The Power of Reading and Writing

15 September, 2019 § Leave a comment

Malala Yousafzai told her amazingly brave story in her first book  I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. She has since penned two other books and a documentary in addition to her advocacy work for education.

malala activist education

From the age of 11 Malala pursued her activism by blogging for the BBC about education in Pakistan. She was marked as a threat by the Taliban and an attempted execution occurred on a school bus when she was 15. By 17 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Currently, she is studying at Oxford while continuing her writing career and pushing for the right to education for girls.

What formed Malala’s views? Her father was an advocate of education and had set up a school. He was anti-Taliban. There’s no doubt she was influenced by her father’s politics and belief and the family almost paid the ultimate price for it.

Reading and writing are powerful. They are the fundamental building blocks of education. When someone can read they have access to the knowledge of the world. Malala has exemplified the potential for education and her writing has changed the world from igniting a push for girls education to establishing schools for refugees to influencing leaders.

Malala has an impactful story. You may not. But that doesn’t lessen the capacity of your writing, your words, to benefit others either through education (non-fiction) or entertainment (fiction).

Learn. Write. Get your words out there.


How To Keep Writing

18 December, 2013 § 4 Comments

It happens to the best of us.

We burst headlong into a new project idea full of excitement, anticipation, hope. And then the nagging thoughts start to creep in. “What if I can’t do this?” “What if it’s no good?” “What if I got the plot wrong?” “This is sounding really boring” “Who would want to read what I’m writing?” … and so it goes.

Negativity is a killjoy to creativity. It stultifies it, squashes it, suppresses it.  No fun.

Self doubt kicks in. We wonder why we’re even attempting this. We doubt our ability, our value, our commitment.

Then we start to worry about whether we’re doing things right. We second-guess the method and techniques we’ve been taught or learned from those who have gone before.

STOP! Right now.

You HAVE to nip negativity in the bud before you slide down the slope of discontent and shelve your project and question yourself as a writer and creator of ideas.

Stay positive. When a negative thought sidles into your mind, catch it and replace it with a more positive one. That’s going to take persistence and discipline – both of which a writer needs so consider you are refining your abilities.

Ignore the naysayer in your head. Our inner critic intends to protect us but in the process it limits us. Let it know you appreciate its efforts but you are a writer and you need to write and nothing else is important until the work is done.

Trust in the writing process. Know that there is a method and whichever one you follow is the right one for you. Don’t chop and change. Stick to one process and see how it works for you. You can always fine-tune or adjust along the way. At the end, you can decide if there may be a better method. But if you switch methods all the time you end up procrastinating and your focus turns to the method rather than the result.

Work at it. You’ll get there!

Advice on Writing

1 August, 2013 § 1 Comment


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