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  • Writer's pictureDouglas Kennedy

Writing Legacy - Something More Than Likes and Impressions

I remember sitting in my dad’s arm chair as a kid and finding a stack of magazines to my right. I picked up a copy of Central PA Magazine. As I thumbed through the magazine, I eventually found my dad’s own column. In short, he wrote sentimental and relatable articles about his life experiences. I always enjoyed his column, especially if it was about my sister or me.

What made his writing stand out was that his stories were relatable. He wrote about living in a small town in Central PA, travel, and family. I loved his simple, relatable, and down-to-earth style. Going back and reading those articles now bring back a flood of memories like tales from another life.

My dad’s writing went beyond his professional life. His book shelves were, and still are, full of books about travel, faith, nature, and history. But also, hidden on the book shelves were notebooks containing my dad’s own writings. My favorite was a journal of his European travels in the 70s. It was especially a good read when I could make out his scribbled handwriting, which I also inherited.

As a kid, sitting in that armchair and reading through his column in the magazine, I knew that the writer in me was awakened. I knew that I wanted to make people feel the same way that he made me feel. Although I never really considered myself a creative person, writing helped me realize that there was this deeply embedded creativity inside of me that I had inherited. It wasn't just for the chefs, the artists, the musicians, and graphic designers. It was for me too.

Eventually my passion for writing, which was mainly expressed through journaling, translated over to my professional career. I helped edit 3 books, which were then published. Then I entered into healthcare, where I quickly transitioned into marketing and branding. There, my writing skills took on a different form as I wrote copy, blog posts, articles, and more. Things started to click for me. I had found my passion and a new creative outlet.

I was especially thrilled to help develop a brand and found my writing skills could be of use there. To me, a brand is so much more than a slogan, a logo, and a color palette. It is the past, the present, and future of a community. A brand expresses itself properly when it invites others to join the community on a journey to fulfillment.

The past is expressed in the art of story-telling and how the community came to be.

The present is demonstrated through the active mission of the community.

The future is conveyed through a vision for the community.

Then, you have to translate these messages to the world. To do that, you need a team of creatives and writers who can properly translate it. I found it challenging, fun, and adventurous. In addition, I really felt like I was building something people connected with.

That leads me to today. In the last few months, I've started writing more about marketing and branding on Twitter and LinkedIn. In the process I have found a community of creatives who have a passion to write well and encourage one another as we all embark on this journey to see where our writing will take us.

Beyond the likes, follows, and impressions, there is something more.

Writing is therapeutic. It helps me process my thoughts, my faith, my understanding of the world, and what is happening in my life. It is the expression of the deep experiences inside my soul. My journal is a record of the rhythms of my heart and my personal conversations between God and me.

Writing is self-expression. It gives a voice to those who are silenced! It allows the deep inward thoughts of the conscience to come to light.

Writing is part of my family legacy. I received it from my father, and I hope that my children will receive it from me. Right now, as I sit on the couch my 11 month old son sleeps peacefully. I hope to pass on to him a passion for writing and a passion for self-expression.

What does writing mean to you? How is writing part of your legacy?

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