Monday, August 06, 2012

Creating change

Last week my Facebook feed was full of news of people taking sides on an issue. Many people posted of de-friendings and anger over this issue.

People felt like they had to take a side because clearly not taking a side and posting what side you are on is like supporting the other side.

I confess I tried to sum up my feelings in a status update or a blog post. But then I remembered that as a writer I have the power to create. I knew the status update would likely lead to one of those energy sucking Facebook discussions/debates.

Instead I turned my energy to my own writing. Instead of posting my side on the issue I remembered how important it was to me when I was a kid to see families like mine represented(my parents were divorced) in the stories I read and I revised a story to include a GLBT family.  

As writers we have the power to create a world as we'd like it to be in the stories we tell. We get to ask the what if questions. We can create stories that celebrate diversity, peace, justice. We get to write the story where the geeky girl gets the guy or the skinny orphan with glasses defeats the bad guy.

Words, books and stories are read and passed and shared. I feel like writers and artists have the ability to create real change. Not just by posting a status update or blog post that gets shared by everyone but by creating stories and art that changes people.

I'm not sure if the story I revised last week will go out into the world and be read by other people and maybe lead to a more accepting world but at the end of the day I feel I made positive progress as a writer and I spent my energy writing.

How do you create a better world in your writing? Diverse characters? Justice? Ice Cream with no calories?


Meredith said...

I love that writing is your response. I definitely think that the stories we tell can change the world. And now I want ice cream with no calories. ;)

Christina Rodriguez said...

Yeah, people were certainly getting Crazy last week!

My art and writing features culturally diverse characters. I haven't had opportunities to work with other social issues, but I'd like to think I'd be really subtle about it.

When I was illustrating "The Wishing Tree," I had wanted to include injured military personnel in the homecoming scene as a subtle visual reminder of the cost of war. The editors disagreed, citing that it would raise too many questions and possibly divert the real message of the book. They were right - there is a time and place for everything and that book wasn't the right book for that issue.

Stratoz said...

right choice indeed, at least in my opinion. I know the feeling of catching myself on the precipice of jumping into a facebook feud

Sarah McNeal said...

Very nice post. Inspired to do the same!