As a writer, you never know who you’re going to touch, or how, or with what result.
More sage advice from that friend of my dad’s.
I think about it most often with respect to songs…songs are powerful. They are soundtracks to our lives, they give voice to our feelings with more than words, they tell us that we are not the only one to feel this way.
The observation is true for any kind of writing, though. You don’t ever know how your words–even casually composed words in a blog post–might affect someone else, what they might mean to that person at that precise moment in their life.
I would find the responsibility intimidating, except that the primary goal of any writer who makes their words public is connection…to speak words that someone else can understand not just on an intellectual level but on an emotional one, an existential one.
Positive or negative, touching someone else’s mind in a profound way, even for a moment, is pretty much the definition of connection.
And sometimes just the possibility of that connection is enough to justify writing the words. Sure, they might not find their audience…but they might.