them to find beauty in the ugliness that resides in the world through a different form of art. Here are some of the best books to use as an escape from reality for a little while.
Nonetheless, writing is one of the most powerful tools in this life. What once began as a feather with ink, has now morphed into a key to changing the present world and the days to come. Writing allows those struggling to fill a void, the voices of activists to be amplified, and societal standards to be erased and revised. Such a powerful tool must be used with grace and the uttermost sensitivity, and its strength must not be diminished.