Ideology: When Writers Have Axes to Grind

By: Aryanne Ferguson

Does your writing have an ideological base?

For example, you’ve got a beef and you’re going to write about it! You’re characters are going to live it! Consider some of these examples of ideological bases for writing:

  • War: WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.
  • Civil Rights: for women, Blacks, gays, etc.
  • Economic Disparity: the 1%, welfare, homelessness, etc.
  • The Environment: the ozone layer, recycling, any oil spill, etc.
  • Prejudice: race, social class, weight, language, etc.
  • Art: sacrifice dignity and privacy and self-sufficiency to make true art because you need to WRITE (or paint, or blow glass, or sculpt), etc.
  • Relationships: daddy issues, mommy issues, you got 99 problems, etc.

Yes, I know saying “you’ve got a beef” dates me, but it can’t be helped. This article argues that all writing is written from the point of view of a certain ideology. This makes sense to me—is it even possible to write and not influence the world  you created with your own personal experiences, views, and opinions?

For me, that influence is the point of writing in the first place—it’s the reason why I find writing fascinating. I can never live multiple lives, but through reading, I experience the privilege of being privy to the most intimate secrets of another person’s mind. Through the lens of the written word, this is the way another human—who I can never be  no matter how hard I try—perceives the world. Way to go, writers, please remember I’ll always want to read your work.

Reader, do you think it’s worth taking a look at your writing to discover the ideology behind it? If so, some self-exploration may be in your future.

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