Several members of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta met last week in Calgary for a discussion with board member Julie Sedivy concerning advocacy. We talked about those people who continue to ask writers and other artists, “Why should the arts be subsidized? Why can’t they be self-sufficient?” and others, including some writers, who have told us they won’t pay to hear an author read from their work, because readings have always been free, and “Isn’t the writer already receiving enough money from the publication of their book?” Why, I wonder, is an author’s “performance” of their work considered to be of less value than that of a musician?
While we need to improve awareness of the arts among the general public, and the lack of adequate funding – not only through government subsidies, but also through less-than-stellar sales and support most books and their authors experience – I am especially worried about the low self-esteem that writers themselves seem to have about what they create. We talked about positive ways of raising that self-esteem, so that all writers, both published and unpublished, may have the opportunity to “put their work out there,” so to speak, and show everyone they are proud to be writers.
So we began the Line-A-Day Campaign (and I have just now coined the name and added the word campaign, because I believe we should make this an Official campaign…) where writers are encouraged to post a line or two of their writing to Facebook and Twitter, either once a day or whenever they feel like it. So, if you have happened to notice that my FB status was sounding a bit cryptic since Tuesday evening, this is why – I’ve been posting the first lines of novels and short stories I’ve written, and noting the title of the piece, as well. My hope is that friends will read, click “like,” and maybe copy and paste (with my name credited), and share so that their friends may read my posts, too. This way, a little taste of what I write will be circulated, and I hope that new readers will eventually become familiar with my name, as a writer, and find their way to what I have written.
I encourage all those who share my passion for writing to do the same: Post a line or two of your writing to Facebook and/or Twitter, cite the title, and give yourself credit for what you have created. Read the line entries of other writers, and share them with your friends. Ask all other writers you know to do the same. Let’s be proud that we’re creators, and congratulate other creators at the same time. For after all, what we create does have value, and the first people who need to realize this point are the creators themselves.
Believe in yourselves, fellow writers, and we hope that the rest of the world will begin to believe in us, and value our work, as well!