25 July 2012
Encourage Responsibility Through The Arts
Marcy Kennedy posted Are You Brave Enough To Take Responsibility For Your Actions earlier in the week. This sparked no small helping of contemplation on my part. Owning actions requires thought, reflection, and an honest assessment of one's character and choices. I've found some great quotes on the subject. My thoughts rippled out in a number of directions, but an interaction with my son narrowed my focus for this post.
One of my teen aged son's favorite artists released a song confronting the idea of owning your actions, taking control of your future, accepting responsibility for the state of your life, changing destructive behavior and daring to become something better . He shared the video with me; it impacted him - I was intrigued, shocked, stunned, saddened, maybe even uncomfortable - and in some way, encouraged. This video is not for the faint of heart; it graphically points out self-destructive attitudes and actions prevalent in our culture in the harshest of terms. Still, despite my conflicting feelings, I applaud this young man's willingness to confront issues he knows his fans wrestle with on a daily basis. I'm fairly certain his message will not be appreciated by all, and would venture that his stand will earn him no small amount of censure. But with what kids experience in schools and in interactions with peers, a dose of reality - even if delivered in such bold fashion and especially because it is delivered so - may be the antidote to misguided perceptions.
Additionally, it reminded me that words have real and undeniable power. Will I use words to encourage? To inspire deep thought? To evaluate and discuss ideas? To promote responsibility?
Watch if you dare. I've stated my feelings...how does this evocative video affect you? Do you think this young rap artist will reach teens through his daring message? Does his acknowledgement of his own perceived blame influence your reaction? Will his lyrics impact his audience and encourage self-responsibility or will his message be dismissed as inflammatory rhetoric? Do artists, whether writers, rappers, or sporting icons bear a duty to promote self-responsibility through their work, words and actions?
*Warning* This video contains graphic language and may not be suitable for all audiences.
This added to my reflection on the subject as a whole. As authors, we influence. I especially appreciate the great burden Young Adult authors face when crafting stories. While I do not write YA fiction, many fellow ROW80's do. Have you confronted any of these issues in your novels?
For readers dealing with the issues found in Hopsin's video, how best can authors craft characters they can relate to? That will inspire them? Are any ROW80 authors writing in this genre (sub-genre) of YA fiction? If so, would you be willing to share your experiences and struggles in forging a connection with your audience?
Phew! This has been a weighty subject to explore. Comments are welcome; please be respectful.
On Goals And Such...
* Pop That Cork! A Practical Arrangement is finished. I penned the words, 'The End', last night. Woo-Hoo!
* Oh, wait. That means I have no excuse now. The typing begins in earnest. Sigh. I will allow myself two weeks to complete this odious task.
* Exercise was a flop this week. I managed one workout. But I did go to Atlantic City to the beach with my boys, my brother-in-law, and his boys. (The two things have nothing in common, but talking about the beach makes me feel better.)
* My cover designer, Elaina Lee at For The Muse Design, has penciled me in. This is one of the most exciting parts of my job as a writer. I should have a cover to reveal by August 20th.
* Social goals were not met this week. With company visiting, my trip to Atlantic City, and the dog crisis, I checked out for a few days.
* I did cook a delicious dish, although not a new recipe. Spicy Corn Chowder is a favorite in this house, and we had a few days of very cool weather. I didn't mind cooking on those days! The heat is back with a vengeance. It was takeout tonight. Lol.
Posted by Nadja Notariani at 1:30 AM