Updated Thursdays

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Writing Effectively

Someone suggested, in the nicest way, that my letters to Pat Lykos are a little pretentious, and that some of you might be discouraged from writing. I welcome criticism, and it got me thinking; it really does not matter how well put together my letters are, they don’t mean shit if I’m the only one writing. Every letter, from every fan, makes a difference. The D.A. is not reading my letters and saying “Wow, that’s such a great letter; I’m going to start an investigation because of how great the spelling was!”

No. One letter, even if it was written by William fucking Shakespeare and edited by Stephen Hawking, will not result in justice. To make a political impact, we need letters written over time, consistently. There’s no need to bury them in an avalanche of paper but we want this issue to always be close to their minds…A letter from someone to remind them of Carlos Coy every few days is a good goal.

A letter from a college professor and a high school drop-out will have the same impact because each person has only one vote. Please, please, don’t excuse yourself by saying “I don’t know what to write” or “It’s not going to sound good”. You, personally, have to get involved or nothing about this fucked-up conviction will ever change. Your letter will help. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mechanic, a doctor, a dope dealer or a high school student, you have a voice and your opinion is important.

An outline is helpful. It doesn’t have to be the one your English teacher taught you; you don’t need fucking sub-points and references. My outline looks like this:

To: whoever
What’s this about?
What I want
Why I want it
From: me

That’s it. Using that outline, this is a perfectly acceptable letter:

 DA Pat Lykos,

This letter is about Carlos Coy, TDCJ #01110642
I want him to be given a new trial.
There is evidence that his first trial was unfair, and it’s your job to give us justice.


The letter above will be every bit as effective as any of the letters I have written because it conveys the same idea; that someone out there cared enough about Coy vs. Texas to write. In the mind of a politician, if you care enough to write then you care enough to vote, and that’s what matters.
I'm going to go over a few more things on Monday and give you some ideas to spruce up the basic letter.
Don't let your self-doubt get in the way of your voice. Making yourself heard on any issue that is important is absolutely necessary if we want to give even a half-decent world to our children.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

who be dissen your writen?