We are supposed to walk into class with several readings and writings already completed. I’m *almost* there. I have about 50 more pages of reading to crawl through, but I’m persistent.
The real showstopper? The last writing assignment for this week. In 250 words or less … what is writing?
Hell if I know.
Except, I do know. Writing is the lifeblood of civilization.
I have been thinking that since I first read the assignment a month ago. I'm just not sure I can explain what I mean.
People write down what is important to them. This is a historical record of events written in the first-person point-of-view. The “winners” in history write down their accounts of the events. This becomes the narrative that is eventually taught in schools. Governments use writing to define the rules and laws of a given society. A musician’s words, a playwright’s scenes, a novelist’s chapters all have the opportunity to influence the culture in which they are written. Writing is involved in major milestones in a person’s life: getting a driver’s license, opening a bank account, graduating from school, getting married, even buying a car or house. Most jobs require at least some routine paperwork. Social media, specifically Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, rely on a written narrative to exchange information, ideas, and events, though pictures and other media can be added.
Writers, as a profession, are given a lot of flack about how worthless we are. An English degree? What can you do with that? However, every political speech was written by someone. Every TV show has scripts. Every movie was a concept that someone, somewhere wrote down first.
In today’s political arena, it seems like whoever can write the most convincing sound-bites are going to win the hearts and minds of the populace. I’d like to think that American society is better than that, but I’m not sure. We live in a world where headlines are built for shock value and few people bother to investigate the details.
Which brings me back to writing being the lifeblood of civilization. It drives mundane tasks, defines what is legal and what is not, entertains us, inspires us, and allows anyone who wants to the opportunity to record their personal narrative.
Go forth and write!