Writing in the Midst of it All

Okay, my thoughts here are going to be nothing new and certainly nothing profound. But I’ve had a block in my writing all week (Anyone else? Yeah, I thought so.), and I’m hoping processing it here a bit will free me up to get back to my story. Which needs to happen.

My Facebook feed is filled with posts from other writers, because, well, that’s one of my biggest tribes. And I’m hearing so much the past few days about how we need to write, we need to keep putting out words, we need to give stories to children–stories that help keep their hearts and minds and arms open. And I believe this.

Except, I don’t always believe it. Partially, this is probably because for me, reading has always been more of an escape than anything else. Books do inspire me about writing, but I haven’t ever had that connection so many other people talk about–that a book turns their life around. Okay, wait, no–Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star did have a profound influence on me. But that’s nonfiction, and I was in my forties before I read it.

Also, while I am extremely aware that words won the Presidential election (empty, empty, nothing words, from my pov), I also know that there were wonderful, strong words on the other side, my side, and they didn’t win the election. So, I don’t know…I’m a very inactive person who is realizing she had darned well better find some actions to do, soon, and I’m struggling with believing that my words can do enough.

But…oh, you knew there would be a “but.” I have to write. I believe in self-care, and I know that a me without writing is not a me who’s going to be happy or strong enough to do much else. And, like I said, logically (and usually emotionally), I totally know that words have power.

So here’s what I’m telling myself. I am working on a story these days that has a hero I love. He is not diverse, in any of the ways we often use that word. But I think he is part of a personality population that sometimes, maybe often, does get overlooked, ignored, not understood and not recognized. And if, if, I can tell his story in a way that one day, one child, might actually see themselves in this hero and feel better, then…well, maybe doing that is a part of all this–this active fight that I think we have to take on. So I’m coming back to the commitment I made earlier this year–to write more slowly and write more deeply and paint this true character onto the page. As best I can. Even if, for now, the only one who benefits is me.


  1. Thank you for writing these strong words of truth. I needed them today, because yes, I have been having a hard time getting back to my writing in the face of this week. Reading this post has just made me decide to print out words like yours, create a folder, and keep them close so I can read them again and again — because I have a feeling I will need them again and again.


  2. beckylevine says:

    Beth, thank you! Honestly, they don’t feel totally like strong words, they feel a bit like reaching out and grabbing something as a rationalization. But I do believe it, too, so going with it! ❤


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