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Does Your Writing Make a Difference?

  • April 13, 2015
  • Blog




That’s the good news.

The bad? You may never know it.

I know of someone who’s a trauma nurse. Reading romance novels helps her keep sane and centered at her job. That’s pretty important stuff.

A friend was stranded far from home in a crappy motel while a family member healed from an accident. Books were her lifeline. They helped pass the time and made things bearable.

A short story got me a raise. I don’t know why that story resonated with me to the point where I called a freelance client and raised my rates. I had avoided doing that for two years because I knew the company was restructuring and they had a stable of steady proofreaders aside from me. But something in that story made me brave.

I got the raise. And years later, I found the email address of the author and let her know. (She was happy to hear it.**)

Yes, your writing makes a difference. Never doubt it. It can make someone think differently about a problem at work or a situation at home. It can change how they treat someone. Or just make them grateful that their lives are better than the characters they just read about. (After all, we don’t have vampires breaking into our bedrooms looking for a midnight snack.)

All this is icing on the cake, icing we might never taste. Our job is to write. Write what you love, write about the happy endings, the complicated endings, the cautionary tales and everything in between.

Write because you love it. And maybe one day you’ll get an email or a nudge from someone who wants to thank you for it.


* Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

** In case you’re wondering, the story is “Asking Mr. Bigelow,” by Susan Shwartz, published in the anthology Catfantastic III, edited by Andre Norton and Martin H. Greenberg.


  • Jan • April 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve never been been inspired enough to ask for a raise! That must have been some story!

    • J. M. Levinton • April 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      I read and reread it and suddenly it clicked for me. 🙂

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