Why You Should Still Write When Everything Around You Is Going To Hell

Writing is not easy.

It's never been easy. I'm not the kind of writer who springs out of bed, eager to start the day's work. In fact I've only sprung from my bed once, and that was when I thought there was a burglar in my house and the only thing I had to defend myself with was a thirty pound bag of cat litter.

But that's another story.

There's a great hashtag on Twitter at the moment, #WriteYourResistance, and I encourage anyone who has characters who stand up when they're told to sit down or shout when they're told to shut up to check it out. And while those are easily recognizable acts of opposition, equally important are the characters who enact quieter forms - refusing to kick someone who is down, or even helping them up.

It's hard to tear yourself away from the news feed to work on a piece of fiction. Our fake worlds feel paper thin, motivations for people who don't exist hard to come by when a paradigm shift is happening in reality, and there are impactful actionable items on your to-do list that may shape tomorrow.

Those things are important. Go do them.

Then come back to your book.

What I'm working on right now is a humorous paranormal. Yes, you read that right. It's a weird, quirky little thing that no one is ever going to label as important. My characters aren't planting their flags or taking the moral high ground. They're running down spooky eBay listings and wondering if the little bit of plastic fork they accidentally bit off is digestible.

So how can I turn off the reality IV and put my time into something so trite?

Because I might be reading 1984 right now, but last night I watched Romancing the Stone.

For fifteen years I worked in a high school in one of the poorest counties in my state. Some of my students didn't have heat, clean clothes, or food in their stomachs. Those kids weren't reading heavy, message-laden books. Not because they were incapable, but because they know enough about reality.

What they were looking for was escape.

And they found it in books.

So write your book, even now. Write to communicate your message of strength and love. Write for that reader in the future that needs to get away for an hour or two.

Just write.