My Pen, My Greatest Weapon

Lynsey Addario, author of It’s What I Do, has seen atrocities that many Americans can only imagine in their worst nightmares, and has experienced the horrors of combat all over the globe.  Her memoir illustrates the emotional highs and lows of her work as a conflict photographer, and her voice as a writer empowers readers to pay attention and get involved in her search for justice.


Ironically, the most empowering moment in the memoir occurs when Addario is told that Life magazine will not be publishing her photos of the American soldiers wounded in Fallujah, Iraq because “the images are simply too ‘real’ for the American public.” Her outrage at the rejection is evident in her writing, but with it comes a new, bold determination to make a difference.  


In this moment, Addario’s writing takes on a new, commanding tone as she claims “I was now a photojournalist willing to die for stories that had the potential to educate people… to open their minds, to give them a full picture of what was happening..”  In the course of a few words, she evolvesfrom a hopeful photographer reliant on an editor to an empowered photojournalist, turning her pen into a weapon against injustice.


The moral responsibility that Addario feels to share the truth of the war makes her writing all the more compelling to me.  I hope to borrow from her in my own blog articles, making sure that my readers understand the importance of my message as an anti-discrimination writer.  By using my pen as my greatest weapon, I can convey the same feeling of empowerment and, like Lynsey Addario, use my voice to eradicate the prejudice in the world.

One thought on “My Pen, My Greatest Weapon

  1. Anna,

    I liked that you focused on this portion of the novel and discussed the shift in Addario from a freelance photographer to an empowered photojournalist. I thought it was interesting that in a novel full of powerful, intense moments you chose to focus on this singular part. I agree with this choice, as it really shows the development of her passion, and was a defining moment that set the tone for the rest of her career. If you use the same tactics that you have noticed in Addario’s writing, I think your passion blog will have a strong message. Have you ever faced a situation similar to Addario that has impacted your path as an anti-discrimination writer? Maybe a situation that served as a defining moment for you, where you recognized that you have a powerful message to share? Looking forward to reading your passion blog!

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