There are a lot of ways to change the world, and I would certainly not want to say that one is the only way or the best way. But I am going to say that I think writing and publishing is a valid, enduring way of changing the world.
I have come to believe that many of the worst evils in the world are caused by thinking that “we” are, in fact, “us” and “them.” We make these binary systems up because they are easy, and then we read and experience so many stories that confirm them.
Germans vs. Allies in WWII
Men vs. Women in many romantic comedies
Straight vs. Gay
Religious vs. Atheist
Americans vs. Everyone else
But the best books, in my experience, are the ones that force us to see the world from the point of view of the “other.” They make us give up our old ideologies and make new ones that are more inclusive.
No, writing a novel isn’t going to end a war today or tomorrow. Probably.
But writing a novel might end the wars that will happen in another generation. It will change the hearts and minds of the future. It might not stop people from thinking in terms of a binary, but it might make them give up some of the old categories. It might make them think twice before creating new ones.
Writing a novel is the act of making a world. And if you can make a world where we see each other more truly, you are fighting injustice. If you make a world where heroes are not of one color, you are changing the soldiers of tomorrow. If you make a world where women have the same opportunities as men, where men and women work together and have equal parts to play, you are expanding the world that your daughters and sons will live in.
And that, to me, is enough. That will mean my work has done its part.
Picture book people! I’ve been asked multiple times to get a picture book conference going, and now we have one! On August 30, Jodell Sadler, an agent who is interested in finding picture book clients, will be at our Sundance One Day Writing Retreat.
For $150, come and hear her speak, get a personal critique of your manuscript, and listen to great advice from Kristyn Riley Crow, Julie Hansen Olson, Sharlee Mullins Glenn, and Shawna Calder Tenney! Plus you get a whole day of gourmet meals included in the price. This is an opportunity you can’t miss!
Contact email@example.com if you are interested in coming. If you need overnight lodging, it’s only $100!
People outside of publishing think author’s main goal is a movie/TV deal. That’s when you know you have it “made,” right?
But authors and others inside publishing almost always cringe to talk about movies made of books. It’s never as good, is it?
An author of a book has so little say in the vision of a movie. Not sure why this is so, but it is.
A book is not a story waiting to be made into a movie.
An author is not a wannabe screenwriter.
Hollywood money thrown at a book does not make the story better or more accessible.