Writer’s Desk: Make the World a Better Place


From an essay that Andrew Solomon wrote last year for the New Yorker, in which he cautioned patience as a virtue for impatient young writers, he also articulated an incredibly overarching and idealistic view of the craft:

Despite every advancement, language remains the defining nexus of our humanity; it is where our knowledge and hope lie. It is the precondition of human tenderness, mightier than the sword but also infinitely more subtle and ultimately more urgent. Remember that writing things down makes them real; that it is nearly impossible to hate anyone whose story you know; and, most of all, that even in our post-postmodern era, writing has a moral purpose … If you can give language to experiences previously starved for it, you can make the world a better place.

Empathy, hope, and action—hard to keep in mind if you’re just trying to crank out a couple more blog posts or polish off the third novel in your humorous allergic detective trilogy. But nevertheless, that is what we all need to be mindful of.

Words matter.

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