Author Barry Lopez, the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams, in this video from MediaBistro.com  offers some valuable advice to young writers, and gives his thoughts on the upcoming election.
I don’t think I listen very much to what’s going on with the election. The whole thing is kind of terrifying. I’m trying to look out about 10 years ahead of it. Ten years from now, where are we going to be? What I want to do is get the best minds around the table. I want to encourage young, smart, creative people to just do their work—not try to tell them what to do, but to do their work. And my trust is that if you get the best people together, we’ll figure out a government that will work. You know, we’ll figure these other things out.
But, no, I’m anxious about the election like so many other people are, but I don’t, I cannot afford creatively to sit at home and agonize over whether or not Sarah Palin is going to be the Vice President, you know, which is one of the most terrifying thoughts of the 21st century. I can’t get any juice behind it because it’s a distraction. What I want to do is be connected with other women and men who are artists and writers about, OK, so what are we going to do? What’s going to happen here? How can we take care of our people?