"My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel--it is, before all, to make you see."
Joseph Conrad said it first. But I can repeat it with conviction.
The words you write very often have a huge impact and many times create a lasting memory, either good or bad, on the reader. I’ve been a Smith for more than 65 years, but I’ve been a wordsmith from the day I first learned to talk.
From the time my father the newspaper reporter taught my three siblings and me the importance of always speaking out if you can help someone, change something that should be changed, or make a lasting difference for the better, I have appreciated the power of works. Like Confucius, my dad used to tell us that “To See What Is Right And Not Do It Is A Lack Of Courage.” He made it clear that those of us who inherited his gift of writing should take that gift to do what is right and always show courage.
While those mandates have been with me all my life, and I have written literally millions of words over those years, I have never really thought about the lasting impact of what I write, or for that matter, the distance my words have traveled.
Not until my technical guru for this blog directed me to a bigger and better base for VeniVidiScripto and then gave me some of the statistics after the first few weeks in this new adventure.
Televangelist Robert H Schuller said, “Today’s Accomplishments Were Yesterday’s Impossibilities,.” And I believe him after seeing some of my guru’s figures.
In the last two weeks, my blog has reached, and been read, on three continents, North America, Europe and Asia. They have reached readers in more than five countries, England, Ireland, Vietnam, Canada and the United States. And within the United States, they have been read in just about every state on the East Coast from Maine to Florida, as far west as California and as far south as Texas and Alabama, as far to the north as Minnesota.
Of course the largest readership is in the Garden State, and the largest number of those followers read the blog from home or business in Monmouth County. But there are dozens of readers from Jersey City, Newark and Hoboken as well, and many more scattered throughout most of the 21 counties.
Many readers come on to read one story, then stay to read a couple more. Stories of controversy and change attract the most readers, with hundreds, not only from Highlands but widespread, following the ups and downs of that $10 million Taj Mahal borough hall planned for the highway in Highlands.
Many are interested in some of the medical issues I have covered, from Ice Cure’s amazing cryoablation techniques that remove cancer through freezing rather than surgery to nutritional ideas to prevent, halt or decrease the frightening aspects of macular degeneration.
Literary director Rachel Wolchin once said,” Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don't mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime." I do not know enough to have an opinion on her thoughts, since it’s never been my practice to use a string of words that don’t mean much to me. I know how words can stick with a person for a lifetime, both good and bad.
But I do believe in what Steve Jobs said, and it’s a way of life for me as well. “The only way to to great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” I don’t have to look any further to find the work I love. In fact, I never looked for it. Writing simply comes naturally. Thanks, Dad, for the inheritance.
So thanks to my guru for showing me in statistics how far reaching my words have been. Thanks to readers throughout the world who have read them for letting me touch your hearts with my thoughts and fact. And thanks to al of you for your input, your continuing to read what I write, and the encouragement and ideas you give me to continue go forward with more.