One would have to be in the deepest author cave possible not to have at least an idea of the tumultuous cultural, environmental, and political environment the United States is currently experiencing. Here at Midnight Publishing—where words are power and editing one’s content can be vital to conveying the right message—we feel especially passionate about the present climate, and our ability to impact it. It’s important to utilize a gift for writing and an author platform to spread the word about causes we believe in; there are hundreds, ranging from charities and LGBTQ/civil rights movements to animal rights groups and environmental activist organizations (to name a few options!). Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when we turn on the news and listen to a seemingly nonstop flow of negative and disheartening stories (with the intermittent Kardashian update!), but the best way to combat a dejected mood about the state of affairs in our country and around the world is by getting involved.
Our lives are jam-packed as it is, and the staff at Midnight Publishing understands how difficult it can be to add another responsibility to an already busy schedule. However, with a few mindful changes and some time-budgeting, we believe it’s possible to still work that nine-to-five, write the book you’ve been dreaming of, and be an activist for the causes close to your heart. Below are some tips and suggestions on how to start making a difference today:
1. Raise Awareness Through Your Blog/Social Media Accounts
You already want to build your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) with frequent content, right? What better way than to schedule a weekly/monthly post dedicated to a cause you feel deserves a little love? Talk about your passion for the project, encourage readers to donate or volunteer, and include pictures when you can (be careful about copyright infringement—most charities don’t mind the use of their photos, but it’s best to double-check). Also take the time to tweet and post on Facebook about the cause, as your readers and friends will appreciate an author account that doesn’t solely advertise their books.
2. Create a “Charities/Organizations” Page on Your Website
Similar to blogging/posting on social media, you can create a static page on your website that mentions the organizations you hold close to your heart, with links to ways your readers and site visitors can get involved.
3. Donate Funds When You Can, Especially Coinciding With the Sale of Your Book
Perhaps it’s the choice to donate 10 percent of the first month’s book earnings to a charity, or when you have some extra money in your budget or received your tax return. One of the best ways to make a difference and support a cause you’re drawn to is by providing monetary assistance to further their mission. The best part? Every donation you make is tax-deductible, which is especially important if you’re making a significant profit on your books and are technically an “independent contractor” filing taxes for that as well.
4. Volunteer in Person and Document the Experience
There are organizations all around Phoenix (and the country!) for every type of activism group you could think of. Choose one that’s nearby and contact them to discuss getting started. Oftentimes organizations require an initial training and sometimes medical testing (a tuberculosis test if you’re looking into volunteering at a nursing home or hospice, for instance), but they’re usually free and only require a few hours of time. Once you begin volunteering, take photos (after asking permission if needed) and post them online. It fulfills your social media needs for the day, and continues to spread the word!
5. Understand Your Time and Location Constraints and Adjust Accordingly
If it’s a far drive to get to the facility, will that decrease your chances of going to volunteer? Choose an activity and a cause that coincides with your availability, so that you don’t feel pressured to overcommit. The best way we’ve found is to schedule a day once a week or every few weeks that is a designated “volunteer day”-maybe it’s every Saturday morning or every other Wednesday evening. When it comes to activism, it’s important to make a habit of things, because no one is “requiring” you to be there. Much like writing a novel, activism comes from our passion for doing something that no one else is telling us to do—and isn’t that what life’s all about?
If you’re unsure of where to start regarding activism and volunteering, check out VolunteerMatch.org for a comprehensive list of local charities and organizations you can get involved in.
Midnight Publishing is a Scottsdale- and Phoenix-based editing, writing, and marketing company that has been helping clients to pursue their writing and publishing dreams for nearly a decade. Contact us today for a free editing sample and to discuss your project!