At our League of Utah Writers meeting this week, we discussed using Facebook, Twitter, and making online comments on newspaper and other websites to get our names and faces before the public and create an audience for our writing. Of course, writers and bloggers do this—although sometimes with a sense of shame. We’ve all been taught since childhood not to boast—not to draw attention to ourselves.
Ted, a member of our group, gave me a new perspective: “Anything you feel passionately enough to write about is something that will interest others—something that may help them in understanding a similar situation. If you don’t promote it yourself, your insights will be confined within the walls of your own home. No one else will benefit from what you have to share.”
Ted is right. The days when Emily Dickinson hid her masterpieces for someone else to find and publish to the world are gone. Thoreau didn’t have to do book tours, book signings, and talk shows to build an audience for Walden. But an author who waits to be discovered nowadays won’t be—and the world may be the poorer for it.
Besides promoting our writing, sometimes we need to speak up verbally. How many times have I sat biting my tongue through a Church lesson with which I disagreed? Now, I’m not advocating rudeness or emotional outbursts which make everyone uncomfortable and usually harden people in their opinions rather than moving them to agree with us. But a respectful, alternative point-of-view—a tweet rather than a treatise—may be just what others are hoping to hear.
Jesus was humble. He did not argue, insult or belittle—but he was not silent.