How to Write: Write to Change the World

What do you do when the power goes out? Our whole lives and of those around us revolve around power that comes from electricity. We enjoy a multitude of benefits and power is essential to our modern-day lives, so it’s serious when we lose it. At the same time, if you look, there can be some hidden benefits.

Recently, I visited my sister who lives in a high-rise condo in downtown San Diego. Suddenly our computers went on battery power. My sister came into the room where I worked. “Did you just plug something in? Our power shut off.”

We soon found out that it was not just us. We couldn’t turn on the TV or radio but when a friend called, she told us that an unexpected power outage left approximately 4 million people in San Diego and Mexico and other parts of Southern California without power.

My sister has a habit of saying in adversity, “What is good about this?” She’s an artist and she had been teaching me how to draw flowers. So she said, “Well, we’ve wanted to get some time to draw. Would you like for me to show you how to correct the shading on the tulip you’ve been drawing?”

I hesitated. I was in the middle of cleaning up my office desk. Noting my questioning, she implored, “A year from now we won’t remember cleaning, but we will remember that we took the time to do art.”

“Okay, you’re right, and besides that exploring creative expression as it relates to creative writing is on my list of things to do.” I laughed.

We sat down and enjoyed doing art until it got dark. Fortunately, we had a gas stove, so I lit a match to ignite the flames. I cooked something to eat and we sat on her deck. God provided us with natural light in a beautiful full moon, so we enjoyed eating dinner with the moon flickering on our faces and the dark buildings in the city.

Earlier, we also happened to be out in the hall when neighbors came home to the condo across the hall. We had never met and started talking about the blackout. They were the most delightful couple. He said, “Well, this is one good thing about the power outage. We met our neighbors!”

Stefanie, a friend on Facebook wrote, “It was an interesting day yesterday with no power. In our area, no one panicked. It seemed like everything just slowed down. There were BBQs going, children playing outside, neighbors talking to each other and people taking strolls around the area–back to the days of no TV, no Internet. It was so beautiful! This is what we have lost with technology.”

Sometimes we think writing means writing a novel or something more involved. In this post, with her simple observations expressed in creative writing, Stefanie called people back to the treasures we lost with the focus on technology; the treasures of having relationship; being creative and resourceful with what you have; the ability to find good in any situation.

We write for various reasons, but one form of writing is to provide perspective and encouragement on how to deal with the adversity in people’s lives. We all experience trouble in some form or another. When we find the good things and a purpose in those challenges, it gives us the strength to endure the suffering and any losses we may experience.

I saw a magnet recently that said, “If you can’t change the situation, change how you think about it.” As writers, we can learn how to write in such a way that we offer a positive perspective in adversity and strengthen people to go through it. When we see difficulties as opportunities to grow, we will be stronger as individuals, as a nation and as a world.

Make a difference in the world.

Go write now!

Comments are closed.