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The Freedom to Write

I was moved in many ways at the opening gala of the International Festival of Authors last night.

Hearing Dubliner Roddy Doyle speak in his lovely lilt made me want to jump on the next plane and fly back to the green Isle. He reminded me too, how culturally rich a nation Ireland is.

How humour plays a role in almost everything they do. How some of the world's best story tellers come from there.

How I'm not sure I could ever replicate - even just a little - the experience I had in the Irish publishing industry. And maybe that's okay.

I was also privileged to speak to the talented Canadian director, writer and actor Don McKellar and let him know IN PERSON just how deeply his movie Last Night affected me.

But most importantly, I found a charity that I want to actually work with. Not to say that there are charities that I WOULDN'T work with, just that this organisation has got me mobilized in a way I've not thought of before.

"PEN Canada assists writers around the world who are persecuted for the peaceful expression of their ideas".

There are people, just like me, more powerful and courageous then me, all over the globe, who every day have to choose freedom over their written words.

Considering how often I am voicing my opinion in this way, I can't imagine worrying about my life for saying that I don't like a government policy, a religious idea or hell even the shirt someone was wearing today.

So I encourage you to read about them. And do whatever you can to help keep words alive.

Someone once said knowledge is power. If you can't write about it, how will anyone know?

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It's that time of year again. That time when we all decide to become a little more of our better selves.

It's a good time of year to commit to something, even if just to say you're going to try to make it happen. And, even if things don't change and perhaps you even fail at whatever you were resolving, it's actually just the action of pledging change that really brings the most benefit.

And so, this year, as I'm sure most writers are pledging, I pledge to WRITE. MORE.

Not necessarily blog more. But write more. Keep the act of it going. Commit to treating it as my craft instead of my hobby. Promising to keep it a hobby at heart but a skill in practice.

I've started a daily journal again - one page per day -- of anything, really mostly a rundown of what I did that day. Or heck, even a bit of stream of consciousness of what's banging around in the old head that day.



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