Oct 27, 2014

Writing in a Dangerous World - What If You're Doing It Wrong?

Can you smile as you hold up a severed head?
Imagine an IS fighter who poses for a photo with a war trophy, the head of a Kurdish 19-year-old who fought with the Women’s Defense Force in Kobani.

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by Roberto Ferri

What does it take for human beings to engage in wholesale butchery, and what should a writer do when legions of fanatics call for bloodshed?

The answer is not “nothing.” It never is.

This doesn’t mean you should go out of your way to cover current events or foreign policy when you specialize in Albanian cuisine...

A picture of tarator by Wikipedia contributor Ikonact

... but you shouldn’t be afraid of alienating your audience if you mention a cause that is dear to you on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus. I’ll be blunt: readers who give up on you because you’re not a robot that only writes about tambĂ«loriz — you don’t need them.

So take a stand from time to time. We your fellow writers, who also happen to be your readers, want to know that you care about more than one very specific niche of human culture, and that your passions do not get in the way of your conscience.

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