This summer I’ve talked a lot about the power each individual has to create change in the world. I’ve even pointed out some awesome non-profits you can donate to or volunteer with to support literacy and creativity.
But what if you don’t have any money? What if you’re already struggling to find time in your schedule for writing, let alone volunteering? Or maybe you just want to find a way your talent for writing can make the world a better place before you get rich and famous(which you totally will, OBVIOUSLY).
Having a creative talent drastically increases the amount of influence you can have on the world around you.
Believe it or not, you don’t need a lot of time or money to change the world. In fact, I’ve already come up with three easy ways you can make a difference in the world:
1. Write for non-profits. Every non-profit(at least every one I know about) has a website that needs regular updates. Many also publish blogs, booklets, reports, brochures and other things that require somebody with writing skills. No matter what cause you’re attempting to support, you’re bound to find a non-profit that could use help from a writer like you.
Pretty much any non-profit will be ecstatic if you offer to write for them pro bono. It’s one easy way you can help them with their mission even if you don’t have any cash to spare. If you find the right non-profit you may even end up getting paid for your writing–or getting another position at the non-profit thanks to your strong connections.
2. Limit yourself to working for ethical companies. This is becoming easier all the time as more companies are switching to more ethical methods of production. As a larger number of shoppers are starting to care about the ethics behind the brands they once loved, companies are changing to keep customers. And new companies focused on taking an energy efficient, ethical approach to old problems are popping up all the time.
If you’re about to starve, this might not be your first concern, but if you have the flexibility to be choosy, choose companies that are creating change. Choose companies that follow energy efficient models, that donate some of their profits to awesome charities, that really seem to be trying to change the world for the better. Many of these companies will also be dedicated to paying their employees–including their writers–well, so it’s a good investment in your career.
3. Help someone else develop their creative skills. You can learn a lot about writing on your own through careful reading and deliberate practice, but you need help. More importantly, you need encouragement. Writing is hard and lonely. You’re bound to face rejection at least a dozen times before you finally get published. Which means you need somebody to commiserate with, and you need somebody who can take an objective look at your stories and help you figure out why nobody’s purchasing them.
Do you know a budding writer or artist? Even if all you do is tell them that you’re a writer, that they aren’t alone and that you’re there to support them, you can make a huge difference in that creative person’s life. Giving them a list of resources, critiquing a single story, connecting them to another local writer, all these things can help that person grow, become happier and even build a career doing what they love. And an inspired creative person is often the driving force behind change in our world.
Changing the world might seem like a tall order, but everything you do has an impact on the world around you. Even smiling at somebody who’s feeling suicidal can save a life. You don’t have to start a charity or organize protests to make a difference. You don’t even need a lot of money–just enough to survive while you work on changing the world.
As a writer, you have a lot to give the world. You just need to figure out the best way to use your gifts.
Are you trying to change the world? Tell me all about it in the comments section below!