CONTEXT: The Message

Flags at Knapheide 1-30-16 IMG_5791  A writer has a story to tell, or something to say.  She may have a burning desire to share information she thinks is important, or he may want to bring the spine-tingling anticipating that comes with reading a good mystery.  Maybe a new insight came that was so startlingly enlightening, that just claiming an “Aha!” moment isn’t enough–it must be recorded for future consideration.

A few days ago I read a post that challenged the readers (who were writers) to consider WHY they (we) write.  Perhaps we are not finding the type of success we envisioned because we are not writing in a way that suits our purpose.  The idea tickled away in my consciousness and subconsciousness.

Last Saturday I was grateful to be stopped by a traffic light, because it gave me a perfect view of the wall and the flags in this photo I took.  That wall and the flags are large–VERY large, and dominate an intersection where a busy road crosses a multi-lane highway.  But its message is unmistakable, isn’t it?  The large but privately-held company that owns the property devoted great amounts of time and resources to make one particular message clear:  “In God we trust,” proclaimed with nine American flags.

I thought about how many other ways they might have made that statement:  On stationery?  In their advertising?  On a billboard?  How much more private and limited the audience would have been!

I’m challenged to make sure I’m writing to say what I think is truly important, and in a way that will reach the audience for whom it is intended, in a way that represents me as a writer with integrity of purpose. I never would have thought of doing it with a wall and nine flagpoles.

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