“Shout, shout, let it all out! These are the things I can do without!” --Tears for Fears
Remember when popular music wasn’t merely comprised of profane lyrics, misogynistic references and a good beat you could dance to?
Hit songs were actually socially conscious, meaningful, soulful. Many caused listeners to reflect; to ponder; to have a paradigm shift; to act. Decades ago, “art” had a message. It was a medium for social movements and change.
Consider Marvin Gaye, who dared to explore man’s inhumanity toward man in his song “What’s Going On?” Or John Lennon in asking us to “Imagine” a world where there was no greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.
So, what does this have to do with writers?
Glad you asked.
FAST FORWARD TO 2020…
Now, more than ever before, we are living in transformative, historic times. A time to change the status quo. A time to “sound off” and be heard.
Think George Floyd. The Me Too Movement. The pandemonium of a pandemic. Legalization of Cannabis.
For today’s writer there is so much to say; so much to “weigh in” on; so many opportunities to start a global conversation or help end ignorance, injustice and apathy.
Let’s face it: we may not be able to provide “front line rescue” like nurses and doctors in this Corona Virus age; but we can be “heroes” by healing the spirit, providing hope, influencing the masses and allowing others to escape the madness through our stories.
THE CASE FOR SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS WRITING…
Socially conscious writing is a great way to express your beliefs, educate, garner support for important causes and be paid in the process! Not to mention, it has the potential of being a positive reflection on your writing legacy and the body of work that you leave the world.
And I should know. For many years I’ve penned pieces on the lack of quality TV programs for today’s kids; on racism; on education reform; on problems with Black-owned businesses; on arts advocacy. I’ve done it through blog posts, poetry and articles. To the tune of thousands of dollars. You can too.
Use your platform to make money and make a difference.
Don't just write. Right wrongs!
HERE’S HOW TO APPROACH IT:
2. MAKE A LIST OF TOPICS THAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT.
For me that list would include: education reform, racial injustice, the spiritual implications behind the Corona Virus, freedom of speech in the age of social media, elitism, food insecurity.
3. FROM THE LIST, IDENTIFY THE TOPICS THAT ARE CURRENTLY “TRENDING” OR TIMELY.
4. START A JOURNAL TO CAPTURE YOUR PERIODIC IDEAS AND TO BEGIN TO DEVELOP YOUR OUTLINES AND ROUGH DRAFTS.
5. RESEARCH TO INCLUDE THE MOST RECENT STUDIES AND RELEVANT STATS TO SUPPORT YOUR POSITION.
6. HAVE A POSITION. HELLO? (DON’T JUST RANT).
7. IDENTIFY POTENTIAL MARKETS.
8. LATHER. RINSE. REPEAT.
To enhance your efforts, here are a few markets to consider pitching your work:
SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS LIVING
THE BIG ISSUE
VOX FIRST PERSON
A wise man once stated: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” Words to live by.