Tag, You're It!

Saturday, September 29, 2007
Last night I flopped down on my loveseat and stared expressionless at the television—a ritual I do at the end of a busy day to empty my brain. After a few moments of "brain-drain," commercial grabbed my interest:

A woman stood on a busy corner and waited to cross. A young man was about to run into the intersection when the woman pulled him back just as a car sped around the corner. In the next scene, the same young man helped a woman struggling with her groceries. As items started to fall out of her bag, the young man grabbed them then carried the woman's groceries to her car. In the next scene the young woman with the groceries reached out to someone else in need and so on. The commercial was for life insurance, which was revealed when the woman who saved the young man from the car dealt with her clients in the closing scene.

Now, I realize the company’s message was different from what I got out of it but I thought, “Wow. Look how far one random act of kindness extends.” It’s the same with our writing.

When we write an article or story, someone who reads it will (hopefully) be affected or inspired by our words in some way. It may even sprout other articles or stories from it. A good example is the article I wrote for WOW—Start Me Up—was inspired by my experience with starting up a freelance writing business. The goal was to give encouragement to other Writing Moms who wanted to do the same thing but weren't sure how or where to start. Another Writing Mom, Tricia Ares—a fantastic writer—emailed me to say she was inspired by my advice about “writing around life.” In fact, Tricia wrote her own article on the subject (what an honor!). I checked out her thought-provoking article and read the comments left by other Writing Moms. They thanked Tricia for her awesome article and wrote how they were inspired by her words. See the pattern?

Just like the insurance woman who saved someone’s life and Tricia Ares, the inspirational Writing Mom, we see how random acts of inspiration and kindness can extend far beyond where they're intended to go. For me, my only hope when I write a piece is that my words can reach even just one person. And if that one person is touched in some way by my experience or what I’ve shared, I’ve done my job. And all writers have this ability.

So go out there and write to inspire; to reach out; to voice out; or just to share. And see how far your words branch out.


Happy writing.



Angela Mackintosh said...


This is excellent, and definitely a huge form of flattery. When another writer like Tricia links to your article as expert advice and writes about what she learned from it... well, it doesn't get much better than that! And Tricia not only wrote about how your advice moved her, she took it to heart and created her own system.

Pretty soon you'll see her friends that visit her blog writing about that post, and so on. And then we'll all have insurance ;-) or insurance that our writing is reaching others.

This is why I do a check every month to see who blogs about us. I go to bloglines, type in our web address, and find tons of posts that mention our little site that could! You can do the same thing with your name to find out who's mentioning you.

And your article is excellent. I can't wait to see what people will say about next month's inspiration column, featuring you! I was truly moved by your interview Chynna, and I know others will be too. But I can't talk about it too much since it's a surprise!

Anyway, excellent post! I love how you tied in the commercial reference. :-)



Anonymous said...

Great article! It reminds me of "Pay It Forward" one of my favorite films with Kevin Spacey in it. If everyone in every society embraced this concept, the world would be a much better place.

Anonymous said...

So true! This very site inspired me to leave my comfort zone and try to gear one of my novels (or novel embryos as I call them in their very early stags) to teens Whether it will work or not is another story! As a pathetic aside, I'm such a sap - that stupid commercial makes me cry. ;-)

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