The Power of Writing

Writers have made a huge difference in the history of the world. Just think of all the social changes that were influenced by information - and propaganda - that reached the people who fought for social change or had the power to change laws.

And we can, and are, making a difference, too.

It's obvious that nonfiction books and articles often provide useful information just when the readers need it, but even fiction can make a difference. Sometimes providing escape and respite from stress helps people relax and regain strength to deal with their problems. Fiction can also suggest ways to deal with problems.

When I was a kid I was a skinny, asthmatic, coward, constantly teased by the class bullies and usually living in fear. About ten years ago I went to a school reunion and was amazed that people remembered me as brave. I remembered several times when I'd stood up for what was right even though doing so could have gotten me into trouble, and realized I'd done so because in all the books I'd read the protagonists acted like that. I guess I assumed that was the only alternative. Those books changed me and perhaps the way I acted as a result made other changes.

What are some ways your writing can make a difference?

Writers to Support Troops with Free E-Books

As many of you know, my grandson is back now from two tours of duty in Iraq and is now stationed (very luckily) near Monterrey, CA. Thus, the plight of our troops is a subject near and dear to my heart. My poetry writing partner Magdalena Ball and I are giving away e-copies of our chapbook of unconventional love poetry Cherished Pulse to 'our' troops overseas as part of Operation e-book drop. We hope it will help them celebrate our holiday of love and express our love to them. We figured that many other writers would want to do the same with their books. Find the links and more information of how to partner with to participat at

If you prefer to send a real copy to someone--maybe a soldier--that is easy, too. It is only $6.95 on Amazon, certainly a doable gift. (The Amazon Link is in this post.) It makes a really beautiful gift with Vicki Thomas’s artwork and you can make it even prettier by tying a slender satin ribbon in the book's crease as a bookmark. Go to .

Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence. Find it at Her novel, collection of creative nonfiction and much of her poetry is informed by interest in leading the world toward acceptance of one another. Find her web page dedicated to tolerance at If your Twitter followers would be interested, please pass this on to them using this widget:

Writers Unite to Support Haiti

This just came to me from Lillian Cauldwell. She is sponsoring a way for authors, poets and other artists to contribute spiritually and financially to Haiti:

On Saturday, January 16, Lillian Cauldwell is sponsoring a Mixed Media event at PIVTR LIVE airwaves to raise monies for the Haitian children.

Programming runs from 2 to 4 p.m. est . Spots are 10 minutes!!

Please reserve a spot to recite poetry, read a short-short story, sing a song or sing-along with me, tell jokes, share a thought or opinion to help raise monies for these kids who are hungry, in need of medical care, clothing, water and the basic necessities especially if they're parnets are missing or died.

All proceeds go to Mission Socorro. (More on how Mission Socorro will use the proceeds below).

Contact Info: Lillian Cauldwell; 734-827-9407;

"Creator" Cauldwell
Voices of the People - United We Roar!

This is information on the organization to which Mission Socorro sends its donations for the Haitian children.

Bethany International is responding to the tragedy in Haiti in several ways. We will send our first relief team to Haiti in six weeks. Two more teams will follow. We welcome you to join one of these teams.

What to Do?
Bethany now oversees a ministry called Short-Term Evangelical Missions (STEM). STEM has sent 115 teams to Haiti over its 20-year history. In light of this, we believe we have a very good awareness of where the teams can go and what they can do once they are in Haiti.

You can learn more about the teams here:

No Gift Too Small
A second way to become involved is through a financial gift. Team members, while they raise their own support for the trip, will need materials and supplies. This will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. You can make an online gift today toward this relief effort. To do this, go to Gifts to the Haiti Relief Initiative are the last option.

Bethany International
6820 Auto Club Road, Suite M, Bloomington, MN 55438

If you are interested in donating to an organization likely to get out immediate relief, you can also easily donate to one of my favorites, The Clinton Foundation.

Posted by your frequent VBT blogger Carolyn Howard-Johnson, and blogging writers resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Website pick