As a student of both public relations and philosophy, I have a deep and abiding love for the written word.
In the public relations world, I write media kits (fact sheets, biographies, etc.), blogs, press releases, pitches and social media posts. Every person, brand and organization has a story to tell, but they often don’t know how to do so or even where to begin in that process. I combine thorough research and a dedication to excellence with a rich imagination to creatively weave together the words that most effectively share your story with your audiences.
In the ministry world, I write blogs (many on swatministries.com/blog), leader guides, devotionals and curriculum. I believe that truth is best communicated through a narrative approach, and that’s something I bring to every project I work on, whether it’s a Proverbs curriculum that utilizes character profiles and YouTube skits or a blog that trains leaders how to ask questions in a format that guides students along (like a story) to key truths.
We, as people, immediately connect with stories. They move us, inspire us, shape us and change us in ways that no other form of communication can. They can make difficult concepts make sense with ease, and they can persuade us far more fully than any logical syllogism ever could. That is why storytelling shapes the way in which I write.
But wisdom equally shapes the way in which I write. As a lover of philosophy, I care deeply that what I write is true, logical, consistent and valuable. Furthermore, I believe competence in any given skill is a key aspect of wisdom, so I strive for continual improvement and excellence in everything that I write.
Below are a few examples of my written work.
Author Lillah Lawson Writes From Hope
Lillah Lawson wrote her first story at 8 years old. It was about a princess who, instead of being rescued, saved herself. While it may have been Lawson’s introduction to feminism, it was also the beginning of a theme that would become central to her life and her writing.
“It’s always about hope for me,” said Lawson, now 38. “All of my books tend to be about someone who’s grieving and learns how to hope again.”
Why It’s Newsworthy: Lillah Lawson, a 38-year-old newly published author, showcases the power of hope in life.
That hope is evident in her book “Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree,” which was published in September. The lead character, O. T. Lawrence, must find hope again after losing everything. He sets out with his daughter Ginny to find and rescue Sivvy Hargrove, an old acquaintance of his who’s been locked away in an insane asylum.
In her upcoming novel, “deadrockstar,” the story moves from a place of hopelessness to hope as the heroine begins to understand herself and her powers.
“Her characters go through a lot of terrible things and they always find a way through it,” said Jennifer Babineau, a friend of Lawson’s who helps edit her books. “They find a way to persevere one way or another, no matter how bad it gets.”
But hope is more than just a plot device to Lawson. It’s an integral part of her life.
“Hope,” said Lawson, “is the strength and the desire to keep going, the belief that things might change for the better or might improve.”
It all started with the books Lawson read as a kid. She loved Roald Dahl, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and the “Sweet Valley High” series. Lawson said they all contained the underlying theme of hope and perseverance.
As she grew older, she saw hope all around her. Both sides of her family struggled to overcome obstacles, and Lawson herself persevered through trials in both her personal life and writing career.
“She’s been through a lot in her own life and she always perseveres,” said Babineau. “I guess that’s her personality, that’s how she lives her life, so it comes through in her writing.”
To Lawson, being an author is all about overcoming obstacles. It takes hard work and diligence to become published, and even then, your work will be interpreted – and judged – by people who don’t even know you.
“I’ve seen her diligence and study in the topics she writes about,” said Blake Floyd, Lawson’s husband. “She reached out in her local community and online to learn what it takes to be an author and got herself a book deal, actually three book deals.”
Getting those book deals was the most pivotal moment in Lawson’s life. But as she looks to her future writing career with hope, she is also reminded of and inspired by the past.
Her favorite literary quote is the final line from “The Great Gatsby.” It reads, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
“That’s always struck with me because I think we do that a lot, you know,” said Lawson. “We’re just constantly revisiting the past, reliving the past and sometimes that hinders our growth.”
While Lawson’s love for the past is evident in her historical fiction, it’s also played a huge role in shaping the rest of her life.
“I’m obsessed with history and I’m obsessed with the past,” said Lawson. “I find it more interesting than the present most of the time.”
Much of that fascination has been channeled into Lawson’s study of religions. She majored in religion while attending Massey University from 2003-2005. While an agnostic atheist herself, Lawson finds the culture and history behind religions particularly interesting. Paganism especially stands out to her due to its ancient beginnings and influences on other beliefs and cultures.
But it is more than just the history of cultures that fascinates Lawson. She loves genealogy and is still tracing back the histories of both her and her husband’s families.
Ultimately, Lawson sees in herself a balance between remembrance of the past and hope for the future.
But where does she find her hope?
“In young people, I think,” said Lawson. “They’re very in tune in a way that maybe my generation wasn’t so much. I have a lot of hope in future generations.”