Sometimes I write something that I’m really proud of. Not just because I am happy with how it is written, but because it actually means something. It sounds corny, but if an article I have written really serves its purpose and reaches the readers, I feel like I have accomplished more than just an article.
I think I forget that everything you write is serving a purpose in some way, whether it being entertainment, a call-out for volunteers, informing the public, or to make people laugh.
Writing usually takes the weight of priority, and I focus so much on how I am putting the feature together, and less on the purpose of it to a wider audience. Being a community journalist for my local magazine often gets me writing features that do serve a purpose. A lot of the articles are charitable, feel-good and focusing on not-for-profit organisations.
I recently wrote a feature on the Friends of Chernobyl Children (FOCC) charity in Mid Sussex, who bring children over from Chernobyl each summer. They devote their time to raising funds to bring these children over who are at risk, targeting mainly orphanages and disadvantaged homes. These children are in great need and come from social situations that make it difficult for them to get the care they need. The FOCC in Mid Sussex were looking for host families, and I wrote an article on the background of the charity and their need for volunteers. It was a really nice article to write, and always amazing to see how much time people volunteer for free to help others. The magazine was sent to press, and I was happy with how it turned out.
Two days after the magazine had reached homes and businesses, I received a tweet from the lady at the charity who helped me with the feature:
— Lou Nash (@Lou_Nash) February 28, 2014
Yes, it’s great to get my name in print, my feature in the magazine and to be happy with the way it was written, but knowing that writing that feature touched the readers and brought a new host family to the charity made it even better. Now, whilst researching and writing for a feature about a charity needing to raise £6,000 to buy specialist cots for premature babies, I’m really taking into account my audience and the purpose of the feature!
Find out more about the charity here: http://www.foccmidsussex.co.uk