America is being swept under the craziness of the upcoming election. Hillary Cinton is leading the Democrats, and for a great deal of the race, Donald Trump has led the Republicans.

Yet, what raises interest for me is the fact that Trump seems to be encircled with controversy. He has insulted veterans, immigrants, and several other groups.

However, he still seems to be at the forefront of the race. Many Americans claim to like Trump because he isn't a politician, rather he's one of the every day folks. This has raised much discussion over how a millionaire can be one of the everyday people.

Yet, as the race inches closer to election year, it will be interesting to see if this man of the people can keep up this persona. 


After the recent shooting of a broadcast journalist and a photographer there seems to be an increased concern about gun control in the United States. 

The United States has recently seen a pandemic of gun shootings with shootings in theatres, streets, and now on live tv.

The argument over gun control is obviously heated and multifaceted. People can be seen saying that guns don't kill people; humans do. Proponents of gun control claim that guns are being placed in the hands of unstable people. Opponents claim that the killers would merely find another way to inflict damage.

Whatever the truth may be, people seem divided about the solution. People seem to be looking at this topic as an important topic in this upcoming election. 


Feminism is a hot topic in the news lately. With Emma Watson's speech at the United Nations and then her "He for She campaign," and then with the recent video entitled "Why I'm not a Feminist," feminism has become a hot topic.

When this video went viral, people automatically responded showing that her stats were wrong and in outrage to her video. However, at the same time, some people seemed to cheer the video.

This has shown that there is in fact a heated battle about what it means to be a feminist and whether there is a place for feminism within the United States and Canada.

There seems to be a break between what people think feminism is and what it is.

Most feminists claim that feminism is not the extremist approach that people seem to think it is. However, others claim that it is the extremists who define the group. 


In part one, we looked at the hashtag #tenthingsnottosaytoawriter, and discussed one of the problems people seem to have in seeing writing as a legitimate profession.

Another reason, that can be linked to exposure, is ignorance.  Many people assume, rightly or wrongly, that there is nothing to writing - you just sit down with pen, paper and a pot of tea and set to it.

As any writer will immediately tell you, this isn't true.  Whether they are being sarcastic or not will vary depending on a number of factors, which includes how much coffe they have had, but they will all tell you just how wrong you are in your assumptions about the easiness inherent in their chosen profession.

Some people will protest the use of the word 'ignorance', and they're right - it is a harsh and judgemental word to use, but I think its use is warranted.

Take the story I am working on just now, for example. In the past two weeks I have created a list of twenty three books to read which will (I'm hoping) allow me to build the workld of the story in a very general sense.  Only when those books are completed will I think about more specific details, at which point I will do more research.

This is where the ignorance comes in, I think.  To me, reading a book on cults is research - to an outsider who either isn't aware of my story ideas or is and simply thinks I should be writing, reading a book is simply that - reading.  It has nothing to do with work.

This tallies with many of the tweets recorded in the hastag which had words to the effect of 'I wish I had the time to read so much'.  People don't realise that in this particular case, reading is very much work.  Not only that, it is important work if I and other authors want our world building to be the best it can be. 

But to the majority of the public, reading is a leisure activity, not a work one.  And until that changes, writers will continue to be viewed as lazy.


Several weeks ago the hashtag #tenthingsnottosaytoawriter began trending on Twitter, and is still going strong today.

This hashtag, started by an author who wanted to vent after hearing one too many comments from unthinking acquiantances, has grown to encompass all writers, "from celebrity authors to ghosting freelancers and everyone in between" (Sarah McCoy, August 25th), who have taken the opportunity to commiserate and comfort each other in the face of such ignorance from the world at large.

Aside from the numerous authors, freelancers and yes, hobbyists who use Twitter and therefore have had a chance to weigh in with their own opinions on the subject, the hashtag has caught the attention of several mainstream publications, including the Huffington Post and New Republic, all of whom have written articles with their own spin on the hashtag phenomenon.

While these articles and Tweets are mainly funny, they do bring up some interesting points: why is writing so undervalued?  Nobody would ever dream of dismissing a doctor or a lawyer as 'just a doctor', but for some reason, writers and authors aren't worthy of courtesy.

I believe there are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is exposure.  A common theme among people who have only disparaging comments for writers is that they are lazy, don't do any work and say they are writers purely in order to get out of doing a real job, and this might be because writers aren't a common sight for most people.

Writing is generally a solitary process - writers spend their time in front of a stack of books (for research), a stack of notebooks (for notetaking or writing), or a computer (for all of the above), and while they may be in a library or a coffee shop rather than their own house, they are still wrapped up in their own small world where nobody else may walk unless invited.

Because of this, people may not realise what exactly writing is.  By this, I don't mean they don't understand how hard the work is (that is a topic for a different post), but that because, to paraphrase Locke, they don't see the writing process and how it is involved in day to day entertainment, and so they undervalue it.

Think about how much of our lives revolve around writing.  Writing is involved in books, TV programmes, movies, comics, video games, role-playing games, newspapers, magazines, leaflets, adverts, and so much more.  Yet, who gets credit for a movie?  The actors and the director.  Sometimes the writers are mentioned, but this is a rarity.  The writing effort which is involved in making the movie what it is is very often completely forgotten.

This means that people are very often not consciously aware of the impact which writing has on their lives - they don't watch a TV programme and gush about how well written the dialogue was - they talk about the costumes or the way a parrticular scene is shot. Writing is very often hidden away, almost as though it is shameful to let people see it.

This lack of knowledge about the part that writing plays in bringing people the entertainment they consume on a day to day basis is part of what leads people to assume that what writers do is not important or noteworthy, and so why we are told we should get a real job.


With college tuition currently on the rise, many students are now questioning whether obtaining a college education is even worth it any more.

With the recession in the recent past, young adults are concerned with landing a job after graduation. Severl students now say that it isn't worth it to spend thousands and thousands of dollars just to graduate and ge a twelve dollar per hour job that they could have got without a degree.

With debts rising and not much of an increase in salary, a college education doesn't make much finanical sense.

However, people still claim that obtaining a college degree provides its alumni with better opportunities and better job offers. They might not be landing their dream job out of college, but they claim college is still important. 

Other people claim that to get a job in today's market people need to get a master's degree as everybody seems to be getting a bachelor's degree these days.