Je Suis Charlie
If you have found this blog, then I don’t need to convince you of how incredibly dire our freedom of speech is to us as writers. Whether you are a blogger, a columnist, a journalist, a novelist, etc., you have the freedom to write/say whatever you feel the need to put forth in this world. Words matter. Words touch and change lives. Words create and recreate history. Words spark curiosity, ease sorrow, compel passion, precipitate tears, and elicit laughter.
I have sat in countless editorial meetings. I have collaborated with illustrators on more stories than I can name. Never once have I felt fear during these encounters. Never once have I questioned the security of the building in which myself and my colleagues sit while we brainstorm, write, draw, and create. But that ease, that inherent safety, was forever changed last week as 12 people—eight journalists, four cartoonists, and an editor as well as two police officers—were gunned downed at French magazine Charlie Hebdo by terrorists, presumably a response to a number of controversial cartoons the magazine published. It was an attack on the people of France and their freedom of expression, and an attack on us all, no matter our profession. Those of us in this industry, and beyond, will forever remember the attack, and therefore the threats against our freedoms. May our fears give way to a greater good in which we hold fast to our freedoms. May we never forget that words matter.