The Politics of Writing
Imagine that you’re reading a novel by your favorite author. It’s me, isn’t it? I’m just kidding. You find yourself enmeshed in the story and the characters are excellent, taking you deep into the imagery that they are painting with their words. Then, for no apparent reason, the author goes on a political tirade. It doesn’t matter what the tirade is about and which side of the political spectrum its on, it has now fundamentally changed the way you see the story. Especially if it’s in support of a political system you don’t agree with. That’s the danger of authors bringing their own politics into their writing.
Yes, I do have a political position. No, I won’t write about it. Why? Because you instantly alienate at least half of your fanbase. You push away a huge market of potential readers, jeopardizing sales and status on the bestseller list. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do that. I want everyone to enjoy my writing without having my personal political opinions shoved down their throats. We all have our own opinions. We all have our own personal beliefs and values. We also have the right to have those. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, nor should I. That’s what makes this world enjoyable, those differences that make us all unique.
As an author, my job is to entertain. Not to change your political opinion, religious beliefs or question your values as a person. I tell stories, nothing more. If I am very lucky, you will read and enjoy those stories and want to read more. I think this applies to sports figures, actors and musicians, as well. We’re here to entertain, not indoctrinate people into our way of thinking. Keep the politics out of your entertainment. The world has plenty of politicians to do that. We don’t need it shoved down our throats in movies, music and sporting events.
In the last few years, several authors have become VERY vocal about their political opinions, even going so far as to have some not so nice things to say about people who disagree with them. That’s ridiculous. I lost a great deal of respect for those authors and will no longer be fans of theirs. Again, I have my own opinions and beliefs. I don’t need theirs forced on me. The same thing has happened with movies. When the entire premise of the movie is based on shoving a political agenda down my throat, I stop watching. I watch movies to be entertained, not “re-educated.”
Rights extend to all of us, not just to whoever screams the loudest. We, as a society, seem to have forgotten that. We all have the right to our opinions and beliefs. We also have the right to not have an opposing viewpoint forced on us. I don’t agree with a lot of people I know, but I don’t criticize them for that. I don’t have to agree with them. I do have to accept the fact that we are different people and therefore deserve the respect that each of us are due. If you can’t accept that, then maybe you need to question your own philosophy.
So, vote your conscience, support whoever you believe in and believe your own way. It’s entirely up to you. Your opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s. I do not and will not ever expect you to think the way I do. All I ask is that you extend the same courtesy to me and to others. I’m an author, not a politician. I want my stories to entertain you and hopefully generations to come. That’s how I want to be remembered.
Writing is a journey. Let’s take it together.