Today was a truly terrible day in the United States. A domestic terrorist gunned down innocent concert goers in Las Vegas, murdering at least 58 people and injuring over 500. Let's not mince words. This is just another dark mark on the record of a nation that continues to fight against gun control and be utterly in the pocket of the NRA. It is the worst mass shooting in US history, but after Columbine, after Aurora, after Sandy Hook, after The Pulse -- worst is just another line in the sand. They are all the worst -- and this nation should be ashamed.
So because I am a writer, and because this is a blog about my writing rather than my political leanings, I want to discuss how events like this -- events in the real world -- can alter your writing.
The first thing that must be said about creating any art in this bleak, brutal world, is that sometimes, some days -- you simple cannot. Some days and some events push your mind too far, and there's no way you can find your way back into the world you're trying to create when the one you must live in is so painfully broken.
That's okay. That's reasonable and normal, and I've finally come to realize that it's alright. It's fine to take a break, to read a good book or watch a good movie or hide in your blanket fort. You cannot expect that the real world won't impact your work when you're building a universe from scratch.
But what happens when you are able to work? What happens if you are fueled by the pain and darkness of the real world and the words keep coming? Sometimes, that happens, too.
I had a great writing day, today. I finished revisions on a Middle Grade novel that I've been struggling to finish for a while. I blocked out the real world, stayed off social media, and dove head first into the world that I've created. It was a lot safer there, today. But I don't write in a bubble, and today, I watched tiny rebellions creep into my book. I knew, as I was writing, that I was being compelled and propelled by the day's events, and I embraced the words that came, because it was like a prayer. My fingers were whispering my deepest wishes for healing for this country and spelling them out in a world that looks absolutely nothing like our own.
For me, today, I rebelled through my work. Another day, I may not have the strength. That's okay. It's a long race and all you have to do to win is finish. Be good to yourself, be kind and do good for one another. Stay safe. The world is dark and more frightening that anything I've managed to imagine.