Exercising the Freedom to Write

American-Flag-in-the-SunFor those of you not state-side or familiar with the United States’ calendar, today is election day. The day we, as Americans,  set aside once a year to vote.

This, however, is a blog dedicated to writing and reading. So what does voting have to do with either?

I’d venture to say, well…EVERYTHING.

With the freedoms granted to me by the men and women serving to maintain the democracy and government my country is based upon, I am able to write and publish whatever I wish without fear. In a world where so many are fighting to make their voices heard, where minorities flee because the majority opposes their opinions, and where some are frightened to speak the truth for fear of retribution, I take pride in the fact that I am able to write whatever I like without concern that my choices may bring me punishment, or worse, death.

I also have the ability, the choice, the freedom, yes, to write as an occupation, to pursue my dream in an economy that supports me. Because of the results of election day, I am able to live and thrive in a country where many are privileged to have disposable income–some extra cash to spend on recreational activities like reading.

The saying goes that reading imparts the reader with knowledge. Like the knowledge it takes to make educated choices to empower leaders who then make a difference in our local and national governments. There are places in our world today where many are silenced. Where many people, while strong in their numbers and in their knowledge, are denied the freedom to vote.

I’m not intending this post to be an educational treatise on politics or history, or even on national pride, though I am exceptionally proud to be a citizen of the United States. This post is intended to reflect the importance of today’s significance. So many of us toss away the opportunity to vote in lieu of what we may consider more important–our writing time, our work time, our lunch time– and in doing so, neglect to cast a simple ballot that enables you to be free to make that choice. You don’t have to vote.

You don’t have to write or read, either. You have the choice. And choices are very powerful things.

I am eternally thankful to the men and women who fight and who have fought to maintain my freedom to make those choices, and to the leaders who help keep the rights I too often take for granted. I am forever grateful to those who came before me, who believed that all men and women were created equal, and to those who also believed in giving others the ability to do as they wish.

I honor them by voting–and writing the best books that I know how to write.


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