Speaking With Our Gifts

I’ve been mega busy lately. I'm in the middle of a campaign to stop a huge three or four storey secondary school being built on our playing field, right next to a primary school on our narrow residential street. The people in charge of setting it up have been very underhand about the whole thing, and given places to year sevens for this September before they've even applied for planning permission, leading parents to believe they have the go ahead. It's all about money and it stinks.

My children on the field we might lose
I must admit, a lot of the process is way over my head. There are conversations about planning, intricate details about moving bridleways and changing boundaries, and all sorts of things that, if I’m honest, just get me even more confused. So I have to figure out, in and amongst all this detail, what my role is going to be.

It turns out that my role and my gifts marry closely in this instance - I do anything that involves writing, which means putting points across in a way that people can understand. One job was to write a leaflet that went to over a thousand houses, explaining the development and the effects it would have on the area. Informing people of what’s going to happen literally in their back gardens is something I can do.

There are so many battles in this world that need fighting, and only a finite number of people who can act on behalf of those who have no voice. Those of us who have a God-given talent for writing can be on the front line of change, advocating for those who are vulnerable in our society. Our words don't have to be published in books in order to do good - writing to our MPs, to newspapers and to friends can bring about change too. 

I think it becomes the duty of people like us who have a good understanding of words and the ability to put things clearly to fight for those who don't have that gift. For every one of us who can make our voice heard there are many more who don't have that ability. So I speak for them too, by using the gift I have.

Going back to our school - we have had so many comments about these school plans on our petition (we have a change.org one if you’d like to know more details about the plans), but a huge number of people are without a basic grasp of written English, even if it's their first language. So by writing I'm not just arguing for myself and my children, but for all those who can't formulate their thoughts and therefore have their feelings discounted.

Anything that makes us angry in our world can be a prompt for us to write and use our words in service of others. If we don't use our words to express solidarity and outrage then who will?

Abbie has been writing ever since she could hold a pencil - her first self-published work was a short story about a magic key, which was displayed on the fridge. After struggling with self harm and eating disorders for a number of years she went on to write a memoir ‘Secret Scars’ published by Authentic in 2007, and later ‘Insight Into Self-Harm’ published by CWR in 2014. In 2007 she launched Adullam Ministries, an information and support website and forum on self-harm and related issues. She blogs at Pink and Blue Mummyland and tweets as @AbbieRobson and @AdullamSelfHarm. She lives in Rugby with husband John, two demanding children, and two even more demanding cats.

Book cover: Insight into Self-Harm by Helena Wilkinson and Abbie RobsonCover of book: Secret Scars by Abbie Robson



  1. Well said Abbie! And well done! Recognising your gifting is one thing. Actually going out there and using it quite another. The world needs more like you.

  2. Great post. And well done for using your gift in this way. I find that challenging and thought provoking.

  3. Sounds like a great campaign to get behind. Keep going! I'm sure your skills are being of great use.

  4. Thanks for this, Abbie - I think it's really important we remember there is more to writing than simply seeking publication. You've given us a fantastic example of how our writing can be used to reach out to our communities.


Post a comment