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2018 has been a year.

Technology has brought us together, torn us apart, and has revealed many things about people and society. Society has begrudgingly, with an almost Sisyphean effort, moved forward.

One of the wondrous (and sometimes horrifying) things about technology is that it gives a voice to everyone. From the president to the prepubescent youth, if you’ve got phone then you’re just a tweet away from having your voice heard around the world.

The voices don’t stop there. In what some are calling, the “golden age” of television, we have hundreds of channels giving us, literally, millions of options for shows to watch. Netflix alone has a breadth of variety from Jessica Jones, Diablero, The Protector, and a slew of others that promote diverse voices.

In film there are fifty-four independent film companies, and these are just the ones that have “major” releases in America. There are thousands of smaller companies that release films to little or no fanfare, but still their material, their voice, is out there.

Of course, in this discussion of voice availability we can’t forget YouTube. A platform that has singlehandedly changed the face of media in the world. To name a few productions that I like: Rooster Teeth, Crypt TV, and Unconditional Love Series.

For a beginning, or struggling, writer this can seem overwhelming/intimidating/hopeless. How can your voice be heard in the auditorium of the world when everyone is screaming?

In 2018, close to three million new books were published worldwide. Publishing is still a billion-dollar industry. Self-published books increased by thirty-eight percent. (The information is out there, you just have to look for it.)

The point being: There is still a need for stories. From small town hypocrisy manifest as a monster (It), to stories of discrimination and equality (The Sneetches), to finding a relationship filled with love and trust (Fifty Shades of Grey), the written word is still alive and well. Or at least as alive and well as we want it to be. The age of the tweet, the YouTube, and the DirectTV, people are still enraptured by a good story. Words can inspire, comfort, words can change the world.

Go out there and let your voice be heard.

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language/And next year’s words await another voice.”

T.S. Eliot

Be yourself, be well. Write yourself, write well.