What Does “Your Pen. Our Sword.” Mean To You? by Santo D. Marabella
A pen is for writers; a sword, for fighters. I’m a writer, not a fighter. Well, that’s what I’d like to think. But, in reality, I’m both.
As a kid, I couldn’t fight the bullies who beat me up. And, so I vowed that when I grew up, I would fight—not with fists—but with brains, actions, and words. And I do. Not just my fights, but fights of folks who can’t advocate for themselves or won’t be heard by others. This aspect of social justice is what drives what and how I write today. Whether it’s about bullying or social isolation, or feeding the spirit or getting un-stuck, I do fight when I write.
Since becoming a member of the Dramatists Guild in 2012, I have been able to focus my fighting in the writing, not around the writing. I notice how the Guild has used its sword, so I, and my colleagues, can use our pen. The public stances the Guild has taken on our behalf that hold others publicly accountable and shield us from compromising behavior are impressive. The private support the Guild has provided to help me develop my craft is invaluable. In both instances, the way the Guild uses its sword creates a clearing unencumbered by the clutter and protected from the politics that can easily distract our story-telling fights.
As an inexperienced, and at times naïve, playwright, I have experienced the Guild as an intimate creative partner who I can trust to guide wisely, listen supportively and accept unconditionally. At those times when I have expressed concerns or disagreement (my fight for the Guild, not with the Guild), the guidance, listening and acceptance did not waiver.
I feel fortunate to be part of a community that fights while I write. I am grateful that your sword protects my pen.
Learn more about what Your Pen. Our Sword. means HERE.
SANTO D. MARABELLA is a writer, producer and educator. He has written plays, a musical and short-films. Recently, he was a producer of This Is Reading by Lynn Nottage and was named 2017 Entertainment Newsmaker of the Year by The Reading Eagle. His current project is a TV pilot, Franklin Street Station.