Wednesday, October 28, 2020

I am all about writers and writing

My students know I ask that no one talk about religion or politics in my writing classes. 
We are there to learn how to write, not vent about politics and not to hurt anyone's feelings about religion.

When a group of strangers or semi-strangers gather around a table to write, to share their writing and to discuss ways to improve writing, we have no time and no desire to hear personal opinions on controversial subjects.

But, in recent weeks, I had the pleasure of having Roger Carlton as guest blogger. We are friends. We met when Roger took several writing classes with me at Tri-County Community College. I had no way of knowing and didn't care to know his political leanings.

He is astute, well-read and articulate. He has a long background in city management, and I mean large cities.

I was delighted when Roger told me he was writing for his local weekly newspaper. He became a regular columnist for the Graham Star. His writing is well researched and often gives me new ideas to ponder.

He has developed a following on this site, and I receive emails from as far as California and Florida from readers who appreciate his writing.

His last article was more partisan than others, and we had one reader who disagreed with what he said. This reader was invited to contact Roger so they could share opinions.

As a columnist, he is often guided by what his editor wants in the newspaper. I can choose to publish the columns or not.

I know Roger to be a fair and caring person as well as an intelligent and competent leader. Some of my readers have suggested his articles deserve a wider audience and have subscribed to this blog so they can get his articles in their Inbox.

I am all about writing and writers.
I believe that writers are important in all countries and in all cultures to be free to point out issues to the public, to those of us who have not thought about it or had not had the time to research the subjects. 

Writers are our encyclopedia on the world. How do I learn about climate change? How do I know if fracking is good or bad? Where do I go to find out about the dangers of coal mining? How does fossil fuel affect our future? How can we change over to sustainable energy? Somewhere it is written down and writers have published papers, books and scripts that will teach us what we need to know.

How do I know if Putin is a good leader or a bad leader? How do we know if our own government is up to evil or good? Should we accept the sound bits on TV? Do we believe what we see on Facebook and Twitter?

How do we learn about racism if we have contact only with people like us? In the past few months black writers and poets have been embraced by the public as everyone wants to know how to be a less racist person, a more understanding person of those who are of a different race.

Writers often take chances in order to give voice to the voiceless. Writers can produce changes that are needed for the good of us all. 

Of course, some writers can also manipulate and lead by hiding the truth, by falsifying facts, but those people usually don't have a long life  because the truth will come out and liars will be held accountable.

I get as angry with the TV media as anyone else. I seldom watch TV cable news. I read reputable magazines and newspapers, read books by authors who write from experience or from interviewing men and women who answer their questions. I research online to see what scientists and public health experts have learned. 

One magazine I read each month is Brain & Life. Good articles on important health issues that I would not know about if I didn't read what the writers tell me in their articles

The Week is a good one for quickly getting the important facts about politics and what is going in our government and around the world. Some are written from conservative angles and some from a more liberal angle. 

We need writers even if we don't always agree with what they say or how they say it. I believe in giving writers a podium as I have done for twenty-five years on my two blogs.

Hopefully, one day we will get beyond this all consuming time of political obsession and fear of danger. Then I hope to publish some interviews with poets, authors of novels and children's stories.

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