A Writer’s Responsibilities

Present word count of WIP:  47,402

While each writer is unique and works in a unique setting and situation, we all share certain responsibilities as I see it:

1. We have to do our best to show the truth through our fiction.

2. We have to work at it regularly, hopefully on a daily basis.

3. We have to support our fellow writers.

4. We have to honor our contracts with publishers and agents.

5. We have to recognize when it’s time to take off our writer’s hat and be a mom, a dad, a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a teacher, or a friend.

I could have written a lot more today, but instead I spent my morning working on a Power Point Presentation on Asperger’s that I’ll be giving to a pack of about 20 Cub Scouts. Sure, I could have counted it as writing, but I didn’t. Instead, I took off my writer’s hat to prepare to teach. Why? Because I have a son who’s grown up with Asperger’s Syndrome and I know how important it is for these young 8-10-year-olds to understand better so that they might be more inclusive of those around them they might see as “different.”

Then, this afternoon, as I prepared to put my writing hat back on and make more headway on my WIP, I got a call from a friend–a fellow writer–who needed help with her new WordPress blog. The hat stayed off.

As much as I love writing–and I do–there are things that are more important.

Originally posted 2012-03-19 21:53:40.

Be Sociable, Share!

13 thoughts on “A Writer’s Responsibilities

  1. One point I question. Telling the truth through our fiction. Two thought processes at odds?

    • Good catch. I should have better termed it “Showing” rather than “Telling.” I think I’ll go back in and change it. Yes, the thought processes may appear to be at odds, but they’re not. I’ll go into this in depth in my next post on Friday. Stay tuned!

    • Thanks, Braden. In your case, you also have to take off your writer’s hat for ecclesiastical duties.

  2. I’ve been trying to finish up a WIP for the last few weeks but my family seems to keep distracting me. Thanks for validating that my priorities are in the right order… Mom, wife, friend first, author second.

    • I’m glad I could help. Family always comes first…they’re with you forever. (I’m not sure fiction is, but I’ll save that for another post.)

  3. I’m not sure about taking off the writer hat. Life is so full of inspiration for prose that I don’t want that hat too far away. Of course we need to keep our priorities straight. But while we are living we should be observant and file away those special and or challenging moments for use in our writing whether it be fiction or not.
    Margaret Turley

  4. It’s totally true that the hat sometimes has to come off for the things that are REALLY important. Otherwise we end up with a life out of balance.

  5. So true, Tanya. Sometimes I wish I had more time to wear my “writer” hat, but I’m beyond grateful that I can put on my mother, wife, daughter, friend, etc. hats as well.

  6. I loved that your first point was telling the truth through our fiction. When I taught literature to children, we used fiction stories to illustrate truths. In The Secret Garden, a girl who is kind to a crippled boy, has her own heart healed. I could go on and on and . . . needless to say, my pet peeve is the thief who marries a princess. There are many such examples in today’s offerings, children or adults who break rules, don’t pay the consequences, but have happy endings. These are lies to me. Truth was told when Dr. Zhivago ended the way it did.

  7. Pingback: Responsibility #1 – Truth Through Fiction « Tanya Parker Mills

Comments are closed.