Now is the time to write.
In times like these—times when the world seems chaotic and terrifying and there are more questions than answers and when we’re worried, disconnected, or in pain—this is the easiest time to forget about writing. About any creative work. To push it to the side. To tell ourselves there are “more important” things to be doing.
There are, more than likely, other things we need to be doing.
But pushing our creative work aside is a huge mistake.
Now, more than ever, is the time to write.
Take a minute, while you’re reading this and put your hand on the low part of your belly. This is the seat of your creative power—literally where your reproductive organs are. Think about that. From this place—your most creative place—you can invent a brand new human life. It doesn’t get much more powerful than that.
Creativity is how we shape our souls, which are shaping the world we live in.
That place of your deepest creativity—that place inside of you that can be a bit dark and stormy and confusing and hard to look at sometimes—this is where all your potential for human kindness, genius, innovation, connectedness, child-likeness, imagination, curiosity, generosity, neighborliness, and love come from.
The only hope for shifting the tides of hatred, violence and evil—is that.
Now is the time to write.
In writing, you name the things that are wrong. Put words to the evil.
There is something powerful about naming things. Even if you aren’t sure what to do yet, start naming what is happening. Call it what it is. Hatred. Violence. Evil. Bigotry. Start by speaking the truth and you’ll be surprised what opens up.
The way you say things matters.
We don’t change our minds until we change our words.
Writing helps us to process grief.
Write your way through your grief.
Write what breaks your heart. It is only by processing your own grief that you become any good to anyone else. Grief carves us out from the center, cleans out all the garbage, challenges our fragile egos, strips us down to nothing.
Grief unprocessed becomes bitterness, resentment, and unharnessed fury.
Grief processed becomes an unstoppable force of compassion, empathy, and love.
Writing helps us see ourselves and our role in the story.
You don’t think you play a part in the story? You play a part.
When you begin to see yourself—clearly—it hurts. When you see your own privilege and judgement and misunderstanding. You feel it.
If you don’t feel it… the vulnerability, the humility… then you don’t see it.
That’s how you know.
Don’t just try to sweep those big feelings under the rug and move on with your life. Those big feelings mean something. Write them. Write them all down.
It opens you to answers you couldn’t see before.
People say all the time, “We have to stop talking/writing about these things and actually do something!” But people often don’t know what to do until they know what they think and feel.
Until they mine for answers under the surface that were always there but couldn’t be seen before.
This doesn’t happen in one sitting. Or two. Or five.
It happens over months and years and decades of showing up to ourselves, to our words, to the words of friends and even enemies, over and over and over again.
You have to keep doing it.
The harder it gets, the more it matters that you do it.
So what to do when the world seems terrifying and hard and confusing and full of hate? Write. Write your grief. Write your fear. Write your stories. Use your voice. Speak up. Words change things.
Or at the very least, they change us. And things change when we change.