Often, at parties or other gatherings, someone will walk up, introduce him/herself and, as an icebreaker, will say, "I understand you're a writer." My response, as I try to charm through self-deprecation: "Well, there seems to be a debate raging on that subject."
I'm trifling with hyperbole, of course; there's no raging debate. In fact, it often seems that the world - local and international - could care less. Careful, now! I'm not crying into my morning coffee, and I'm not dismayed that the world seems rather preoccupied at the moment. In fact, the world's ambivalent state - where it concerns me and my writing, at least - is a macrocosm of the writer's microcosm.
We writers are often driven to write from some wrong we'd like to see righted, some superficial attitude we'd like to see plunged to greater depths. Fiction writers more than any others, perhaps, quickly realize that our alternate worlds squirm uncomfortably under the weight of advocacy. We're at our best when we depict the world as it is, warts, blemishes, poses, and all.
Not that our writing should be dispassionate; to the contrary, we devise our plots, energize our characters, as if trapped in a spider's web, struggling for understanding's relief. But the world chugs along, evolving ever so slowly, and there isn't much we can do as writers to buttress the human condition, other than hold a mirror up to the world.
But that's an important task in itself. The world - and humanity - make progress ever so slowly, largely because it (we) obfuscates - it tries its damnedest to look the other way. Preaching is best left to preachers, I say. Mirroring nakedly is best left to creative writers, who use the smaller lies in hopes of revealing the larger truth - to ourselves and to our audience.
Causes Bob Mustin Supports
Native American culture. Education. Creative writing.