I’ve been copyediting an anthology about self-love and it’s an interesting concept in the middle of our second pandemic winter when everything feels a bit impossible for some of us as we deal with the losses of friends, family, and income.
It makes me think a lot about how do we take care of ourselves when so many of our outlets aren’t there any longer.
How do we remember to take care of ourselves when we worry so much about things beyond our control, about a world that seems to need more and more from us while we’re sometimes barely hanging on?
That’s an especially big question for writers. I’ve had so many students and writers this year tell me that it doesn’t feel like they should be writing now because there’s so much pain and loss in the world.
But the thing is?
That’s exactly when you should. Our stories, even when they are fiction, even when they go unpublished, become a document for our time, they are our outlets and our bits of showing the future what it was like for us.
And the thing is? You want all the stories to be out there. Not just stories written by one demographic. All stories. Your story is part of that too. You get to write your own stories and to hell with people who tell you that you shouldn’t.
Is that what you want to be? During this pandemic stories are even more important. During the times when we confront inequities in our society, stories are even more important.
It’s worth being out there.
During times of great distress, many people turn to storytelling or art or creating because that’s how they get through it, process it, and also how they end up influencing the world towards good.
A couple years ago I wrote a book and I got an email where someone told me that my book had saved their life. That’s hard to get my head around. It wasn’t a big, deep book. It was adventurous.
After another one of my books was published, a teen wrote me that they’d felt desperate and alone and said, “I finally feel like I’ve been seen. It helped so much. So much.”
That wasn’t my intention, but oh my gosh what a gift that kid gave me there
You can’t make a difference unless you give yourself permission to act.
You’ve got this. Go write. Go art. Go sing. Go create. The world needs more beauty and more thought in it. You can be a part of that. Channel your fear into passion. Channel your silence into a pursuit. Be true. Be real. And you’ll end up saving someone.
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