A Revolution of Voice

What do the Arab Spring, recent protests in Turkey, Egypt and Brazil and the Occupy movement have to do with you as a writer? 

What significance do these revolutionary waves of protests across the globe have to the basics of storytelling in the world?

Writ large on the world stage is the voice of change, the voice of authentic expression, voices that say no to a power structure that would squelch their expression.

Much has been written about the internet’s responsibility for the worldwide revolutions. I liken the internet’s role to that of the printing press. Before the printing press, the power to read, write and hold knowledge were held by a choice few. Afterwards, access to printed material and literacy became global.

With the internet, there is no effective way to stop the flood of information being unleashed. Even when governments create such blocks, still the information flows over and under, like a fast current around rocks. We are reaching a whole new level of literacy, an expansion of knowledge that is changing the world.

I was a journalist for years. I stopped at about the time that the internet became widely used. What I noticed was that prior to the world wide web, I was one of the choice few allowed to tell the stories. My name was in print. My articles and those of my colleagues were seen as important. We were the guardians of the knowledge of our times. I’m glad that I fell off that pedestal. How much more powerful is it that everyone can blog and write and tell the world as they see it. The whole journalism industry has crashed. Like the printing press, the power now goes to the people. How revolutionary! How epic!

So, what came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the internet spark the revolutions, or did we as a global culture experience a shift in our souls, a mass healing that made us ready to open to this mass flow of ideas, and then from that the internet was born? Did the revolution begin in our souls years before the internet even existed? 

What does all of this have to do with being a writer? Power cannot be held by a very few, that was the protest of the Occupy Movement. The Voice of Power should not be held only by the 1%. We all have a right to speak and be heard. Meanwhile, the publishing industry tightens its grip. It’s more difficult for new writers to get published. Penguin and Random House have merged and pundits predict even fewer opportunities for lesser known voices to gain book deals.

But, I have hope. Whether it happens through digital media, e-books, self-publishing, or whether something even more new and fresh comes along, the tide is turning. Too many of us are standing up and demanding to be heard. Doors will fly open. Venues will appear as if out of nowhere. New writers will find their place. The revolution of voice will not be silenced.

I’m a writing coach and offer a free initial consultation, http://www.artofstorytellingonline.com 


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