FRIDAY NOTES & NEWS: Is Art Relevant These Days?

By Nancy Kay Clark,
CommuterLit editor & publisher

For the past few weeks I have been toiling away putting the finishing touches on a middle grade story, but I’ve had this growing feeling that my innocent kids’ story is increasingly irrelevant in this politically divisive and war-torn world. 

How should we, as writers, artists and creators, respond to what’s happening all around us? Should our work offer a respite and escape from reality? Or reflect reality? Or advocate for change? Or all of the above?

I have no answers — just questions. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think!

March Break schedule
CommuterLit will be taking March Break (March 14-18) off. 

  1. Now more than ever children need resilience skills and empathy.

  2. My brand requires I offer a respite of satire, gratitude, and humor. My readers look for it when they arrive in the sandbox. Art is woven in the everyday. Violence is art. Joy; art. Life is contained in the now. All we have is now. Mine will reflect the opportunities of gratitude. Now doesn’t last long.
    Violence and war aren’t new nor sporadic. Our curse is the internet and the 24-hour news cycle. It’s pulled the curtain away to reveal the real now. With massive amounts of comments.
    Words matter. Our words help, edify, educate, and at times end wars. Write that book you doubt. There is someone who needs your words as soon as possible.
    Humans herd. We herd to fight our way to the center, so the other guy gets eaten by the hyenas. There’s a lot to write about in that.

  3. Our children’s reality will be like our own; always in flux. Let their imaginations find that gentle spot they can cling to from a story of our capacity as humans for safety and love. Those of us who grew up in the 1950s were constantly reminded we could die any day from the “A-Bomb.” Many of the stories from the Great Depression era, “Little House in the Big Woods”, stories from the WWII era, “The Little White Horse.” And of course “Charlotte’s Web” were staples in schools and libraries. Today’s turmoil will change into different turmoil but write childrens’ stories from the better part of the heart.

  4. Nancy: Is art relevant? Good question. I’ve often asked the same question about my own writing. While I do think it’s important to be able to write in a variety of styles (humour, advocacy, memoir, essays, fiction, etc.) and media (print, radio and television) I find that I don’t like reading my work when I get up on the soapbox – pompous and sanctimonious. Ultimately, all that matters is whether your story is or isn’t well written. Follow your imagination and let readers decide if you’re relevant or not.

  5. Kids still need fantasy worlds to escape too and stories that reflect their dilemmas no matter what they might be. Whether it be life as a refuge. Life in a school with bullies. Being separated from your parents during a war. The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe is just one such story. It’s happening in the Ukraine right now. Kids are sent to safety in another country while their parents stay and fight. Kids need to laugh, to commiserate with each other and learn to be brave. Express what’s in your heart and it will be the right thing to write.

  6. […] Read more answers here (Scroll to the comments section at the bottom of the page). […]

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