As a writer, I will consider myself successful when I am able to convince someone, based solely on my writing prowess, to change their ideas about a major life choice. For example, I have an online friend who has been a smoker for many years, but she intends to try to have a baby in the near future. When discussing this, it never enters into the conversation whether or not she plans to quit smoking during her pregnancy. She is very, very attached to her habit, unfortunately; I am afraid that anything I do to try to convince her will either be ignored, or have the completely opposite effect!
If I can impart the importance of quitting, and the effects that smoking will have on an unborn child, not to mention the second-hand smoke after the baby is born, enough to cause her to actually quit, I will feel like I have accomplished a truly positive thing that will affect multiple people’s lives. I know a couple of people who smoked during their pregnancies, and those moms’ stories about their kids’ severe medical issues, I think, will go a long way towards convincing my friend that she needs to quit.