♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you tackle current political turmoil in your stories or avoid it? Tell us why.
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Write what you know. Isn’t that what they tell you works best for an author? Each of us has a perspective on the world in which we live. Sometimes, that vision is unique while other times it is communal. Either is effective in the world of writing. Whether you’re brining people together over something not pondered commonly or showing them the community of which they’re part, writing is important to the social order.
Art is expressive and carries a message whether intended or not. For writers, when we write, and we write what we know, I believe that avoiding the political is impossible. Have you ever heard the saying the personal is political? It means that whatever we experience in our lives, struggles and turmoil, success and joy, is related to the public and government affairs of the society in which we live. We cannot avoid this, unless we’ve managed to exist on a desert island in space. Even there, the junk is going to crash into our world.
Every aspect of our life is touched by the ripples of society and the choices made by others. This is why I laugh at the idea of free will. Consider this: can you truly ever choose without having been influenced in some manner to make that choice? What about the reality that the choice we’re presented with has limited responses, based upon the choices of others? We do not exist in a vacuum. Therefore, our art, our writing reflects those experiences–many of them shared by others in our communities.
Absolutely I write about issues. Many of those issues have been a human struggle for centuries, although we like to pretend that it was better back in whatever day. We’re still fighting about gender, race, language, ability, access, and the like. People are still experiencing all of that and it influences the choices they make, regardless of the awareness of it or even the struggle to rise beyond it.
Why not talk about it? Shying away or going to sleep on human turmoil has never made it better. That’s why calling people woke as an insult is so hilarious. Think about that. What is the opposite of woke? Uniformed. Asleep. Not paying attention. Why ever would we celebrate that we aren’t informed, paying attention, or even awake? I love to sleep, the dreams are great, but they’re only dreams, and there are people here and now that need me. Ignoring cancer, for instance, doesn’t cure it. It certainly doesn’t stop its progression. If you want to believe there is nothing wrong, you certainly can, but don’t get mad at those trying to make things better.
The insanity in ignoring the suffering of others, as if you have no skin in their outcomes is not just cold or egocentric, it’s a sickness of fear. Human suffering and turmoil aren’t pleasant experiences. However, gaslighting, silencing, attacking those who speak up to help or those needing help makes it so much worse. You don’t have to believe in anything in particular to know this. Communities do not thrive when individuals in them are cruel and isolationist. It makes everyone’s struggle that much more difficult–like putting a stick in the spokes of your own bicycle.
Writers are word artists. We have found a means to communicate our ideas and observations in story. This artform has lead humanity to greater empathy. Thus, writers hold a special, if not sacred, role in the fabric of society. If we don’t discuss the turmoil and questions our species has, we cannot grow. The human mind thrives on this communication, as it is a communal one.
I keep circling back to the community idea because that is the hub on which we spin. Connection is integral to all humanity. There’s no one who has accomplished anything they’ve done all on their own. Their lives, work, everything has been touched by others. To ignore that is to embrace a cognitive dissonance that supplants community with self.
Why bother writing if you don’t want to connect? Why read if you don’t seek the same? The exercise of writing or reading is deeply tied to the search for connection and connection on the experiences of our lives. Even escapist material has the components that feed the need for that connection. It is inescapable.
Ask yourself: why are symbols so important to people? Why do humans seek to see something deeper in banal occurrences? It is that need to connect to something greater, to belong, to have purpose.
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Richard Dee says
In the past, stories were not just used to educate and enlighten. They also managed to poke fun at the ruling elite, drive social changes and hold the foibles of the great and the good to account. Words can be powerful, as authors we have a duty to use them wisely.
Captain Maiel says
P.J. MacLayne says
While avoiding the political is impossible, it’s the depth of how deeply we explore politics that will attract or discourage readers, depending on their personal preference. While we write for ourselves, we also write for them.
Lela Markham says
If we could make “1984” fiction again, we might have a hope of making 2024 tolerably liveable.
Samantha J Bryant says
Good post! I feel similarly, that life and politics are intertwined, so you might as well talk about it! @samanthabwriter from
Captain Maiel says
agreed. You can chose to ignore it, but politics affects your life regardless of your involvement.
Stevie Turner says
Talking about issues with others who have a completely different viewpoint and are convinced that their viewpoint is the only one to have causes much human turmoil and suffering. As I’ve grown older I prefer to have a quiet life and keep my opinions to myself. It works for me!