Why The World Needs You To Write

Does the world really need more writers?

Photo by Anete Lusina: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-woman-with-coffee-and-pen-on-terrace-5240849/ 

Sometime last year, I attended a writing workshop held by a prominent online platform designed to compensate writers based on reading time by paid members.

Eager to learn and listen in, I took notes on little tips and tricks on how to write a compelling story, improve my writing style, and gain more readers.

At one point in the session, one of the speakers lightheartedly said (and I paraphrase):

“I mean, does the world really need more writers? No, not really. But, writing is fun, so write anyway!!” 

Spoken with the energy of this emoji: 🤗 🤗 🤗

It didn’t sit well with me.

“Does the world need more writers?”

This question rang in my head as I grappled with my own role in this space.

“Does the world need more writers?”

I reflected on it as I took my evening walks. I thought about my journey ahead at the height of my transition from a corporate cog to a newly empowered writer.

“Does the world need more writers?”

Without a doubt in my mind, I knew the answer in my bones. 

I beg to differ with the person who asked and answered in the first place.

The world needs more writers.

And not more J.K. Rowling types (although her contributions were tremendous, no cap). 

We need more Southeast Asian writers. Those who diversify what it means to be Asian or Asian American. Those who offer other takes outside of places like China, Japan, or Korea. 

We need more Lao writers. Those who understand the pain of leaving behind a country torn by war, to never again be able to call that same place home. Those who were once refugees. Those who carry the generational trauma of living in the diaspora, of finding identity in more than one place.

We need more Black, Latinx, and Indigenous writers. Those unafraid of deprioritizing White feelings when it comes to speaking the truth. 

We need more science-backed writers. Those who distill complicated info to disseminate facts that will help heal the world from this public health crisis.

We need more writers to:

  • Dismantle the status quo on what to normalize, or not, as the case may be

We need more writers to: 

  • Rewrite our own stories that challenge the narratives that Western society drilled into us

We need more writers to:

  • Decentralize European perspectives to help us understand the nuanced facets that shaped history

We need more writers to:

  • Make Hollywood depict new stories never seen before on screen

How peaceful must it feel to stay so unburdened as to believe the world has enough writers to tell those stories… 

Some of us carry the burden of having to tell, discover, and uncover stories that have never been told. Stories that have been historically excluded, burned, lost, or thrown away.

We carry the burden of having to re-write what’s been said about us, re-write what’s possible for us, so that we may make things lighter, better, for those who come behind us.

So does the world need more writers?

Depends on who you ask.

A better question:

Current systems and institutions silence, disempower, and discourage people to write what the world needs to hear the most. How do we dismantle them and who all is responsible?

© Melissa Chanthalangsy 2022

Thanks for reading!

You might also like these pieces by me: 

7 Things I Learned About Writing Online in 2022
And why I started writing on Medium at all.medium.com

If my article helped you, and you’re looking for a way to support me, please don’t hesitate to show me some financial love. ❤️

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