Tag Archives: death

Write for your cause

You’ve heard the saying, the pen is mightier than the word, right? The written word has been used to make massive changes in society from petitions, articles, letters and books. It’s a way to gain exposure or get buy in to help a cause.

So what are you passionate about? Do you feel that we all have the right to freedom of speech? Or do you want to see some kind of activity stopped because it’s inhuman, bad for the environment or dangerous? Our stories can put a spotlight onto these causes that can really create changes in the world. The more we tell people about things, the farther our words travel. If people collectively write about something, the power is multiplied.

PEN International is a perfect example of a group that brings writers together from around the world to discuss ideas and campaign for people who are prosecuted for speaking out. In Australia we take it for granted that we can write and say what we think without censorship (within reason; think terrorism) but in many countries there is not the same freedom. Imagine being thrown in jail for writing a blog post about your rights as a woman! Check out PEN for more information about the great work they do.

Walk with Me by Kev Howlett to raise awareness for CMT.
Walk with Me by Kev Howlett to raise awareness for CMT.

Of course, your cause might be closer to home or something close to you heart like the local animal shelter or a medical condition that affects you or someone in your family, like the fundraising book that we did called Walk with Me.

How do you go about writing for your cause? Telling stories is how to get your message out, so for any cause you want to get support for, engage with your reader through story. As an example, if you are incensed by the treatment of greyhound race dogs, the best way to get other people incensed is to relate the stories that show how they are treated. Be specific. You could follow the life of a particular dog, or trainer and give day-to-day details of what happens. Or, if you want people to be aware of prostate cancer treatment and you have experience, relate that in your writing. Again, be specific. Don’t use language that is vague or common like, the treatment of greyhound dogs is horrific or it felt devastating to be diagnosed with cancer. No one can relate to those details. Use specific details that encompass emotions and senses. Sometimes you’ll need to write the gory details. Don’t censor your writing because if you want people to care and take action, they need to know the truth.

The more passionate and honest you are about your subject, the more connection and action will result from your story.

This is where writing can make real changes, even if it’s just to get one person to sign a petition to get someone out of jail or to get checked early for cancer. Your experience can help someone else.

Blaise, the book chick

Imagine – poetry by Poetica Christi Press

FullSizeRenderIt’s a great honour to be asked to launch the latest edition of poetry by Poetica Christi Press – Imagine.

On reading these 96 or so poems, I was reminded of a day about 18 months ago where I was standing by a river at a spot that is very special to me, in a remote bush land. Now, I don’t believe in ‘god’ as such, I follow no religion. But I am a spiritual person. I believe in a higher being and have had many experiences in my life that have confirmed this belief.

As I stood by the river a voice spoke to me. Not a real voice but something from deep within or high above, I don’t know, but very real and very clear. This ‘voice’ said to me, ‘You know that everything will be alright. Everything is as it should be and you will be okay.’ That was all. I hadn’t asked a direct question. I had simply stood by the water basking in the beauty of my surrounds. But this statement answered all the fears and questions that had been swirling around inside me in the months prior10615642_10204654385550634_6324159810675767075_n to this. It was as if a higher being had been listening to me and had given me a direct answer. Of course, I cried standing there by the water because I was overwhelmed by the experience.

Life can be like that at times. Overwhelming, confusing, wonderful, painful. Being able to write ourselves through these things is where poetry comes into being. This collection is no exception. Here we have a smorgasbord of what life can lay before us on the table: God, sleep, birth, death, the wonder of nature, peace (or the hope for it), the wonder of life. The simple and the complicated.

From humans trying to define life through theology only to have God wink at us, to wearing yellow linen, to comparing a Crabapple tree to a dessert with cream and strawberry icing, to the majesty of a bird heralding dawn to lines that I wish I had written like:

Oh blessed gift of sleep

To die a little

To be immune from time and memory …

This collection is full of vivid images, humour and thought provoking ideas. And like anyone, I will react to different poems at different times, depending on what’s happening in my life.

I encourage you to take a copy, go into a quiet place and delve into the pages to discover something that resonates with you.