why should a writer be expected to be a social commentator?

Why should a writer be expected to be a social commentator?... How can someone who spends her days changing dashes to parentheses and then to commas have the inside track on anything of world-shaking import? Writers are like mushrooms, thriving best in moldy basements, where they are happiest checking facts and doing the cryptic crossword puzzle. Don’t bring them up, blinking, into the merciless light of day, where they will have to reveal their ignorance to people with more money, people who have different kinds of shoes for every kind of sport.

What those well-shod folk don’t recognize about writers is that we write to learn about things, not to teach them to others. We write to find out what it is we’re writing about. You read for the same reason — to find out what it is you’re reading to find out. We’re all just asking questions here, and what questions deserve are answers. Not opinions.

- Susan Glickman, expressing what I think every time I sit through a post-reading Q+A at a Writers' Festival, in her essay "In My Opinion", published over at The Editor's Weekly. You can read the whole thing here. Thanks to the Vehicule Press blog for pointing this out.

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