It’s been a tough few months to be a writer.
Artists in general tend to be on the liberal side. It’s not a coincidence that most of Hollywood – bar a Scott Baio or Mel Gibson – is up in arms over the current Administration. Painters, dancers… anyone who utilizes creativity on a daily basis, anyone whose own empathy is the foundation of their work, generally tends to be progressive.
And so much so for writers.
While there are definitely some well-known voices in fiction that lean conservative, most folks tasked with creating stories and characters out of nothing have an uncanny ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. And that ability usually leads to a liberal outlook.
It’s been a tough few months for me.
Ever since the election, rather than being able to concentrate on the voices in my head that propel my stories forward, I’ve been consumed with consuming news about politics. Nothing’s been good, except the marches, and every day since the election, things have gotten worse.
And I don’t think I’m alone in this. When I scroll through my Twitter feed, I find that most of the writers and publishing professionals I follow are retweeting news articles and commenting on Trump’s latest actions. In fact, the occasional blurb about a new book seems sadly out of place.
Undoubtedly, writers are being inspired by current events. Novels are being plotted and pantsed as I type this, starring intrepid teenagers and women fighting with the resistance against Trump. Stories featuring minorities, refugees, transgender men and women.
These writers are more productive than I am. Over the past few weeks, I’ve done little more than plan my rewrites and rewrite the outline for my fifth novel. My head is so filled with worry about what’s going on that there’s none of the peace I need to create.
I don’t think I’m the only one. I wonder if, two years from now – assuming we still have a recognizable society – there will be a dearth of new books because the people who would have been writing them were spending hours on Facebook, reading, sharing and commenting on articles.
I’m torn between wanting to give myself permission to be as informed as possible even if that takes away hours from my writing time, and wanting to kick myself in the pants and get the work done, regardless.
But it’s a much better position to be in than the refugees from Syria have.
And as for the question I posed as the title for this piece... I don't have an answer.