A big Wild About Words thank you to Bob Younce for writing this guest blog.
Bob is a hard-working Internet writer. Read more about him here.
Why We Need Writers
By Bob Younce
By Bob Younce
One of the things that makes humanity unique among creation is its ability to communicate via writing. From the earliest days of our existence up to today, writing has expressed the values and ideas of billions of people. Why is this? Why do we value writing? Why do we need writers, and why do we need to write? I think there are several reasons:
* We need writers because they express ideas about the common experience of human beings. Writing speaks to the "big ideas" of humanity. When Solzhenitsyn writes about the Soviet gulag, we understand the importance of freedom. When Charles Dickens writes about poor scamps on the streets of London, we better understand the need for charity. When Hugh MacLeod writes about How to be Creative here, we all better understand the creative part of our human spirits and are more able to put them to use.
* Writing also has some very practical applications. When my host, Donna, writes about her experiences with publishing and her book launch here, those of us who are in the writing field come to better understand the process. When I write about common Internet writing mistakes here, folks can improve their own Internet writing. The same holds true for a near-infinite amount of writing in a near-infinite amount of fields.
* Writers provide us with catharsis. I won't get into the whole psychology vs. catharsis debate here. But writers, especially fiction writers, allow us some escape from our daily lives and give us ways to experience lives less ordinary. They give us wings, help us to cry, to be angry, to love. Writers provide us a safe environment in which to be human.
* Writers create, influence and are influenced by the greater dialogue. Food writers, for example, are ultimately responsible for new staple dishes, new television shows and new restaurants. Writers are responsible for political change, and for political continuity. These things could occur via face-to-face contact, but change would take place much more slowly if that were the case.
* Finally, writers give us tools with which to express ourselves. It was Shakespeare who gave us "tis better to have loved and lost." It was Dickens who gave us "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Robert Frost gave us two roads diverged in a wood. So many of our speech patterns and colloquialisms had their origins with writers.
In so many ways, writers give us wings. They prop us up, they teach us, they add meaning to our lives. If you haven't done so recently, be sure to send your favorite writer a thank-you note or an e-mail, and let them know how much they mean to you. I sent out eight of these myself, in the process of writing this post. Truly, it was overwhelming to consider how much these folks have contributed to my life. Drop a comment in this blog, too. Tell us who your favorite writers are, and why you need them.