Thursday, 7 January 2016

Writing - Loneliness and is your bias showing?

There is a good deal on the BBC today about loneliness. I believe that they've covered every aspect without coming up with solutions.

Image result for loneliness

When writing characters in your stories there is an opportunity to tackle issues and today it is loneliness. It reminds me of the lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel's I Am A Rock which points to the whole loneliness and being alone issue.

I am alone
in a deep and dark December

First of all being alone is not loneliness, just as being with people is not an antidote to loneliness. I could cheerfully slap all of those clever sods who trot out trite phrases such as 'pull yourself together' - they are just making matters worse. The reason it is not that simple is described in the next verse,

I've built walls,
a fortress steep and mighty,
that none may penetrate

People who are lonely often require to protect themselves and so create barriers, while seeming quite happy and cheerful outside, are in a dark place internally.
There are many reasons why loneliness becomes an issue and may include, relationship breakdown, bereavement, issues at work and many more. The depth of the problem depends on the personality of the sufferer and so the solutions have to be equally varied. 
The song ends with a very powerful verse.

I have my books
and my poetry to protect me,
I am shielded in my armour,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb,
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
A rock feels no pain,
An island never cries.

Paul Simon excelled himself with this song. If you want to hear the song it is at the link below,

Image result for bias

So what of bias in the introduction to this blog?

Well, in all honesty I was watching news reporting on the BBC and became seriously exercised by the obvious bias of one of the political editors. The BBC is supposedly unbiased, which is blatantly not the case, and this guy was seriously sneering at one member of parliament, while being full of respect for a member on the government side of the argument. It then struck me that we are all full of bias in various situations and that bias can seriously influence the tone of your writing. It may be that suits your purpose and that is fine as long as you are aware of the way that you are using your bias in writing.
If you are overtly biased then you could well polarise your readership. There are some situations where your own position will not allow you to avoid using bias, and I'm not saying that you should be untrue to your personal tenets, but to use them to your own benefit. 
Hence my own socialist leanings have influenced some of the works that I have produced, for example 'Grace and Favour', and if that has turned some people off my work, so be it, but I have to live with myself.

God Bless