When I was in high school, I loved to decorate my binders with song lyrics and quotes that spoke to me. On the right-hand corner of a blue binder I used for multiple classes was written "Whether or not you write well, write bravely." The quote was from a man named Bill Stout, a faceless person from history who managed to catch an aspiring writer's attention. However, those words on that binder became my professional motto as the years went by.
Whether or not you write well, write bravely.
I began my professional writing career with the intention to promote cannabis education. While I was optimistic, I knew the uphill battle I was facing. Marketing hurdles, anti-cannabis propaganda, out-dated social media policies about a plant legal in the majority of the US...the list went on and on. It was scary to think that I was already starting out with my hands tied around my back.
I began to present the facts. As a strong believer in facts over feelings, I wanted to smash outdated stereotypes with data that could not be refuted. Google Scholar became a valuable tool and I spent hours searching through scientific journals, reading about cannabinoids and how cannabis can be used. My research helped create some of my most valuable content, especially my writing covering cannabinoids.
Writing is not an exact art. Even world-class writers like Neil Gaiman and Maya Angelou still build their craft and experience with each new line they write. Bill Stout, the American Journalist who inspired me to keep putting words to paper, was no master either. Each and every person who picks up a pen is learning, no matter how much experience they have.
Cannabis is my passion and my career. Combining it with my love of writing has allowed me to create my own unique voice within the cannabis community. And the eight words first scrawled on a binder that helped start my journey should be something every writer, new and experienced, can live by.
In the words of Bill Stout, "Whether or not you write well, write bravely."