Food for thought: has there ever been a more effective change agent than the written word? Between books, magazines, newspapers and blogs, writers shine a spotlight on our world’s most pressing issues through the “power of the pen.” And you can do the same! If you’ve got a gift for writing and the motivation to make your ideas heard, you’ve got all the tools you need to bring attention to your favorite cause. Here are five ideas for getting started:
1. Start a blog. While blogs may seem like a dime a dozen these days, they are still one of the most cost-effective and widely available ways to get your message out there. But they are time-consuming, so if you can’t take on 100% of the blogging by yourself, think about enlisting a friend with a similar passion and partner up. Another approach is to find a tech-savvy friend to take care of the formatting side, while you focus on the written words. If that still sounds overwhelming, you could always find someone with a blog you follow and ask to write a “guest post” on a subject near and dear to your heart. (Want to guest post for Like a Boss? Email us here.)
2. Op-Eds/Letters to the Editor. Writing for your school newspaper is a great start, but how about expanding your journalistic skills to the op-ed and “letter to the editor” pages of your favorite local publication? By choosing a smaller venue initially, you’re more likely to see your name in print. Articles in this genre are persuasive and fiery, so this forum is particularly great if there’s a passionate opinion piece just waiting to burst out of you onto the page.
3. Join the Dialogue. Sometimes, it’s the juicy dialogue that comes after an article or blog post that’s most inspirational. Become a regular on blogs or websites devoted to an issue you care about and spread their word. Comment, re-tweet, link on Facebook, etc—whatever it takes to keep the conversation rolling. (Incidentally, this can be a great tactic for driving traffic to your blog if you have one.)
4. Create a zine. What’s a “zine,” you ask? It’s essentially a small version of a magazine (published by YOU!) about any topic you want to tackle. Don’t be fooled by the small circulation—zines can pack a punch, and some even find their way to bookstore shelves. So if you’ve ever dreamed of picking up a publication about eco-farming practices in your community? Or the latest news on the fight against teenage bullying? Go for it—start one.
5. Volunteer your talents. Is there a non-profit out there doing work you admire? Most likely they have a website and/or promotional materials. Someone has to write that material, and why not you? Advance the cause by volunteering to write copy for their site, their pamphlets or anything else they produce.
What did we miss? What other ways can you think of to bring attention to a cause through writing?
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