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In the pause: Rise as the whole damn fire—advice on writing, politics, and life

“It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” ~Colette Werden

Our country is in turmoil now no matter where you sit on political spectrum. We go to bed thinking, “I can’t believe that happened today. Thank god we got through that.” And then we wake up to something even wilder than we experienced yesterday. And it’s happening every day. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Writers go through this roller coaster, too, and often. We’re humming along and then we get lost or confused or frustrated. We read something or think of a new idea that makes us believe we have to backtrack and go through the entire story again because this time, this time, we’ll get it right.

Here’s what happening in our country and in our writing: the act of creating is a maddening process. The act of governing, too, is maddening because democracy at its core is a creative act. While creating, we’re going to lose our way. It’s an inevitable part of the journey because while we know where we’ve been we really aren’t sure what comes next. The imagination is that dynamic.

What we can’t do is despair. Even though we may feel lost, our imaginations still work. Our democracy still works., and we often beat ourselves up as the cause.

About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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