Being a little girl, I used to read a lot of biographies and to ask my parents questions as ‘why did that happen?’. At the age of 8, I hear my father saying that the world is as it is, and I was obviously not happy with that answer.
Later on, I became passionate about watching TV news and historical films, even if I would probably end up crying and asking my father why was the world so unfair.
My dad, a very well travelled scientist from whom I acquired the passion for travelling and learning languages, used to tell me that I should stop pretending that I could change the world. ‘How could he?’ I thought as travelling and languages are, in my opinion, two of the things that can change someone’s world completely.
At university, I finally discovered two of the things that can, indeed, change the world: the importance of a good speech and the aim of transmitting what happens in the world through Journalism.
Why would some governments imprison journalists and activists if they did not know this?
You don’t necessarily need to want to become a journalist, or you may think that becoming a best-selling author is an impossible dream. Well, first of all, it is not an impossible dream as long as you read a lot and try, try and try again. Secondly, the objective of writing is not, or should not be, becoming rich from writing. The aim of writing is no other than changing the world through words, even if this means that someone is smiling at reading something you wrote.
For those willing to become writers, I would personally like to congratulate you for choosing one of the most enriching careers ever. The number of hours dedicated to doing some research for a novel or an article is not even comparable to the time spent at work in any other profession, but it’s definitely precious. Vocabulary, data, expressions and everything else you need in order to learn how to use words to achieve your goal: expressing in a bunch of papers a story that changed your perspective on things and getting to make someone else feel the same.
For those who simply like reading, I would advise you to look for a book that makes you feel like you want to change someone else’s world. It could be by just lending that book to a friend, starting your own personal diary, or even being willing to become a storyteller yourself.
Reading and writing are the essential tools to improve. By reading and by searching information we do not only acquire vocabulary, but we also gain knowledge, we become more aware, we learn about all those unknown Annas that actually existed, even if no diary was found. By writing, we learn how to communicate, how to tell the world that not everyone has access to a hot water shower every morning, or that some people are punished for telling the world what others want to hide from us, and that’s only possible to achieve through the power of words.
However, success is not easy, but history is full of people who felt that they were not good enough. Vincent van Gogh (Dutch painter), for example, did not manage to sell any of his paintings and he became crazy. If he were still alive today, he would have a fortune, and he would probably think ‘It was worth the wait’. The famous Edgar Allan Poe could have only dreamt of being recognised as the writer people believe he is nowadays. He lost his wife, he almost never got money for selling his books back in the day, and if he did, it was just a few dollars. Definitely not a writer’s dream, you might think!. He died at the age of 40, but if he were alive today, he would probably encourage you all to keep fighting for your dreams and to try it again.
To summarise, I would like to say that words and perseverance are the keys. No matter what are we writing, if it’s a song, a poem, a novel or a speech to read in front of our school friends and teachers, an excellent text can change a lot. On the other hand, what young people seem to forget is that things take time and what you may consider as ‘insignificant’ today could become one of your best works tomorrow, so don’t ever give up on becoming better writers and inspirers.