There is always an excuse not to write. Not to finish that book you’ve been working on for so long, or pursue that glimmer of a story idea. Not to bother.
Work. Kids. Stress. Fatigue. Fear. Feelings of inadequacy. THE ELECTION. Whatever else is going on in your life, in the world, that makes the act of writing feel futile, or even impossible.
How can you be expected to write when you are so overwhelmed?
Of course, this is exactly when you should write. The world needs your art. You need your art. The most difficult times are also the most important ones for expressing yourself. Write your truth. Write through your pain, your worry, your anger, your fear. Make yourself do it, if only—at first—to distract yourself for a while. Then remember how writing helps you figure things out. How it makes you see things in a new way. Write to help yourself, to help others, to share your feelings with a loved one or with the world. Write to connect. Write to heal. Write to empower. Write to learn. Write, write, write.
Cheryl Strayed recently shared this quote from James Baldwin: “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
Go forth and write, writers. We will try to do the same. Let’s encourage and support each other to keep at it. Share your progress in the comments!