On Wednesday, April 30, Maryann Miller posted a reference to the above link on Facebook. Mildly curious and nursing an injured shoulder that restricts activity to almost nothing beyond short stints at the computer, I watched/ listened to the short video. And then I listened again…and again. The words resonated more with my “writer” each time I heard its powerful message.
Part of the video debated the lasting value of the book 1984 by George Orwell—hence the writer in me snapping to attention—and the teacher was clearly frustrated with the current state of our educational system. I asked myself, “Do parallels exist between writing and teaching? Can we speak ‘in defense of teaching’?”
When we write, we often teach life lessons, intentionally or not. Children learn how to treat other children, adults, animals, and so forth. Adults see the results of wrong actions and the worth of
positive relationships. Principles, values, and integrity (or lack thereof) in our characters can make powerful impressions on people who might remain oblivious to the same in other forms of communication. How-to books teach skills and insights missed or unavailable in classrooms. Editing guides can make dry, uninteresting grammar rules come to life—especially when they include examples of traditionally accepted usages. Biographies of successful people can inspire us to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. The list goes on.
Consider our own Dani Greer, a vital team member at Little Pickle Press, a publisher dedicated to creating books and other media to help children grow up to be responsible adults through meaningful exploration of the world they live in.
Note the works of Amanda Litz, author and founder of Traveler’s Trunk Publishing, producer of books designed to encourage acceptance of differences, autonomy, and self-confidence.
Fantasy fiction writer S. K. Randolph’s books, The Condra’s Fire and The Dimensioner’s Revenge, abound with subtle lessons for youngsters and adults alike, woven seamlessly into the fast-paced storylines.
We also examine how we view body image, the terrible toll of eating disorders, and the basis for true self-esteem in Kathryn Craft’s wonderful novel, The Art of Falling.
Do you weave lessons into the fabric of your works? How do you make them an integral part of your story rather than a written rant that might otherwise be delivered from a soapbox? Have you had any feedback from readers regarding what they have learned from your books? Do your stories touch your readers on a level that will leave a lasting impression that transcends time and culture and emotions?
As writers, can we defend teaching?
|Linda Lane and her editing team mentor and encourage writers at all phases of the writing process. To learn more about what they do, please visit them at www.denvereditor.com.|