When we heard that our friends at Reedsy had started a campaign, #IWriteBecause, that invited writers to share their stories AND help fund literacy, we wanted to help get the word out. What a fun way to do some good in the world! Here, from Reedsy co-founder Ricardo Fayet, are the essential details...
After working with publishing professionals for three years, you start to recognize the writer’s single-minded drive. But where does that willpower come from? As co-founder of publishing marketplace Reedsy, I grew curious about what motivates people to work with words.
That was the inspiration behind #IWriteBecause: a charitable social media campaign that asks writers why they pick up their pens every morning. Books should be for everyone, so for each writer who participates, Reedsy is donating $10 to support literacy acquisition in Asia and Africa.
Here’s what you can do to contribute to the campaign—and a couple of takeaways from our first week.
What is #IWriteBecause?
#IWriteBecause is just that: a campaign where writers tell each other why they write.
We started it because we wanted to create something that would bring writers together to celebrate the common passion that we all share. Perhaps your story will inspire someone else—no matter where they are or what their background is—to put pen to paper and bring their book to life.
How does it work? Send us an #IWriteBecause video and we’ll compile it all up on our campaign page.
Though we’re a growing startup, we knew at an early stage that we wanted to give back as soon as we could. So for every video submission, we decided to donate $10 to Room to Read, a nonprofit that focuses on reading acquisition and girls’ education in Asia and Africa.
Thus far, we’re overwhelmed by the positive responses we’ve gotten from the writing community. People are even more excited to join #IWriteBecause because of its charitable mission—and we’re excited to act on their contributions.
The First Week
Our campaign took off on Monday. In just three days, we’ve gotten over 1,600 posts about #IWriteBecause and seen over 1,000 writers engage with us in the campaign.
But what’s more important to us are the stories that are spreading because of the campaign. There’s the author who stuttered as a child—and started writing because when she wrote, the words never stuttered back. Or the actress who writes so that she can go to sleep in peace at night. There are tons of stories and that’s exactly why we started Reedsy, too: because we believed that everyone’s got a story to tell.
So far, the predominant theme we’re seeing is one of connection. People aren’t writing with ambitions to buy a small island in their future! Instead, they want to connect with readers around the world who they’ve never met before, in cities they’ve never visited. They’re writing to reach out.
How Can You Contribute to #IWriteBecause?
Submit your short, one-minute video via the campaign page—where it’ll be featured alongside stories from bestselling authors of all stripes. We’ve gotten submissions from bestselling author Mark Dawson, award-winning food and travel writer Joanna Pruess, USA Today bestselling author Carter Wilson, New York Times bestseller David Heinemeier Hansson, and popular BookTuber Hailey LeBlanc.
While you’re on the page, feel free to browse all those videos! There’s a unique story within each and every one of them.
But for now, we recommend thinking about what got you to this point. Why do you write? What do you love most about writing? What do you get out of writing? What do you want to achieve by the end of your career as a writer?
Then, simply switch on your phone or camera, and tell the world: “I write, because ___________________.”
Looking forward to your story.
Ricardo Fayet is a co-founder of Reedsy, an online marketplace connecting authors with the best editorial, design, marketing and translation talent. A technology and startup enthusiast, he likes to imagine how small players will build the future of publishing. He also blogs about writing, book design, and in-depth marketing on the Reedsy blog.
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