for the Creatives, for the Writers

The Author’s Role for Change

I only just finished a series of articles on fiction and had planned on not posting an article-style blogpost for awhile. Switch things up a bit, right?

Then this happened, and I thought, may as well while it’s fresh in my mind.

I have a day-job. In fact, in case you hadn’t noticed, so far I am unpublished and my only income is my day-job. For this job, I will be attending a wonderful seminar on The Hidden Rules of Class, dealing with the stigmas of poverty and the different values of the lower, middle, and upper class.  I was so fascinated by the little teaser I’d received, that I will be presenting the information to my writers group after the seminar.

Writers will be writing about people very different from them, including differing in income. My current Work-In-Progress has an upper-class girl who runs away and joins the circus – very suddenly with hardly any income to speak of. To portray this drastic change well, I have to understand both upper class and lower class values. The other writers in my group have people of differing income levels as well that should be portrayed accurately.

The facilitator of this seminar was talking with me about how attendees need to be both those working hands-on with people in poverty, as well as higher-ups who have the power to make changes. And I thought of an additional need. Sure, it doesn’t make a direct impact, and it doesn’t make sense in the short-term. But what about creatives? Creatives need to know the hidden rules of class, too.

If writers portray class, or any situation, with a stigma, that affects the perspective of others, countless others who read. The more every writer, artist, musician, and creative understands the world around them accurately, the more affected the world is in subconsciously or consciously believing the same way.

This one seminar can reach 100 people with the Hidden Rules of Class. If someone in leadership of an organization or city attends, the whole reach has the opportunity to be impacted. And if one author attends and writes a book that does even somewhat well, the reach can be far more significant. Creatives need to learn this too.

Don’t underestimate the power of one creative.

2 thoughts on “The Author’s Role for Change”

  1. I think you bring up a point that is often forgotten or overlooked about the role of the creative in his or her community, and by extension the larger ‘reading community’. I’m particularly aware of this in my current research on storytelling in the North-East of Scotland because of the insistence that storytellers remain aware of the shadow they cast on the tales themselves, but also their audience. A great concern of the late Stanley Robertson was that the stories and songs he shared remain true to the message he intended for them to convey, which is a valid concern when considering his ownership and protectiveness over his culture and the folklore that expresses that culture. I think all of these things are connected between awareness of context and the context of the audience and the creative’s impact on that context. Thank you for sharing! Really got me to thinking and provided a brief detour on finishing my dissertation, while still considering it!

    1. Dobes! So glad to distract/add to your dissertation. I agree….it’s a lot of responsibility for the author, responsibility often overlooked by the community. It doesn’t come naturally to be aware of all the little details that affects readers’ perceptions of cultures outside their own.

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