I believe in reality, or at least the pursuit of it. The belief is functional in my writing. It’s easy for me to describe things exactly as I see them. Conforming to the expectations of others is difficult.
During my NASCAR career, I always agonized over stories for souvenir programs and the like. Many of my colleagues, I suspect, trotted those types of stories out with ease. When I had to weigh every sentence for acceptability, and for conveying “the right image,” I had a hard time.
Lots of times, when readers comment on social-media posts, I feel like replying, “You see, ma’am, what I wrote was what I thought,” or, “I had no way of knowing what you thought, sir, so I just went with my view.” Occasionally, I actually do reply in such a fashion.
Lots of articles I read mystify ms. For instance, the news often includes stories that strike me as one-sided. They dwell on too much of something in movies, music, TV, etc. There’s allegedly too much drugs, or too much smoking, or too much drinking, or too much violence, or too much sex.
I never understand why the director, for instance, when asked why there is, say, smoking in his movies, doesn’t simply say, “Because people smoke.”
The idea is to depict reality, not affect it. At least I feel that’s my mission.
I don’t begrudge artists the right to be inspirational or to exert a positive impact on society. In general, though, that’s not my niche. It doesn’t come naturally. I try, and sometimes fail, to depict the world as I see it, not the way I want it to be.