I'm participating in a St. Baldrick's fundraiser for pediatric cancer research through my day job at the cancer awareness program Catch It In Time. St. Baldrick's Foundation raises money to fund research for children's cancer via shave-a-thons where participants gather pledges and subsequently shave their heads (I mean, who doesn't want to see a bald, crazy hobbit-writer, right?).
Great, Emily, but what does this have to do with writing, creating, and this podcast?
Because it's all about changing the world.
Part of the reason I, personally, write is because I hope to help people find representation in fiction. I adore attempting to create more diversity in my writing, and making it a normal thing. For instance, the urban fantasy novel I'm working on right now stars a lesbian, but it's no big deal--her romance arc isn't anything more or less than it would have been if she were straight. Because representation is important. (We're probably going to do a podcast episode on the topic of diversity in fiction at some point, so keep your eyes open.)
I write underdog stories to give people (including myself) hope that the world can change. As much as I gripe about various aspects of society, I am, at the core, an optimist. I strongly believe that things will eventually get better, but we have to start somewhere.
Whether that starting point is fiction or shaving your head to help kids with cancer doesn't matter. What matters is deciding to take that first step.
Art isn't always a revolutionary tool, nor do I think it should be. But it can be useful to get people thinking, or to provide insight into something they might not have considered before.
I try to make the world a better place through my writing (mostly). What do you do to improve the world you live in? If you don't currently do anything, what would you like to start doing (hint: start with a $10 or $20 tax-deductible donation to St. Baldrick's before March 16th in return for a bald Emily)?
Stronger on the inside than the outside, Emily is waiting for the day she can actually become a cyborg. She gets mushy over nerdy things, diversity in fiction, and supporting other 'geek girls.'
Find her at www.emilykaysinger.com or on Twitter @emilyksinger