What it Means to be a Freelancer With a Heart for Community Development

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In the broadest terms, being a freelance writer with a heart for community development means that I acknowledge the dynamism of community and seek to cultivate relationships, both personal and professional.

No matter what area of entrepreneurship you’re going for, you want to make a difference in the world, and you can’t do it alone.

Drop Shippers have a strong community in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Scott Dinsmore founded the Live Your Legend community. According to their website, they have over 200,000 members from every country in the world. Live Your Legend Local meetup groups are happening in over 150 cities in 48 countries. For people like me, there are thriving communities like The Freelance Writer’s Union and The Freelance Writer’s Den, among others.

My background in psychiatric care and human services teased this out for me in a more particular way.

Community development workers help communities bring about social change. Social change in this context refers to the results of community initiatives.These developments (get it?) bring about significant alterations in cultural values and norms―changes that yield profound social consequences for the better.

Community development workers collaborate with individuals, families, and whole communities and empower them.

Lab coats and clipboards are exchanged for appreciative collaboration, for planning around specific needs, and for executing joint action plans that benefit every one.

The activity of community development builds stronger, more resilient communities through an ongoing process. The process is about helping people accept themselves completely and unconditionally. When we see ourselves honestly, our strengths are magnified and our deficits diminish. Every one works together toward something deeper, and the community is influenced for the better. When our community is altered positively, lives change.

And you know what happens? People end up showing a lot of heart.

So, this sounds super idealistic. I believe in it, though.

This idealism fuels my writing. Recently, I finished a short story and sent it to a friend to get her impressions. She said it read like I was influenced somewhat by Raymond Chandler. She said a lot of other more incisive stuff, too. The thing is, although I didn’t think about it at the time, there’s a very apt quote from Chandler.

Without idealism, there is no integrity. Without integrity, there is nothing but production.

Without art, idealism, and integrity, all you get is a brick―producing uselessness where heart should be. There are antiquated paradigms out there that are bricking the world. Having a heart for community restores function.

Do I think writing can do that? Yeah. I do because you can’t be productive without heart.

Heart is what urges life-long learning. Heart urges us to be adaptable, to be flexible and urges within us the ability to transfer skill sets from one experience to the next. It is heart that gives us our ability to tolerate fear and uncertainty and potential failure.

This is what it means to be a freelance writer with a heart for community and for individual development. And with it, community development―because freelancing, at its finest expression can support the best of what is for everybody.

So, let’s live to break rules and defy conventional wisdom―that takes heart. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to heed your inner voice and give the heart what it wants.

4 Awesome Things That The Heart Wants

  1. Writing that blurs the lines between art and the art of living.
  2. Writing that’s cogent in its idealism, that causes us to look at what’s working well, and then doing more of that.
  3. Writing that launches us toward what is most alive, most effective.
  4. Writing that says, “Come one! Come all!”

I’m ending this abruptly here. Not to be pushy or anything, but you should be writing.

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