“Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are offering voters the kind of change that they seem so desperately to want…. They long for leaders with a clear and compelling vision of a better America and a road map for getting there.
“Neither party is…offering a bold, coherent plan…to reinvigorate the can-do spirit of America in a way that makes people believe that they are working together toward grand and constructive goals. Great challenges demand great leaders. Marian Anderson once said, ‘Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it….’
“Real leadership will have to come from…outside of Washington….America’s can-do spirit can be revived, and with it a brighter vision of a fairer, more inclusive, and more humane society….The loudest message from Tuesday’s election is that the people themselves need to do much more.”
–Bob Herbert, the New York Times, 11/4/10
Writers won a mandate for change in the election. Filling the vacuum for leadership by writing for change is the greatest opportunity you will ever have. Whether you’re writing prose or poetry, short or long, for love or money; whether you’re being the light or reflecting that of others, you can use your passion and vision to make a difference.
As a writer, you have four opportunities to be creative:
- how you write: expressing your ideas in a fresh, exciting way
- how you conceptualize your work: creating titles and subject lines that convince readers to read what follows them
- how you build a community of believers: building a constituency for your ideas and forging a community of allies to widen the ripples you create in the information stream
- how you communicate with your communities: using as many media as you can, as tirelessly as you can, and integrating your efforts for maximum impact
As the saying goes, problems are opportunities in work clothes. They force us to make better lives for ourselves, the other residents of the global village, and the planet. We believe writers may be our best hope for the future. If writers, individually and collectively, don’t fill the leadership vacuum, who will?
Elizabeth and I started the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference to help writers learn about craft, community, and communication. If you want to use your passion for writing and change to help lead America into the future, please join us this weekend.
The Third San Francisco Writing for Change Conference: Writing to Make a Difference / November 13-14, Hilton Financial/Chinatown / www.sfwritingforchange.org / Keynoters: million-copy selling authors Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior) and John Robbins (Diet for a New America)