"I've known rivers: I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers."- Langston Hughes
The world has undergone a cultural shift that has opened the masses to a wider spectrum of art. It wasn't that long when being creative was seen as a disappointment. I remember when I used to walk the halls of a rural Alabama high school, football was and still is life there, and I never seemed to fit in. That was seven years ago, and that once scrawny gamer with zero athletic skills is now a much bigger non-athletic writer. Our society and societal views of today have not only changed me but every writer that has the gull to pick up the pen. The world is changing, and as the new generation of writer, we have to acknowledge that change to help everyone see with clear eyes, the future that is different for us all, and the past that gives us wisdom so that the present can be that much greater. The question is, what makes a millennial writer so darn special?
I'm in the midst of my mid-twenties and as of late, I've been pondering the thought of how culture has impacted my writing, and most importantly, myself. Every day I interact with over four thousand people on Facebook, a thousand on twitter, eight hundred on Instagram, and two thousand or so on LinkedIn. I have other social media accounts but let's stick with what we have here. Social media has routed the world in a highway that could compare to the Rainbow Bridge (Thor, 2011). We are granted access to peak into the lives of politicians, activists, musicians, actors, doctors, web developers, evangelists, and your ever so popular social media stars. This connection allows us to interact and learn from people, who twenty years ago would not have known what a Kickstarter is, that are not in our personal lives. Technological advancements continue to evolve and reshape society. The advantage this plays on being a writer is that we have numerous resources to gain information and inspiration. I've made friends in Africa and South America. These "pen pals" make my writing so much easier, for when I'm researching about any topic for a book, film, or comic they help me in any way they can, especially if it deals with their culture.
As millennials, we are tossed into a fast paced, constantly on the go, society. Everything is given to us in split seconds and then it is gone, at least until someone retweets it. Creative influences strike us like thunderbolts, each one leaving us scarred with a new idea that has the possibility to change lives. I'm a sucker for Kindle and how my digital library grows by the day. Today, everything is either digital or readily available in some way.
To be clear, being a writer in this century has its ups and downs. One of the downs is that it is harder to gain good readership or even to find a literary agent/editor. Everyone can be a "writer" today, all they have to do is start a blog and then not commit. The writing industry is pack with aspiring writers that don't take the craft seriously. It makes it difficult for those that want to become published, those that want to be professional writers. But as for the upside, there are endless venues to explore to fill one's original pallet. I for one enjoy taking pictures of my travels. I use a Canon T3i, a standard filmmaker camera, and it lets me relive those moments. I incorporate these places in my stories, such as in my short story series, Drinks on Me, which focuses on Downtown LA's nightlife. I'm able to see and experience what those around me are going through as I observe my surroundings, and begin the storytelling process. Writing for me is the expression of my faith and the screams that bang on the intangible fabric of my soul.
(Published, September 2016)