Is Writing a Dying Art?
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
When I first started writing, there were a lot of thoughts that went through my head. Thoughts like, am I wasting my time? Will people actually read my story? What will happen if nothing comes of it? There were many, many more, but none were nearly as recurring as this one thought that goes through my head to this day: is writing a dying art? I have gone years with this question being unanswered, until I finally did decide that it was indeed a dying art. Mind you, the reasoning for this answer is not a typical one, but I do find it to be quite true. You see, writing itself cannot die because it is needed in all forms of entertainment. A musician cannot perform a song unless a melody has been written, or the lyrics be put on paper. A movie with unique characters who speak beautiful sentiments and interact with one another cannot be put into motion without a script for the actors to read, or a storyline to follow. Likewise, a TV show cannot be renewed for another season unless the story has been written to be appealing to its audience and sought for renewal. And a book... A wonderful piece of literature can only come to life on the big screen if it is first written with love and care upon the pages of a book.
One might think, how can writing be a dying art with all of these wonderful pieces of entertainment that require it to exist? The answer is simple, without the heart of writing itself, it is nothing but words on a sheet. Too many times I have seen the people of this world applaud progression even as it leaves behind the art of storytelling. Stories used to be filled with heroic characters who inspire those reading it to pursue their dreams. They were men and women of courage and ambition. They would embark on an adventure where they had to face many trials and learn to overcome them, just as they overcame their own temptations and struggles. They had wonderful companions who made us laugh and made us cry. The villains were hated by us for they were truly evil. And when they themselves had once suffered we felt badly for them, but still wished nothing but defeat for their menacing and cruel hearts. We were inspired when we read these stories, we were moved by these stories. And above all, we were encouraged by these stories to push forward and to never give up. The art of storytelling was not just to entertain us, but to give us something to cling to in moments of sadness. They lifted our spirits and gave us hope. But what I loved the most about these wonderful stories, is that they did not die when the book ended. They lived on in our hearts. And though we were only children when we read them, they never left our thoughts even into adulthood, and they would be passed down to our children and then to their children and so on.
What I read now not only disappoints me, but continues to push a narrative that is both political and repetitive. You cannot enjoy a story without some kind of agenda, a point that reminds you of the world we live in now. As an adult who struggles with day to day life, the last thing I want to do is go to a movie or begin a TV show where I am reminded throughout the course of the program of the chaotic society we live in. When I read a book, listen to music, or watch a movie, I am trying to escape this reality and dive into a world that is not my own. That is, afterall, the whole point of entertainment!
But of course, it is not only the plots and the jokes that have been tainted, but also the characters whom we are supposed to emulate and love. I want to see a protagonist who is weak and flawed, who has to face harsh realities and grow into a strong character. I want to see them practice humility and sacrifice, to take on the challenge brought before them bravely, even in the face of evil. I want them to be triumphant in their efforts and though they have suffered, to be strong enough to move forward. This is the art of storytelling that inspires us and brings us joy. But when all I see on the big screen is a cast of bland characters with one dimensional desires, and flaws that are simply accepted because they are "who they are"... I am let down. There is no heart in the writing I see, there is no passion for the story being told. To put it simply, writing has truly become a pit of political waste, lusting for money.
As sad as it may be, the art of storytelling truly is dying and the reason why is simple: it's about money and fame, rather than adventure and inspiration. I wish it weren't true and I wish it would change, but it starts with us first. The entertainment industry is made up of thousands of individuals who put forth minimal energy to make a quick dollar. So, instead of wasting our time and money on lazily written and poorly directed films and TV shows, let's take it back to where it started: classic storytelling. The storytelling where one man or woman put their heart and soul on paper, knowing there was little to earn. They didn't expect fame or wealth, they just wanted to tell a story. A story that inspired its readers to do great things and motivated us to be better people. Without them and their stories, the entertainment industry would not exist.