Do writers have a social/philosophical/political responsibility?

Stamp wich represents Sophie Scholl (Personal ...

Stamp wich represents Sophie Scholl (Personal stamp-collection of Gretaz). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been wondering about this question a lot lately.
Can’t remember why it popped up. Probably with reading up on how to be a good writer they sometimes ask the question

Why do you write?


Who do you write for?

When I read these questions I remembered when I started writing poetry some 20 years ago that I always wanted to be at least a socially critical writer. I used to be a very religious person but I have never followed any dogma without questioning it. So some of my more religious poems were quite critical. But I suspect as a teenager you are bound to be ;-).

Some of the authors/poets that I like/d were socially and politically critical like Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Fried or Wolfgang Borchert. But looking at them I realise they are all German-speaking/writing. So might that be an especial German/central European thing?

I think I was also influenced by reading the biographies of Sophie Scholl, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Their example inspired me and I think one of my core believes is that you can not stay aside or keep your mouth shut when something unjust happens. I have spoken up now and then not as often as I wanted to and I have always gotten into trouble and hardly ever achieved anything which did not motivate me a lot :-).

But I also realised that I enjoy reading entertaining literature of any sort. There is an awful lot of fantasy and criminal literature that I have read. I would never have thought about writing “just” something entertaining which I now think is quite arrogant :-).

“There is a time for everything” to quote the bible and not the byrds:
Sometimes you just need to shut your overactive mind up and escape somewhere into a lovely story but sometimes it is good to have a close look at the drawbacks of society/politics/philosophy and stand up and say something.

I am not sure if you can have an overall answer to this question as our writing era is so much more individual than it ever has been. I think being a good writer today means being versatile. Not doing only one thing but being able to write about many things and with different goals. But maybe I am wrong about this.

What do you think?

Oh dear…..


I have neglected this blog shamefully :-(.

But well things have been rough at day job and I just try to figure a way out that I can get all things I want to do done.

Have been reading some blogs about writing which were quite helpful and which are:

Falling for Fiction

Susan Kiernan-Lewis Living a Passionate Life

Writers Write Creative Blog

Nick Daw’s Writing Blog

Claire J Deboer Author & Professional Writer

Kirsten Lamb’s Blog

Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

Seeking the Write Life

So no wonder I have neglected this blog ;-).

I have also read some wonderful books:

First of all the wonderful 1. Book of “The Hunger Games” Trilogy. I was a bit disappointed in the beginning but got through and thoroughly enjoyed the rest.

Then a German Classic “Castle Gripsholm” in the German version. It was written by Kurt Tucholsky a German Author in Nazi Germany who passionately wrote against fascism which of course did not do him well. This story is supposed to be just a little summer story but if you can read between the lines there is so much more.

I have to admit I love children’s books and my partners children made me aware of the gorgeous Warrior Cat’s Series by Erin Hunter. It is just nice to read something “easy” now and then. It gives me the chance to just enjoy.

Blimey I was busy reading. There was also “Luis” from Derek Haines which really gripped me even though I have no idea why. It’s the story about a spy which starts before WW2 and shows his life up to the 1970’s or 80’s. That was really interesting and somehow not at all like James Bond 🙂 (Sorry Derek….).

And then a little book about how to write good poetry but I can’t find the title any more.

Then I got “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini which is really exciting as it gives some insight into the life in a country (Afghanistan) which has been secluded for so long or just in the news for wars.

Well my reading list on the Kindle is still 73 Books full besides “The Kite Runner” and I am still 7 books behind my Goodreads goal for 2012 so I better get off here and get reading…… and writing later on :-).