Over the past few years, we have talked about HOW to write, discussing “rules,” trends, methods, etc. We have talked about WHERE to write to be most productive. We have even touched on WHY we write, WHO is called to write, WHAT topics we might write about, WHEN the optimum time of day to write might be.
We have covered a lot of ground.
Although we may have skirted around it a couple of times, at no time do I think we’ve talked about the timeliness of addressing certain topics.
In fact, there are some things that are best if left unsaid.
While I may feel that I have valid thoughts to share on a number of subjects. (And, believe me, I DO believe in freedom of speech. This is NOT about that.) And even though I might even feel that some people might profit from hearing what I have to say—that some might even welcome my opinions or insight—the timing isn’t always “right.”
For example, an acquaintance of mine passed away this past year. She died from an overdose of prescription medications. Although I had some strong feelings about this subject, the timing would not have been good, if I had shared my thoughts when the minister asked those attending the memorial to come up to the microphone and speak.
Nor, did I feel it appropriate to get on Facebook and articulate my position…
Sometimes, feelings are just too raw, or the unfortunate incident still too fresh in the minds of the audience. Writers need to be mindful of the timing of some of their comments and consider how readers might be affected.
If you write BOOKS, a current event might have lost some of its painful aspects by the time a manuscript has been written, edited, and published. Ideas that were once raw and perhaps not completely thought out, may profit from this lapse of time. They may have germinated…and GROWN into more polished, fruitful, and expanded truths that will benefit a vast audience of readers. In some cases, they may even become movies or get adopted by a non-profit.
The question, then, is not, “Will you say it?”
It is, “When will you say it?”
Your answer may well be the difference between being insensitive and rude or acting as a thought-provoking visionary…a catalyst for change.