Writing Is No Laughing Matter

I posted “The First Commandment of Writing” (Thou shalt not bore thy readers) last year, and it engendered a discussion on the importance of conflict. Several days ago, someone left a comment I thought too important to bury in an old post:

Okay guys it depends on the audience a person is appealing to on whether or not she has the right hooks or not but what do i know i am 14 and was looking stuff up about The Old Man and the Sea and this popped up but seriously, does it even matter? who cares about all this? you actually came publically to discuss this? ha! i find that almost Hilarious.

Ignoring the issues of why Google indexed an obscure comment left on my blog seven months ago, and why the commenter tried to find the antagonist of the Old Man and the Sea on the internet instead of in the book, the comment still surprised me.

What’s more important to discuss than writing?

Politics? Without writers, politicians would be speechless.

Celebrities? Without scripts and scripted sound bytes, they’d be as lumber-tongued as the rest of us.

Social ills and climate changes? Without writing, who would be aware of them?

Movies? Without writers, films would be nothing more than demolition derbies.

Music? Without writers, there would be no song.

The Internet, instant messaging, email? Without the ability to write, none of those would be of any use.

And without writers, there would be no novels, and hence no way to delve into what makes us human beings.

Hilarious? Perhaps. But it does matter.