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Joy today: Writing as service


Photo by Christa Avampato – Little Italy, New York City

This is what it’s all about, you magical, imaginative, creative being. You can create worlds out of thin air. Characters, settings, desires, motivations, losses, victories, love, joy, disappointment, and healing. The full breadth and depth of human emotion lives in you. As a writer, you’re trying to get all of that out of your mind and heart, into your hands, and out into the world so you can connect with others, so we all feel less alone. What a noble, generous, and loving thing to do. Writing is service in its highest, most selfless form.

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Hope and tragedy aren't mutually-exclusive. We're seeing this now across the globe. But I can't just have hope. I have to actively create it. Anger, rage, and grief are powerful tools. Don't bury them. Use them. Here's a post about what I'm doing. Change isn't someone else's job. It's everyone's job. It's my job. We can't just say we're watching the news and crying over the pain and heartache we're seeing. Yes cry, but then get a tissue and get to work. Yes voting is incredibly important but voting isn't enough either. This has to go far beyond politics because our political systems are also broken. We need more on-the-ground community activism. Yesterday, I took more action. I signed up for a policy working group with @campaignzero & made a donation to their work. I signed up for & made a donation to @colorofchange which creates opportunities for online activism to fight racism and advocate for the civil rights of Black people. I went to a webinar hosted by @facinghistory titled Working for Justice, Equity and Civic Agency in Our Schools: A Conversation with @clintsmithiii. Facing History provides resources & training to history educators. The event was fantastic. I made a donation and signed up for more of their events. I also donated to @fndi303. First Nations Development Institute helps native tribes on whose homes we all live—a donation that is long overdue. The 5 largest hotspots for COVID are all tribal lands. New York would be 6th behind all of them. Please don't forget that COVID isn't just a health issue. It's a social and racial justice issue, too. I did all these things right from my home. Some people say they feel powerless in these times. We're not powerless. We're never powerless. But we've got to have the will to use our power. We can't just look away. We have to show up and do something whether that's in-person or online. There are millions of Black people who live this terrifying reality every day and have for centuries. Look at these protesters. So many of them have no safety and no security of any kind in any part of their lives. All they've got is their presence and so that's what they're giving. There's something we can all give.

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