Opinion: The Neglect of Writers

Everyone has a favorite movie? And sometimes it’s hard to choose a favorite, but don’t overthink it. “It’s not like you’re choosing your favorite child,” I’ve heard it said. Take a moment to think about your favorite movie. Who starred as the main character? Who directed it? Who wrote it?

When it comes to award-winning movies such as Moonlight, which won the Oscar for Best Picture. most people can name the actors who starred as the main characters. They might be able to name who directed the movie, but when is asked to name the person who wrote the screenplay for their favorite movie, the answer is: “Uuuuhhh . . .” or “I don’t know.”

Writers, playwrights, and poets have been around since the beginning of recorded time. Unfortunately, these days they are not as popular as they were during the late 1500s and early 1600s when Shakespeare was working. Now, in 2017, everyone is focused on Instagram, Snapchat, upcoming movies starring Chris Pratt, and internet trends. (I will never understand how water bottle flipping is so entertaining.) With all of these new trends, people have forgotten about writers; they have forgotten that their favorite movie or play was written by someone whose name is also there on the list of credits! And as a writer, I feel forgotten, or at least not important, in today’s world.   

Andrew Milward who wrote I was a Revolutionary said, “ I feel like writers, and artists in general, are not appreciated. The United States does not have a culture that encourages people to be artists. We see this in myriad ways. What’s the first thing to be cut from school budgets (funding for the arts). It doesn’t help that we now have a president and and a ruling party who want to do a lot of destructive things for the arts, starting with eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

If nothing is done artists will be forgotten as writers are being forgotten. When I tell people I want to be a writer, a sour look crosses their faces. I hear, “How are you supposed to make a living as a writer?” or “Sweetie, you can do better,” or “There are no jobs for writers in today’s world.” Sometimes they don’t say anything; they just stare. The reason that jobs for writers are dwindling away is: people have lost interest, and instead of sitting down and reading a book they watch videos of a girl on Dr. Phil saying the stupidest phrase, “Catch me outside! How ’bout dat!” Shouldn’t books be engraved in our minds instead of how many Likes we’ve gotten on an Instagram post? Shouldn’t we ignore the pointless things in life such as the Try Not to Laugh Challenge, and instead read Shakespeare or JRR Tolkien? People say they want to help the dissolving arts and literature communities, but they do nothing!

if you want to save literature and the arts, you must do something about it.

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