“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”
Hugh Grant in Love Actually
My NaNoWriMo post for week two is here a little early.
As it was for many others, this has been a very emotional week. The election has left nearly half of the country feeling abandoned, scared, and let down.
I will openly proclaim that my candidate did not succeed in this race, and I, too, was left feeling lost.
Now, this is not a political rant. I am not here to criticize other’s opinions, or contribute to the deep divide that our country is facing. We are each entitled to an opinion, and the voters have spoken. However, I am human. I am not without my opinion, and in a time like this, I should not step down and silence myself. I am unhappy, yes, but this is time when we should be pouring energy into the support of our diverse communities.
I put a great deal my spare time into this blog to share the product of mine and other’s creativity. I am a writer. I write books, hopefully for a living in the near future, and opinion pieces and articles on storytelling-themed subjects for fun. This month, I have been participating in NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is every month, every day for me. I simply choose to participate in the event because it’s a wonderful practice in discipline and a great way to trigger discussion. It’s a month where hundreds of thousands of youth and professionals alike gather to practice their trade in a community and environment where they feel encouraged to do what they love.
I’ve been going strong, keeping up with the word count whilst also sorting through other professional projects. I’ve been working more in the evenings than in the morning (primarily because much of the novel takes place at night, and the atmosphere definitely helps). I’ve found my groove, and promptly lost it come yesterday evening.
I tried to write a basic conversation between two characters after I knew the race was swaying in it’s concluding direction. I could feel myself getting anxious, and was constantly checking my phone to see what the rest of the world had to say, or how much alcohol my friends had consumed as more and more polls closed. I was so horribly distracted that I had step away from work and focus on the election.
Writing during an emotional time, whether we’re talking trauma on a national or person scale, is difficult. Some thrive on that sort of stress, and others simply do not. I tend to sway toward the former, being a very angry writer myself, but this time was different. Fiction was not cutting it. I felt like I need to run outside and scream, to yell at someone. I took to Twitter with the only intention to read tweets that validated my own feelings. Except, watching part of the country crumble only made me feel worse. Yelling at others wasn’t going to help, and sure as hell wouldn’t be productive
But, somewhere in the midst of the inevitable chaos, something beautiful started to happen. Members of the creative community started to gather and support one another, and I want to discuss why this is important, specifically, to my writing.
Two authors that I greatly respect, G. Willow Wilson and Leigh Bardugo, started sharing stories and art that was pouring in from all sides of the creative community. Messages of love and support, ideas and help were flooding my feed (yes, with bits of political protest and distaste, but we all get our moment of unrest). Most importantly, why we should keep moving forward despite the hatred and fear.
I write because I want to share my work with the world. If I could make one, singular individual smile, despite all of the chaos in the world, I will have done what I was born to do. I use storytelling to convey emotion and as a form of escapism. I use storytelling to reflect my diversity, but also respect and support other’s. I use storytelling to enlighten and educate, just as I read to be enlightened and educated. The arts, whether written or visual, do all of these things and so much more.
I want to finish this book, get it published, and share it with the world knowing that I worked on it during a time when it was most needed. A book, my art, in the midst of the world, could make someone feel joy, and in turn help them feel supported and loved.
Moving forward, I am feeling a flicker of raging passion that is building with each passing hour to keep going, keep working. We all have our part in protecting this nation, and in my own way, this is mine.
This week, I don’t have a list of books or traditional media to share for inspiration. Rather, I encourage you to take to Twitter and read what the community has to say. I’m not talking about belligerent statements of hatred from either side, but read through the thousands of messages of support and love. We all need a little right now.
As my final words to you before I end this post and continue my fictional journey: Be safe, take care of yourself & others, and keep on writing. If you need to talk to someone, my ears, mind, and heart is open to all that need a friend.