Saturday, June 14, 2014

Writing and Responsibility

Recently I've been wrestling with the ideas of "being responsible" and "being an author",. There are some people who feel that being an author is not a very responsible profession.

After giving it some thought, I've come up with the following observation: I do NOT feel these two things are mutually exclusive from one another.

In other words, choosing to be an author does not make you irresponsible. And being a responsible person in life doesn't mean you can't be an author.

In fact, I'm going to give you some advice. You need to tell yourself that being an author IS a responsible thing to do.

How can being an author be responsible you ask?

1. You're responsible for your God-given talent. I don't know whether you believe in a higher power or not, but I happen to. And if you have that desire to write, chances are it's what you were born to do. Your brain seems to be wired up that way. So why wouldn't you do what you were born to do? Why squash that talent? Why "put it under a barrel"? Treat your gifts responsibly and allow them to shine.

2. You're responsible for your future readers. You have a story to tell. You have a message for the world. You've been through some hell and back, or you've witnessed others go through it. Or maybe you just want to shed some light on aspects of our society. What you have to say may help others who are going through situations you're writing about. Yes, even my middle-grade fantasy story about monsters and underground worlds, while seemingly without benefit to anyone, may have some nugget that might make some middle-grade reader cope with his/her day-to-day life a little easier. Even if it's only to offer an escape from things for a while. To laugh a bit. To wonder. To dream. You can be responsible for the hopes and dreams of others. That's a powerful thing.

3. You're responsible for your future self. You don't want to be one of those people who goes around saying "I shoulda...", "I coulda...", or "I wish I had...." in their later stages in life. You owe it to yourself to take that chance NOW. And if you are in your later stages in life, it's still not too late to take that responsibility. You are responsible for your own life. Treat that life well. Follow your dreams.

4. You're responsible for being a role model. Maybe you have kids. Maybe you're planning on having kids someday. Maybe you don't have kids or plan to have any, but  you touch the lives of children, or even other adults. You are most likely a role model to SOMEONE. So teach them this valuable lesson: it's OK to follow your dreams. Because, when it comes right down to it, isn't that the whole point of life? To follow your dreams? Isn't that what we want for our loved ones? For them to be happy? Show them through example that it's OK. Be a responsible role model.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Throw away the idea that being an author is an irresponsible idea. Convince yourself of the contrary, that it IS a responsible thing to do. As long as you do this, and obviously not ignore the other responsibilities in your life, you'll give yourself the power you need to pursue your dream.

Now go out and dream responsibly!

No comments:

Post a Comment