Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: social responsibility

Should Writers Even Consider They Can Help Cure Social Problems?


Many can be found who would scoff at a writer considering their fiction could be of aid in any attempt to address social issues, let alone curing any ills of our culture.

In the previous post, Do Creative Writers Have Social “Responsibilities”?, I asked these questions:

“What are the ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ opportunities in a creative work?”

“What is the creative person’s ‘responsibility’ to society?”

In the post, Fiction and Social Justice ~ Can They Coexist?, I asked:

“Should writers of fiction consider devoting their talents to portraying moral actions in the face of social injustice?”

“Does fiction have sufficient influence in readers’ lives to serve as inspiration for taking steps toward social justice?”

And, in Writing Fiction To Make A Difference In The World I asked:

“Can action done in our world to improve it have the power to inspire creative writers to produce socially-responsive fiction?”

I have a number of methods to help me find things worthy of inclusion in this blog.

A Google Alert sent me to investigate a publication called The Curator.

Of course, “Curator” usually means something like, “a keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection”.

Though, the word comes from a Latin root meaning “Cure”.

And, since I’ve raised the whole issue of creativity and social responsibility, let me quote a bit from The Curator‘s About Page:

The Curator…announces the signs of a ‘world that ought to be’ as we find it in our midst, and seeks to inspire people to engage deeply with culture that enriches life and broadens experience.

“In keeping with [the] belief that artistic excellence, as a model of ‘what ought to be’, paves the way for lasting, enduring humanity, The Curator seeks to encourage, promote, and uncover those artifacts of culture—those things which humans create—that inspire and embody truth, goodness, and beauty. We do this through considering and grappling with the zeitgeist.”

And, these words from the founder of The Curator, Alissa Wilkinson:

“Why another culture magazine?….

“We aren’t here to write simple reviews. After all, if you want to find out which movies are bad, which artists are lazy, or which movements are socially irresponsible, you can read the review section of any good newspaper or magazine. Instead, we seek to uncover only the creative, the good, and the honest, provide context for its existence, and explain its cultural significance in order to inspire you to engage your culture and start creating.”

Does The Curator sound like a publication you’d like to peruse?
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* Google Author Page

World Peace ~ Fiction or Reality ?


I published a novel last May (for sale but also free) that explores what it takes to establish Enduring Peace.

I spent over 20 years doing the research for the novel

Peace, in our day and age, is a very complex, multidimensional proposition.

Should fiction be used to encourage people to work toward World Peace?

There are three past posts that approach that question from varying angles:

Writing Fiction To Make A Difference In The World

Do Creative Writers Have Social “Responsibilities”?

Fiction and Social Justice ~ Can They Coexist?

While I absolutely don’t feel and certainly can’t imagine that all creative writers Must labor to weave social issues into their work, I deeply hope more of them will—I think our Human Family deserves it

Whether you’re a Reader, Writer, or Publisher

If you have similar feelings

If you want to help humanity

If those people on the other side of the World are in your Family

If you like challenges

If you can maintain a positive attitude in spite of the mayhem of our World’s Situation, you should be able to appreciate a video with Paddy Ashdown.

Even though he’s a politician and diplomat, he makes some remarkable sense

If nothing else, Readers can get ideas for books to seek-out, Writers can obtain some writing prompts, and Publishers can ponder global networking.


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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Writing Fiction To Make A Difference In The World


I feel we need at least two kinds of fiction—Escape Fiction and Engage Fiction.

Escape takes us out of ourselves so we can relax; Engage fills us up so we can take action.

In my previous post, Do Creative Writers Have Social “Responsibilities”?, I said:

“’I’m not trying to advocate some sort of sterile, moralistic fiction. We still need a damn good read and we don’t need a book telling us how to live our lives. Still… Showing the reader that even the worst conditions can hold some promise for improvement, even if the characters fail miserably to attain that promise, is, to me, a job that fiction writers should always be working to master.’

“Really, are people who have the knack of creativity here only to copy reality?

“What are the ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ opportunities in a creative work?

“What is the creative person’s ‘responsibility’ to society?”

My book, Notes from An Alien, attempts to relate actionable ideas about working toward Global Peace in the context of a story best called a Documentary Novel (my thanks to Jane Watson for telling me the book’s proper genre:-).

So, a work of fiction has the power to induce action in our world; hopefully, to improve it.

Can action done in our world to improve it have the power to inspire creative writers to produce socially-responsive fiction?

Let’s try an experiment

Natalie Warne is a young woman who, “[w]hen she was 17,… learned about the Invisible Children Project—a campaign to rescue Ugandan children from Joseph Kony’s child armies. As an intern for Invisible Children, she led a nation-wide campaign for the project.  She successfully got the campaign featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, a victory that dramatically raised the profile of the movement.”

That description alone could inspire a few writers to create a story.

Try this video of Natalie, charged with youthful determination, glowing with the promise of dedicated service to humanity. After you watch it, if you were infused with inspiration that could power a fictional piece, please share your feelings in the comments :-)


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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Do Creative Writers Have Social “Responsibilities”?


“Some fiction writers feel that their job is to record life; maybe do it with some creativity, but capturing what exists and rendering it is their prime function. I, almost violently, disagree.”

That quote is something I wrote in January in a post called, What’s The Writer’s Job? ~ Recording Or Creating?.

I also wrote, “My firm belief is that fiction’s proper purpose is to help humanity raise its sights, improve its situation, and strengthen its resolve to make life really matter…”

I do a bit of analysis in that post of “…a character who’s a day laborer, beats his wife and children, and discovers he has terminal cancer.”

It wouldn’t be hard to find material to create many characters who suffer as much or more than that day laborer, his wife, and his children. That material is all around us

But, if you’re the kind of creative writer who draws their inspiration from the world as it is, is it a truly creative act to merely copy those circumstances in proper language with enough fictionalization to hide identities?

To me, that would be like a painter who works assiduously to copy a garbage dump so faithfully the viewer gets sick from the smell.

Later in that post I linked to, I said, “I’m not trying to advocate some sort of sterile, moralistic fiction. We still need a damn good read and we don’t need a book telling us how to live our lives. Still… Showing the reader that even the worst conditions can hold some promise for improvement, even if the characters fail miserably to attain that promise, is, to me, a job that fiction writers should always be working to master.”

Really, are people who have the knack of creativity here only to copy reality?

What are the “moral” or “ethical” opportunities in a creative work?

What is the creative person’s “responsibility” to society?
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)