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Changing the world
one mind at a time
Ok, time to pass out. 
3rd-Dec-2008 01:32 am
me
Was a very long night at work.

But also good in that my register is even, I didn't have to refuse service, and I didn't have any rude folks tonight. Plus one of my customers brought me pot roast.

I so need to go to bed, given what time I have to be up.

But gislebertus keeps asking if I thought one letter to a medium sized town's newspaper would change the world.

As much as I'd like it to, the answer remains no.

Which is why I'm pondering why I posted it and the responses on here, particularly dwelling on the negative, rather than the really nice things people have said to me, and the people who really seemed to respond to it, Kum-ba-Yah sentiments and all.

And what I've come up with is this: I was once told by one of my writing teachers in High school 9 out of 10 things you write are abject crap, but it's the 10th one that matters.

That particular letter was my 10th one. It was a solid essay that expressed with clarity what I'd been feeling and conveyed my message quite well. Which makes me proud, since most of my writing of late has been shit. Mind you, I still re-write it in my head, but still, it's nice to know I can still pull out a 10th essay.

And the other thing is that this was the first time in ages I've let something I've written that's important to me loose into the world at large. Normally, the folks who get to read my writing are people who read me here on LJ, my YahooGroup, etc. In other words, people who know me in real life or are familiar enough with my writing to get the gist of what I'm talking about even when my vocabulary and grammar are failing.

Really, most of what I wanted was to know I'd made people think, to know that someone understood where I was coming from, to share my experience with people who have no idea who the heck I am nor would they particularly care.

So yeah. My views won't change the world. but the fact I made even people who DON'T agree with everything I had to say think about what I said, I feel I succeeded. Which is a rare and wonderful feeling for me. And watching comments go up from people on here and my other social network sites as well as comments on the newspaper boards expressing the opinion that Kim whatever her name is from Nixa missed my point entirely and proved at least one of the points I was trying to make is also a good feeling.

And getting an e-mail from mom who read the response that said "Nix on Nixa" made me laugh.

Any rate, I'm going to go to bed now on my bed of laurels. I have a general idea of what I need to say in response to Kim, but it can wait until tomorrow night when I've retsed up a bit.

Hugs to all of you, and may peace find you where ever you may roam.
Comments 
3rd-Dec-2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
Well, that does have something to do with perspective, too. Meaning, along the same idea that saving one life can change the world, I think that changing even one mind or getting one person to really think can change the world in some small way. It could even have a chain reaction. :)
4th-Dec-2008 04:30 am (UTC)
Pay it forward?

But yeah. I am still happy I sparked debate from folks who took the time to read it and think about it, rather than write bad poetry making assumptions about it:)
3rd-Dec-2008 02:33 pm (UTC)
But you're an excellent writer!

Yours was a very good letter, hers was kinda stupid.

I think it's always worth speaking out as you did. Did you not change the world? You changed it a little bit! And don't forget the ripple effect; you are still in the process of changing it, in fact.

Sleep well, and I look forward to seeing your next letter. :)
3rd-Dec-2008 09:21 pm (UTC) - P.S.
In a choice between one of your High School writing teachers and me, you may safely prefer my opinion:

*Widely (and internationally) published poet
*Author of non-fiction articles and even some short fiction, published in various magazines and newspapers
*Teacher of writing to adults for three decades, in venues ranging from tertiary college to community centres
*Professional proof-reader and copy editor
*Former publisher, some of whose publications won national awards.
4th-Dec-2008 04:37 am (UTC) - Re: P.S.
LOL While I appreciate the compliments, not everything that comes out of my keyboard is fit to publish. I know and acknowledge this:)
4th-Dec-2008 04:34 am (UTC)
While I enjoy the act of writing immensely, there are plenty of examples in this journal alone of essays that are basically rough rough drafts that could REALLY use some revision before I post them.

Of course, those are usually post-work, just after waking up, or my blood sugar is really high posts, but they still occur. That and I notice myself using the same words over and over again. Trying to to make my own catchphrases;)
4th-Dec-2008 04:54 am (UTC)
OK, I confess I haven't read your entire journal.

Me, I go back and re-edit my entries after posting, sometimes several times over, as I spot things that could be improved. (And I wish for the same opportunity with comments.)

Obsessive? Who, ME?
4th-Dec-2008 06:38 am (UTC)
ROFLMAO

Well, sometimes the issue I have is trying to traslate an image I have in my mind into words that properly convey that image. It's a bit like using a chisel to sculpt a block of marble... sometimes I don't take enough off or take too much off trying to get the shape right.

But yes, I have been known to edit my entries as well. I just tend to worry that my original point gets lost with heavy editing. Occasionally raw observation works better than polished wording:)
4th-Dec-2008 06:49 am (UTC)
Agreed! (And there you are hoisted on your own petard, mate ... though you did say 'occasionally'.)

I always think that making poems is like sculpting.
4th-Dec-2008 06:58 am (UTC)
Or like pottery. Poetry has more give than prose:)
4th-Dec-2008 07:27 am (UTC)
Mmm, nice analogy. :)
4th-Dec-2008 07:52 am (UTC)
Thank you:)
5th-Dec-2008 06:02 am (UTC)
Obviously I don't know you, but can I just say that the outfit you're wearing in this icon is really just very much fun. ^__^ I want one. I have absolutely vowed not to buy any more red clothes because I am just that tired of having things that are not supposed to be tinged with pink ending up in my red clothes load and becoming less the color they are supposed to be. (especially when they are supposed to match other things the same color.) Perhaps in Green or Purple. Yes.
5th-Dec-2008 10:59 am (UTC)
Purple and black are actually the colours I wear most - but this dress is fun, and I have just posted a poem about it in my lj, if you'd like to pop over and see. :)

I also have the same dress in purple, and in black!
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