We talk a lot about the importance of getting the writing done before the world gets in the way. As journalist and author Sigrun Davidsdottir says on this week’s podcast, “These early hours, they are worth gold.” Even if you’re not a morning person (we aren’t).
This week, it has been especially hard to get the writing done before the world gets in. There’s a lot coming at us, all the time. I live in the U.S., where we have had a decades-long problem with gun violence and domestic terrorism, and police violence, and systemic oppression, and climate change. Waking Monday morning to the news from Las Vegas definitely got in my head and heart, already broken wide open because bad things just keep coming. The most I have been able to hope for is 45 minutes right after waking up, when my mind is still foggy and my body slow, because after that, it’s time to start making phone calls to my senators and state governor to ask them what’s your plan? and the world — and the anger and horror and frustration — gets in. And that’s where I am right now.
The world doesn’t need another hot take, but it needs even less people being quiet.
A prayer is not a plan. We know this as writers — you can wish you were writing or think about writing or fantasize about being published, but unless you actually write, none of it does any good. Unless our leaders actually do something, none of their public “thoughts and prayers” do any good. It’s also clear that our leaders won’t do something until we force their hands.
So why was I talking about writing in the morning? Because it’s okay to protect your writing time. Writing makes us — I hope — more empathetic. More connected. More human. So protect your time before the world gets in so you’re ready to meet the world when it does. Protect your voice — so you can use it when its needed.
Some stuff to read
Why Mass Shootings Keep Happening (Esquire)