Where you, the reader, get to express yourself
Welcome to another edition of “Friday Frights,” where I write just a little to set up a topic for discussion, but the real action takes place in the comments from you.
The state of the world’s feeling pretty grim these days, isn’t it? An epidemic of mass killings and gun violence in the U.S. Women’s reproductive rights being revoked. People struggling to afford food and gas. Parents desperate to find baby formula. Covid on the rise. War in Ukraine.
If there were ever a time when writers might be called upon to address societal concerns, this would be it. But there’s a longstanding debate whether writers and other artists should feel like it’s their duty to take on political and social issues or whether every artist should be free to choose for themselves. Also, you could say that when people are most in despair, that’s when non-political entertainment, comedy, and beauty are especially needed.
If you’re a writer or artist who wants to help change the world and make it a better place, what do you do? Do you try to subtly work the most pressing issues into your books, essays, or poems? Do you tackle them, head-on? Or, do you separate your writing from your personal activism?
Please share your perspective in the comments below. Also, feel free to reply to other readers’ comments. I really appreciate your willingness to be open with the rest of us!