You may foster a dream of changing the world, making a difference, and leaving an impact on those around you. You may hesitate to nourish or even believe in this dream, even as you work to write your story and express your creativity. After all, it may seem like too lofty of a goal; too often, it can feel like you’re running into impenetrable barriers and obstacles or like you are the only person who will ever read your work.
From personal experience, I can tell you: Believe in yourself and believe in your words. When I gave birth to my son Christopher, I was surrounded by too many “experts” who wanted me to leave him behind while I knew that I wanted to raise him surrounded by love. Christopher’s love and life compelled me to go forward, becoming Linda Smith, known as a fundraiser, disability advocate, and nonprofit fundraiser. Our story led to my Unwanted book, which has shown to me once more that there are so many people who want to read what we have to say and that, even after a lifetime of change, there is still more good to be done.
You can entertain.
It may seem like a simple goal, but it can truly change and delight the world. We all remember our favorite childhood heroes and characters. Their entertaining adventures and emotional experiences continue to resonate with adults today. Just check out any popular online forum or go to a theme park to find out just how many people see themselves in Star Wars, Harry Potter, or The Hunger Games. Entertaining stories have defined our cultural context, and your creative narratives can be a part of that incredible power.
You can teach.
Whether you’ve learned about a topic through extensive research or through your lived experience, you can share your knowledge with others. When I began my work to build inclusive spaces and communities for my son, many people knew little about the experiences of people with disabilities and their families. Educating others helps them to open their hearts and expand their universes. When it comes to breaking down barriers and building a more open society, there’s nothing like the personal power of education.
You can inspire.
Whenever I meet people, I have an incredibly rewarding experience: They tell me how much my own story has inspired them. When they read the Unwanted book, they have been motivated to work for inclusion in their lives or get involved in supporting people with disabilities. If you want to make a change for the better, putting your words on paper is one of the best ways to inspire others to join you.
Writing is a powerful tool for change, shaping our culture, and telling memorable stories that define our lives and guide our principles. Your own words can be an incredible gift to our society – so let your dreams flourish and your words flow.
When I sat down to write my book Unwanted etc…., I was fortunate to have plenty of encouragement from long time friends. Friends like Bobby, Carol, Jackie and Molly and of course my sweet family. They believed in my potential when I didn’t, they cheered me on and never lost faith. When complete they let me know that my book was “Pulitzer prize worthy!” Right. The only critique from my fabulous cheerleaders was that I left off many of the crazy fundraising stories that they knew made me a unique charity leader in Las Vegas; a fundraising machine with the ignominious moniker; “indomitable Linda.” Now, to honor them and my newfound fans, I am in the finishing throes of my next book, titled: “Confessions of a Sin City Fundraiser.” Set for release the end of 2020. This one’s for you sweet family and friends, for Sharron too, and to so many of my encouragers…you know who you are and I love you for that.