Everyone is political nowadays. People read one Buzzfeed article and think they’re informed. Hell, even the ones who dig and get as much information possible still stick to sources that suit their ideals. It’s unavoidable. We all do it. I’m no different.
It’s good to give a shit, but when you’re a creator, playing the ‘them vs us’ game is shifty. There is nothing more divisive than joining political social media. Sure a tweet making fun of Trump is fun every once in a while. Humor is the antidote to building walls.
Laughter lightens thing up, but writers especially seem to think that because they publish their works that their voice should stretch beyond what’s submitted. Stephen King is the perfect example. Even people who don’t like his writing have at least one book or short story of his that they admit to enjoying. He’s been at it for so long that he can say or do whatever he wants. But holy hell his political tweets are obnoxious.
It’s gotten to a point where even if you agree with him or J.K. Rowling, you roll your eyes and keep scrolling. These big names have the fan base to nab a soap box and preach until our ears bleed. The only people who listen are usually those who already agreed, but that doesn’t seem to matter because everything in the media, in the public eye is publicity. Good or bad, it keeps you relevant.
Unfortunately there are A LOT of no-name indie authors who believe that because they’re a writer, they have the same privileges as New York Times Bestselling word slingers. And in theory, sure, it’s a free country. Say whatever the hell you want to say. But readers are fickle. They love you as long as they agree with you. Say one thing they don’t like and they’ll turn on you like an abused animal.
Avoiding politics is difficult. Everyone is slamming it in each other’s faces screaming that they’re right and the other side is wrong and everything is going to hell. News flash: This is nothing new.
Read classic literature. 100, 200, even 300 years ago people were concerned about the state of the education system, corruption in the government, and making ends meet. Sound familiar?
Oh yeah, not starving to death has always been a big one too.
We are more informed than ever. We are more educated than ever. Despite the disparity between the 1% and the rest of us, we still live as well as kings did in most eras.
Our homeless population here in the U.S lives better than people in 3rd world countries. YES, we should always strive for more, we should always work to have better, but does a tweet attacking an elected official really change anything.
Venting your frustration online works okay if you’re a 13 year old boy, but it’s difficult to relate to someone who spends their time mocking others and spouting off angry posts. It gets exhausting after a while. It gets old.
Writers, musicians, and artists have a drive for innovation. You can’t always avoid saying something. I never seem to shut up, but I have learned the value of questioning the importance of a post and whether it’s best for me to say what I’m saying on social media. Social media is like walking into a bar; everyone is talking and very few people are there because they give a shit about you.
I say put your views, your politics, your hopes and fears into your WORK. Write it into your stories, strum it through your guitar, paint it in every picture. Let your work speak for you. My mouth still gets me into trouble, but I have found more value in speaking through my writing than any other form of communication.
If you’re fed up, that angry tweet might get a few likes, it might also get you unfollowed or muted by everyone who thinks you sound like an impulsive moron. If you direct all of that energy into your work and cultivate it, make sure it is perfected and ready to make a statement, then you will have found the true purpose of art.
‘Actions speak louder than words,’ and create a living embodiment of your words in a timeless action that has the potential to make more of an impact.