Writers are ducking their calling in Surveillance State Amerika:
“A new report from the PEN Center and the FDR Group entitled “Chilling Effects: NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor” finds that 85 percent of surveyed writers are worried about government surveillance of Americans, and nearly three-quarters (73 percent) “have never been as worried about privacy rights and freedom of the press as they are today.”
“Sixteen percent of writers have avoided writing or speaking about certain topics due to threatening privacy concerns, and an additional 11 percent have seriously considered such avoidance.”
“Nearly a quarter of the writers surveyed (24 percent) reported deliberately avoiding certain topics in phone or email conversations, and an additional 9 percent have seriously considered such action. A small portion of respondents said they had even declined opportunities to meet with people deemed “security threats by the government” because of privacy fears.”
Read the report: http://www.google.com/gwt/x?wsc=bf&u=http://www.pen.org/sites/default/files/Chilling%2520Effects_PEN%2520American.pdf&ei=zxCEUq2HF4PSwAKGpYDIBQ
The “fundamental conflict of our times is not the clash between two civilisations, but doctrines-religious and ethnic fundamentalism on the one hand, secular consumerist capitalism on the other.”
“It is true of terrorism as it is of modern civil conflicts that men of war prey on the ignorance of the populace to instill fear and arouse hatred”; “murderous, even genocidal ideologies took root in the absence of truthful information and honest education.”
“If only half the effort had gone into teaching those people what unites them, and not what divides them, unspeakable crimes could have been prevented”.
“Literature can bring down violence in today’s world as reading and writing broadens minds. … Two contradictory forces shape the world of letters today … the first is globalisation of human imagination and the second is anxiety of audience.”
“The majority of mental illness diagnoses are NOS (not otherwise specified.) It is very likely that future poets will suffer a mood disorder NOS. Like those analyzed before their arrival who do not have a definitive diagnosis, there is hope. The ability of these writers to strike a chord in the literary world may not be an ability learned, or completely understood, but it cannot be ignored. It is a raw mental vein running straight from the mind to the paper. It is often times not tried, or orchestrated, but a bloodline to the page. A writer has their craft to express their mind which is evidence to further expose the intricate nature of how the mind works.
There is no certain way a writer can explain the fierce flow of ideas from word to word, line to line, stanza to stanza, any more than a doctor can fully understand a disease that has no clear diagnosis, and is often reduced to NOS (not otherwise specified.) Both are like throwing darts in a dim light, however, through a careful look at writers works in the past, the present, and those yet to be discovered, we may find some answers to the behaviors of manic-depressive people. These writers all share moments captured in writings that reflect their mind which serve as a tool for education.
Through a thorough examination of these trends, one may better understand the mind Not Otherwise Specified, and find answers to the plethora of questions surrounding the diagnosis of manic-depression.”
“We should question the authenticity of exotic locales that have been tailored to suit American appetites.” …
“Americans are famously reluctant when it comes to reading literature in translation. Only 3% of the books published annually in the United States are translations. … While contemporary books may take us to distant places, most of those available are written in English, and penned by writers who live in the English-speaking world. Americans don’t want to be readers of world literature. They want to be literary tourists.”
“This trend has less to do with language than it does with writers’ amenability to act as a tour guide for American readers as they traverse cultural divides. … It’s typically assumed that the reader lacks prior knowledge, so guidebook-like hand-holding is built into the form and narrative of the story.”
“English language writers … treat readers as strangers in a strange land, and the result is world literature that starts to feel like tourism.”
“Slang, jargon, and non-English words must be cushioned in context or explained outright. Descriptions of the setting resemble stage directions, just concrete enough for readers to get their bearings.”
“Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation when it suddenly feels like you’re floating above yourself, watching the whole thing unfold? Has that resulted in an awkward pause, as your interlocutor becomes increasingly irate at your obvious lack of attention or respect for what they have to say? Maybe you’ve failed to be entirely in the moment, even in intimate situations, because you’re thinking to yourself, “This is it!” How am I going to describe this later!?” Believe me, this can backfire very quickly. Having a deep and consistent appreciation for the process of life — even when it tosses you around — and a desire to accurately portray that process in language is a sign that writing is the creative outlet for you.”
5 more telltale signs that you are a writer, from: policymic.com
“The world goes on creating newer things. Literature is a creation, not theory. The law of nature is to create new things. To neglect creation is to go against nature. In literature a writer goes with an experiment in thought, subject, language, style and so on. Every creator should create new things in a way understandable to the readers whose nature of perceiving things and level of cognition changes in accordance with several social facets. Every creative change brings happiness to man.”
“Literature is an endeavour of searching the space of sentiment and feeling. The feeling and sentiment connects one person with another. Science and technology can never and in no age can ignore the feeling and sensibility of the creator. The heartless science and technology can never challenge this truth of a creation.”
Some people may argue that literary creation as an outcome of continual endeavour. Creation is essentially an outcome of inherent ingenuity. The living creation cannot be created by an endeavour. Inherent ingenuity is the must. A writer is born not made.”
“A lot of people want to improve their writing skills, both professionally and personally. In order to achieve that, a key ingredient is often ignored: Reading.
Generally, there are two things that writers recommend to others who want to improve: more writing, and reading.
More writing is an obvious one, since practice makes perfect. But writing in a vacuum won’t do us much good. Reading exposes us to other styles, other voices, other forms, and other genres of writing. Importantly, it exposes us to writing that’s better than our own and helps us to improve.
Since reading is something we learn to do when we first start school, it’s easy to think we’ve got it sorted out and we don’t need to work on this skill anymore. Or, that we don’t need to exercise our reading muscles anymore.”
Let’s take a look at five unconventional ways to become better writers by changing the way we read”:
“I have often analyzed how mental illness can be tracked, discovered, and understood through the written word. Let’s take a break from science and take a look at literature. The analysis of writings opens a door to explore alternative methods of understanding individuals suffering from manic-depressive disorder.
“Through a thorough examination of writings, we can look at specific mental states of individuals, which in turn may inform those looking for answers, or symptoms of bipolar minds, which often times get NOS (Not Otherwise Specified) as a diagnosis. The medical field continues to evolve in their understanding of the intricate, often mysterious behaviors of manic-depressive individuals. A look at reoccurring themes and stylistic techniques may reveal affected writers share a commonality in their writings. An exploration of the works may help find a way for society to better understand individuals suffering from mental disease, and discover those not yet diagnosed with manic-depression.
“Throughout history there have been writers and poets that suffer from manic depression. If we take a close look at the writings of these renowned writers we find a link to mental illness and the English language. An examination of their stylistic techniques, diction, metaphor, simile and expression manifest their mental illness which can help discover how mental illness can be learned outside of science, engineering, and neurology.”
“Alcohol is often a strong current in the writing life”…
“Why do writers drink? The answer might be “for the same reasons as everyone else”. The evidence from Alcoholics Anonymous is that writers do drink, but then so do cobblers, surgeons and street sweepers. Alcoholics are not all creative, sensitive and intelligent, though there is often a self-pitying grandiosity which persuades the boozer that he is uniquely blessed, or cursed, by thin skin.
“But if writers are no more likely to be alcoholics, they will more commonly write about it. And the justifications, evasions and fabulations of the serious drinker find a parallel in the creative act of the writer, whose livelihood depends on the creative reshaping of reality, the juggling of dreams and the generation of alternative realities.
“The challenge for the writer who tries to write while drunk, rather than simply rewarding himself with a drink when the day’s work is done, is that the same chemical relaxation afforded by alcohol quickly destroys any sense of the rhythm of a sentence.”