If I thought it didn’t matter what I wrote

Every day, I get up and write. Some days, it is the best activity ever invented. Some days it is like pulling teeth. Most days I wonder why I bother.

Not last week. Last week I went to a public consultation for the Commission d’agglomeration de Montreal sur le developpement economique. They were studying whether to fund an expansion of Ile Sans Fil. In the remarks period, I expressed my support for the plan, as a researcher studying municipal and community wireless.

Then the committee members asked their questions. The mayor of St-Anne-de-Bellevue, on the West Island, started his questions by saying, ‘I don’t know much about these issues. So I asked a friend to recommend me some reading. He sent me an article by Alison Powell and Leslie Regan Shade.”

Then he read the words we wrote, the critical questions we had asked about the sustainability of community wireless networking projects. Sitting in a leather seat in a marble hall, I realized those words had made a difference.

The next day, the mayor of Ste-Anne followed up with me, and we had a long conversation about the role of technology projects in economic development strategies, the expansion of open-source organizational models, and the scalability of wireless networks. At the end of the conversation he thanked me and Leslie for writing the way that we did: clearly, informatively, elegantly.

If I thought it didn’t matter what I wrote, how I wrote . . .I’ve changed my mind. Now, I’m off to bed, because tomorrow, I have to get up and start again.