Patty Wiseman: Writers, Be a Voice for Literacy

The art of reading and writing. Whose responsibility is it to pass on this oldest of pastimes? Shouldn’t it be ours?

The journey is long. The journey is difficult. Writing requires so much more than telling a story. As I travel down this road of composition invention, I am struck by one thing.

This is NOT about selling books.

Yes, in the beginning, during my newbie period, I was all about selling books, but not anymore. Do I want to sell my work? Of course, but for me, it’s become something much more important.

The promotion of literacy.

Two threads of this winding sojourn have worked their way to the top of my ‘things to value’ list: introducing the joy of reading to new readers and shining a light on the path of a new writer.

Patty Wiseman

In my extended East Texas community, I run across so many people who ask me how I got started. Questions about where the story should begin. What is POV? How many chapters should I have? Where can I find a publisher?

One by one, I answer them and try to guide them to the right path. The world of publishing can be cluttered with difficult decisions and roadblocks. I am blessed with many mentors and my goal is to always pay it forward.

Many communities promote literacy programs. When I attend these events, sometimes I sell books and sometimes I don’t, but I never come away defeated, because I always get an opportunity to talk to someone about writing. In that way, I feel I have a voice and a responsibility to reach out a helping hand to those who have a story burning in their heart, but have no idea how to begin writing it.


The art of reading and writing. Whose responsibility is it to pass on this oldest of pastimes? Shouldn’t it be ours?

Writers should find the opportunities to make their voice heard in their communities. From children to adults, and all the way to the seniors in the nursing homes. Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, Women’s Clubs…the list goes on. Every town boasts community groups organized to reach out and help their people. Why shouldn’t authors be a part of that?

We carry the mantle to promote reading. If not us, then who?

I hope writer’s groups everywhere will attend the literary events in their communities, and support those who go to so much trouble to put on the programs. Have you ever gone to an event and sold zero books? I have. However, I’m always buoyed by the fact that afterward, I get an email from someone who enjoyed talking with me, and now, has renewed excitement to start that novel or short story. Bingo! Instant reward.

We can inspire and mentor someone in our community if we’re willing to make the effort to put ourselves out there and let them hear our voice.

If you close your world off and make it all about the sales, you are missing the point. You have a gift and a wonderful opportunity to share it with your community.


Whatever story you choose to tell, it has a message. It’s up to you to find the message in your writing. I didn’t think I had a message when I wrote my first book, it was a story. I wanted to tell it. However, the message evolved as I wrote it, and by my second book, it was clear. The story I wanted to tell evolved from the message hidden in my heart for years. I champion, strong, independent women who overcome the odds without compromising who they are as women.

No matter what you write, you are a voice for literacy. We must encourage people to read, to learn, to seek the written word, not for entertainment alone, but to expand their knowledge of the world. Each author has a different ‘voice’, if you will. We should embrace that, encourage it, and promote it.

I urge you to take part in your community and the activities provided there. Make your voice heard. Start in your own neighborhood. Use your talent to promote literacy.

Make a difference where you live!

Please click HERE to purchase An Unlikely Deception.

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