Once again, it is Words Matter time!
Actually, I think words matter all the time and I’m sure the fine folks at The National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE) do as well. However, this is the time every year when they ( along with yours truly) choose to celebrate that sentiment with a week of thought-provoking questions.
I participated in this last year for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Last year I got a bit of a late start… and it appears I am off to the same efficient start this year. This is not intentional. It just happens that this event coincides with another event that usually consumes a great deal of my time and attention- Women’s History Month. Next year I promise to figure out a way to be on time, but as Scarlett said, ” I’ll think about that tomorrow…” – or next year. For now, on with the 2011 NAIWE Words Matter Blog Challenge . The focus this year is best illustrated in the poster for this year:
That quote by Nobel Prize winning author Hermann Hesse is a powerful reminder to those of us who love the craft of writing and revere the written word just how important our words are to those who will read them when we are gone. Our words are our legacy to future generations.
The question posed on the first day of this year’s challenge is:
Is there a word that has changed, or could change your life? What is it, and what difference would it make?
The absolute rush of words this question provokes is almost overwhelming. There are so many words that have a deep and emotional meaning for us as human beings. But as I sift through all of the words prompted by this inquiry, one surges to the surface : Freedom.
According to Websters, Freedom is defined as follows:
Freedom : The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.
To a writer, freedom is the mother of expression. Without freedom, the journalist can not report on the facts of what his or any other government is up to. Without freedom, the historian can not record the facts of an event or series of events without censorship. Without freedom the novelist can not create a world that may or may not be a testimony to the human condition as he or she perceives it.
From a reader’s perspective, freedom is just as necessary. The relationship between reader and writer is a symbiotic one at the very least. The writer needs an audience. A free and unrestrained audience to hear or read their words in a complete and uncensored manner. This idea is the foundation of our society- the basis of our laws, the thing that brings diversity and innovation to our life. In short, it is the essence of who we are as a people.
That said, I would be remiss if I did not address the fact that freedom comes with responsibility. To ensure our freedoms we can not- must not – take our freedoms for granted. We must tend them, nurture them, champion them. If we do not, then we will be forced to fight to keep them and by then it is sometimes too late.
So, dear reader, my request to you is to read diversely, read completely and with an open mind. Admire those who craft the words that inspire, soothe and compel you… to read more, do more and be more. Exercising, protecting and nurturing the freedom of expression is a continually rewarding experience.
To my fellow bloggers: Please visit the NAIWE website http://naiwe.com/ and check out their organization and then visit the Words Matter Week Blog Challenge Page : http://wordsmatter.naiwe.com/2011/02/01/get-ready-for-words-matter-week-2011/ and sign up.
Yes, it’s a little late – but they won’t take points off for being tardy. ( I should know 😉 ) Plus, it’s just fun, and gets the inspirational juices flowing… and I don’t want to be the only kid sitting at the “tardy table”.
The day 2 question is :
Words can change history. What speech or document do you believe to be most important. Why?
My thoughts on that slightly later.