I just finished reading an article on leadership and responsibility, by Deepak Chopra. Here is the article, so you can read it too - The Conscious Lifestyle. Yes, indeed - this comes from Linked In! This is a social network that I joined years ago, but am only now starting to interact with in a consistent manner. I have joined a limited number of groups there, and follow a limited number of people in what they share through that site.
Although the article itself is on leadership, and the qualities it entails, I think that we can certainly place these thoughts in the world of writing. In general, I doubt that we consider ourselves leaders, but we have to remember that we do influence the people that read our words. We need to be aware of who we are, and what we are saying.
Chopra talks about responsibility as being the mark of a mature, conscious person. As writers, we have to be conscious of the people and things that influence us, and how they are shaping our perception of the world around us. Whatever genre we work in, and whether we are writing fiction or non-fiction, we need to speak from our own beliefs, from how we truly see the world. If in the middle of writing we start to feel uncomfortable, to have questions, we need to stop and see why we are having questions, and how we can resolve them. The work we present to our reading audience needs to be consistent, and to have a strong foundation. people may disagree with us, but they will follow us if we are authentic ... that is, if we are consistently who we are.
Chopra also talks about the responsible person as being willing to take educated risks, to act on those intuitive leaps, and to think outside the box. (If you haven't seen the TED series of videos, you really need to check them out. Here is conscious responsibility to the max!) I like what Chopra has to say about being too cautious,too conservative. He says that these qualities can hold us back from taking those intuitive risks. I agree with him, because I have seen this in my own life. If I let my Cappie nature run away with me, I have a very boring life, and my work shows it!
I am going to stop here, and allow you my readers to read Mr. Chopra's article yourself. It is well worth the few minutes time sent!
As writer's, we have a responsibility to be all that we can be. Part of the process is recognizing that we do have an influence on our reading audience. May we all be consciously responsible!
(c) 2013 Bonnie Cehovet