The Freedom to Write


I watched the movie Freedom Writers this morning, which the racial tension theme in the film fit nicely with today being Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On the surface it’s just another one of those films depicting a rough classroom and a dedicated teacher who comes in to save the day — think Dangerous Minds and the like.

Freedom Writers, though, is based on a true story.

And part of the solution that helps these troubled kids is writing. Which, of course, as I writer, I’m quite fond of. Writing is an amazing tool, whether it be used for informing, self-discovery, documentation, creative expression, or so on.

From the Freedom Writers Foundation web site:

We began writing anonymous journal entries about the adversities that we faced in our every day lives. We wrote about gangs, immigration, drugs, violence, abuse, death, anorexia, dyslexia, teenage love, weight issues, divorce, suicide, and all the other issues we never had the chance to express before. We discovered that writing is a powerful form of self expression that could help us deal with our past and move forward.

Everyone should write, something, somewhere, whether it be a blog or a personal journal or diary, poems or short stories, letters, true stories, anything! Writing can be therapeutic, healing, educational, informative, and even fun!

When people hear that I write for a living they tell me how cool that must be and how they wish they could write. They can! Writing is something I learned by doing it. I like to think there’s some God-given and/or natural talent there too, but one of the reasons I became a writer is because I wrote and I enjoyed it so I just kept on writing.

People say, “Oh, I can’t write,”Β  and I say that’s crazy. Yes you can. Writing is taking the stories and thoughts that run through your head and putting them on paper or on the computer. That’s all there is to it. Try it. You might like it. And others might like reading it, if you write and share. And more than that, it might be really good for you.

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