Since this topic was suggested a couple of years ago, I struggled in defining the role of a writer in both society and community. I’ve read and researched and worked to narrow down the title of “writer” in a sea of professions. It occurred to me recently that, maybe, it wasn’t a “profession.” Writing is something people do from the heart, and lumping it in with “making a living” completely defaces the point. So, I tried again, this time without books or search engines trying to define the role of “a person who writes” on “people who don’t write.”
There are different types of writers with different end-goals in mind when they put pen to paper. Some of us want to change the world, make it better. Some of us want to turn a profit. Some of us just want the experience of writing. The options are endless and no two writers will give you exactly the same answer. The role of a writer, as a writer, in his community and in society will ultimately be defined by the role of writing in the life of the writer. This is a blog that centers around fiction, so, for the sake of consistency, let’s stick to the topic in terms of writers of fiction. Also, I can’t tell you how or if a writer may choose to impact their community, I can only tell you how I hope to impact my community in terms of my writing.
- I want to empower women and girls. I strive to write strong women, or girls who grow into their strength, in the hopes that someone, somewhere may read it and identify. I want that strength to be transferable.
- I want to help other writers. The road to publication and a strong reader base is not a competition for me. Everyone needs a hand up now and then. By reading the work of my favorite authors, my life has been greatly impacted, my outlooks changed, and my skills as a writer developed. If there is anything I can do to pay that incredibly valuable service forward, I will put myself out there to make it happen.
- I want to encourage literacy, and even just the basic picking up of a book. So many people consider reading boring, and it breaks my heart. If I can be the one to suggest the book that draws a person into the world of reading and learning, I would consider that an amazing accomplishment.
The list isn’t long, but those three points are very important to me. So, instead of telling you what your role as a writer should be in your community, I want you to tell me what you feel your role is.
What parts of you, as a writer, do you feel are valuable in your community, locally and globally? How do you translate your love of writing into helping others?