Give the Gift of Unconditional Love: Write

I’m a visual artist as well as a writer, and I opened up 1984 the other day, with the intention of looking for details for a painting I want to do. I meant only to skim a few paragraphs, get an idea of what London is supposed to look like, and then get back to planning the painting. But I couldn’t keep my focus on the research. Without realizing I was doing it, I started to read. Because 1984 is just that beautiful, that compelling, that – home? Is that what it feels like: coming home? I’m generally a nervous and lonely person, always second-guessing the loving intentions of friends and even family, always trying to hide my true self because I’m sure I will be rejected. But reading 1984, I become unselfconscious. Reading 1984, I am completely myself, and I have no thought that I might not be accepted that way.  For me, the experience of reading 1984 is an experience of being loved unconditionally.

And you know what? Once upon a time, 1984 didn’t exist. Once upon a time, George Orwell wrote and struggled and edited and wrote and threw away whole paragraphs and rewrote and gave up and kept going anyway, in order to create that book.  In order to create a text that gives me the experience of unconditional love.  Maybe you hate 1984, but I’ll bet you’ve read something that gave you that experience, too. And maybe, if you don’t quit, if you work hard to master your craft and give your stories form and get them into the world, something you write will give someone else that experience.

As humans we always seem to expect something in return: maybe we can’t truly love another person unconditionally. But our stories can. So keep going. I’m cheering for you.

-Keiko

Writing Nonfiction

Hi, I’m Betsy Miller.

I write both nonfiction and fiction. I recently wrote a nonfiction piece for the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI). You can read it at the following link:
http://www.hipdysplasia.org/Patient-Stories/Infant-and-Child/Isabelle/default.aspx

Some parents wanted to share their experiences with their young daughter Isabelle’s hip dysplasia treatments. This sort of content can be tremendously helpful to other parents, but it can be confusing, especially in this case since several surgeries were involved.

To make this piece easier to navigate and less confusing, this is what I did.

  1. Wrote a hopeful title for the piece.
  2. Edited the parents’ comments for length, conciseness, and sequence being careful to maintain their meaning and focus.
  3. Recommended where to put images to support the text.
  4. Put in headings for the different treatments.
  5. Wrote text explaining what the surgeries entailed, revising content from the surgeon into everyday language as much as possible. I asked that this content be formatted differently from the personal experience text. The IHDI decided to set off the explanatory text with a different color background.

I’m really pleased with how it turned out. This is a work for hire piece. That is a common arrangement for website content. The finished piece belongs to the IHDI, which paid me when the work was done. There’s no byline, which is also common in work for hire arrangements with businesses or organizations.