I’m going to get a bit serious for this one – hopefully that won’t stop you reading. I’ve had cause to share this post more than once over the past few years as the world seemingly tries to outdo itself with more and more surreal events. And here we are again wondering what’s going on – and what our writing can possibly do to help.
Writers often use their work to escape from the every-day and soothe external troubles. In times like these though, reality makes us question if our whimsical tales are unnecessary flights of fancy.
But they are extremely necessary.
Ursula Le Guin, in her usual brilliant fashion, explained there’s a difference between “lies dressed as truth” and actual fiction. Words are powerful. The unpracticed and willfully destructive use them to spread fear and hate. Our tales of make-believe aren’t part of this distraction. On the contrary, they’re part of the fight against it.
Your words are important.
Your words make people think and feel, and by doing so they take back power from sloppy word-wielders. Research shows those who read fiction are more empathetic to the world around them. Stories show us there’s a world of thoughts and feelings out there. And though we are unique, we’re part of a giant wealth of uniqueness that this world needs.
Perhaps most importantly, your words are important to you. They keep you going. They take what’s inside of you and give it life. Your writing has even more meaning in extraordinary times.
So keep writing – because we need it.