Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guest Post: Is Writing a Privilege or Responsibility?

My first guest ever on my wee little blog is Evelyn LaFont. If you dig humor and vampires with a sprinkling of irreverence, you'll love her, as do I.

Writers have a pretty simple purpose in life—to entertain, educate and empower others. We can use words to create fiction or non-fiction in long or short form to accomplish these objectives. We can use tragedy, comedy and romance. We can use or disregard tropes and genres. We can experiment or play it safe. We can do whatever we want, as long as it entertains, educates or empowers.

But words are powerful things, and the ability to manipulate a reader’s intelligence or mood effectively while using them is an important one. Which makes me wonder—is writing a privilege, or a responsibility that should not be shirked?

In my freelance life, I educate consumers and I consider it a pretty important responsibility to do so. I don’t just do it because it helps me make my house payment every month (Hi HSBC!! It’s coming, I swear!) , I do it because consumers need access to educational resources that they can trust.

As a fiction writer, I’m all about the entertainment. Again, this is an area that I want to create an income from, but I think that showing the world some of your talent for free is a good idea and may help them decide to take a chance on your fiction.

That’s one of the reasons I created, an online fictional magazine that takes the point of view that vampires are real, datable and a little bit behind the times as far as women’s liberation is concerned. It’s a fun, humorous monthly e-zine that gives readers a glimpse into the world I created around my series and offers a form of free entertainment, something I love to provide.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether writers ‘owe’ it to readers to share their abilities or not, because chances are good you won’t be able to stop them from trying anyway. Which makes the ability to write a privilege that creates a compulsive need to share or, in short hand—a win/win situation.

Evelyn LaFont is an author and freelance writer with an addiction to Xanax and a predilection for snark. Her debut novella,The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating is a comedy about dating, sexing, and living with vampires and is available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords. She has also developed a monthly e-zine to accompany the series, which can be found at