I was captivated by some thoughts on freedom and writing that Moira Allen, editor of the Writing-World.com newsletter shared in her most recent issue. This excerpt is reprinted here with her permission .
“…Writing is, at the most fundamental level, about freedom.
Countries that wish to restrict the freedoms of its citizens
invariably get around to restricting the freedoms of writers. One
of those things that I DO take for granted is the freedom to write
what I want, without fear of having someone knocking on my door
late at night — or worse, without the fear that someone has a
right not only to knock but to enter, without a warrant or anything
resembling “just cause.”
Governments that don’t like freedom don’t like writers — because
writers have this nasty tendency to tell the world all about what
their governments are doing. Frankly, I sometimes get tired of our
press complaining nonstop about our government — but I will never
get tired of the fact that the press CAN complain!
There is no power on earth as important as the freedom to be able
to say, and write, whatever you wish. There is no gift so great
for writers to celebrate in this holiday season as the freedom that
we have, at least in this country, to WRITE. That freedom means
that we have the power to speak up about things that we don’t like
– and the power to demand and make changes to the world in which
we live. It is the gift that makes the difference between being
“citizens” rather than “subjects.” Many of us may never feel the
need to exercise the full power of this gift, but we should never
forget that we have it. And we should also never forget those who
It’s also something that we can pass on. Whenever you help someone
develop their writing skills — whether it’s your own child, or a
total stranger that you’ve met through an Internet writers’ group
– you’re passing on more than just the ability to craft a better
sentence. You’re passing on a gift of freedom.”
Moira Allen is the editor of Writing World newsletter, and the manager of the enormous Writing-World.com website. I’m grateful for the opportunity to reprint her thoughts here.