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C J McKinney
C J McKinney
C J McKinney is an award winning writer and photographer whose photographs, stories and nonfiction work has appeared in numerous publications, both online and in print. A longtime teacher of creative fiction and nonfiction, CJ documents in words and photographs the stories of the world around us.
Posted in Arts / Art / Photography

The Mighty Cyber Pen

Mar. 28, 2012 9:13 am

Whatever kind of writing you do, you have the power to create change. In fact, that's the magic of creative work of all kinds -- it draws back the veil, turns over rocks, shows people things they wouldn't otherwise see.

"I Was Discriminated Against" is the title of blogger Ollin Morales' post from March 26, 2012. Ollin has a very cool blog called Courage 2 Create, which chronicles his journey through writing his first novel. Along the way he offers a lot of good advice and information for writers of all kinds. Ollin also writes guest posts for lots of other blogs.

Except one. Ollin was turned down for a guest spot by a blogger he calls "A" for one reason only: he's gay. Not because of what he writes, or how well he writes, or any of a number of writing-relevant reasons. It's because of who he is. Can't believe that still happens in the world. But we writers can do a lot to change it.

I learned about Ollin's experience through Carol Tice's Make a Living Writing update, titled "How to Create World Peace With Your Blog," in which she discusses the amazing power of the Internet to create community and promote positive change.

So I visited his blog, where he talks about what happened and encourages other writers to tackle the issue on their blogs. The outpouring of comments and suggestions on his blog shows yet again the power of the Internet -- and the power of writers, who have a platform wider than any that has ever existed in the world to tell their stories, root out the bad stuff and showcase the good.

The Internet is a strange, busy place, full of the anger and hate of people who've never been able to speak out in a public forum before. If you don't believe that, just take a look at the Comments section for just about any news or lifestyle story on Yahoo. But Carol's post points out the opposite. Maybe we can't completely create world peace. But we can wield the might of the Cyber Pen to expose the bad stuff and challenge people to see things in a different light. It's one way to say "thanks" for the amazing gift of doing what we do. Part of the job, as it were.

Because of Ollin's experience, I'm doing something I never thought I'd need to do on my site -- I'm posting an anti-discrimination policy. No one's voice should be stifled just because of who they are.

Talk to me: How are you using your creative powers for good?

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