ARTISTS ARE LOUDMOUTHS. OWN IT. By Julie
TODAY’S BREW: Trader Joe’s Gingerbread AND I AIN’T TRADING THIS COFFEE, JOE.
So 2016 was a cloven hooved kick in the ass, and the election has all of us praying for death, I get it.
And I commend every artist out there that’s stuck to creating when everything looks so bleak. So uncertain. Lots of authors have spoken out about this recently, and it’s because we know we have voices that are heard, and voices we CAN’T SHUT THE FUCK UP.
What I want to say here is that yes, artists–and I speak to authors in particular because that’s what I know bestest–have a responsibility. We need to speak out, we need to be the loudasses, but not so everyone knows our political opinions, but because the act of speaking out is one that we can support best.
EVERYBODY NEEDS TO SPEAK OUT AND SPEAK UP. Authors are the masters of this because our heads and hearts are so full that it just spills out onto the page and onto our families at Thanksgiving.
An author’s duty is not to splay their opinions out, necessarily. I mean they’re important, and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to identify with and feel united with our favorite authors. But the author’s job when times are tough and the world feels beaten, is to exemplify that having a voice–no matter what it’s saying–is important. Is needed. It’s what creates society, and takes societies down, and changes things. Saying something changes things. That’s what I stand for. That’s what I feel my job is as an author. To move forward, say what I need to say and stand behind it, and encourage the world to be brave that same way. That’s my job.
And what I REALLY want to say is that your work does not have to have political undertones. It does not have to echo what society is today. It does not have to be built on fear or mass opinion. It isn’t what you say that always matters, it’s that you said it.
Sure, I’ve wondered if my work should have more society-reflected themes, undertones that speak of the real world. Maybe they will one day. I’ll let the book make the call. As of now, my work does have all the undertones and themes that any self-respecting English major’s work should have, and they’re important. To me. And they speak of things that II hold close, that make a difference in the individual, like not letting anyone or anything decide your fate for you. (Seems pretty relevant after all, doesn’t it?) THE WIND BETWEEN WORLDS focuses heavily on not limiting yourself to being one thing, not only being what others see you or expect you to be.
We’ve made such progress with the LGBT community, women are making such headway, racism continues to be an eternal fight, and individuality and value is so highly focused upon in our country right now. And we now face oh, a guy who thinks conversion therapy–something actually used on GODDAMN AMERICAN HORROR STORY A FEW SEASONS BACK–is an option. We have Nazis and KKK members openly supporting our president-elect. And that same man treats women like property, degrades and debases them continually, and will be the person to shape a generation.
Everyone has an opinion on these things. Everyone is afraid. Speak out about your political views and your fears, if that’s what helps you. It will help others, too. Others who might be afraid to do it themselves.
But if your way of speaking out is by focusing on things that matter to you internally and not externally, that matters, too. Books that reinforce who we want to be as people, that have morals and show human change and growth all help, too. They speak to the individual just as much, in a different way, and by writing to explore morality, we affect lives on a different level, by declaring who we can be to support the world we want to live in. We inspire change, and having the courage of our convictions.
Whatever you write, write. Make it, or it won’t exist. Say it or it never is said. Confirm your idea, lest it dies. Be part of a world that speaks.