Dear Writer Friends:
Some of you—a lot of you—are feeling pretty hopeless today. It’s hard to keep going when you feel that way. And I know I’m going to come off as Little Suzy Sunshine here, but trust me, I’m struggling right along with you, desperate to believe each Facebook post and tweet that’s straining so hard for optimism.
Just hear me out.
Many of us awoke today in a world that roundly rejected us yesterday. It’s hard to find the will to keep going, to do anything but tweet our hopelessness. Write? Pah. Not a chance. How could I possibly expect the muse to show up on a day like this?
Really, all I want to do is curl up under my snuggliest blanket with a plate of cheesy hash browns and Doctor Who or Buffy queued up and ready to go.
It’s that very urge, though, that told me what I needed to do. That helped me find that one little bit of hope to make me get out of bed and face the keyboard today (fortified by cheesy hash browns, of course).
When the world looks dark and grim, when it seems like fear and anger and hatred rule the day, we look for better worlds. Worlds where injustice may reign for a while, but ordinary people with big hearts risk everything to prevail. Worlds where the good guys and girls win. Worlds where a little light shines in the darkness, and if you just have the guts to seek it out, you can find your way back into the sunshine.
When hope is hard to find, we look to those worlds. For comfort, for strength, for escape. For inspiration and courage. And we need them now more than ever. But if our fingers don’t come to the keys, if we don’t put our characters through the paces and make them face the very hard work of making their worlds better, then there’s nothing to comfort or inspire anyone.
So go to it. Get to your stories, and take it one word at a time. Because someday, someone’s going to need to read those words very badly—but they’ll never find them if you don’t write them.