Friday, November 18, 2016

Uncertainty and the Writing Life

Writers rarely have job security.  There are always other writers hungry for an assignment, or a spot on the bookstore shelf, or a page in that high-paying anthology.  To get in, writers often have to edge each other out, whether we're aware of it or not.

When change happens in a country's government, a natural disaster befalls a region, or an industry suddenly bottoms out, it can cause ripples that affect everything, even writers' careers/options.  People will buy more (or less) books.  Publishing companies will combine (or fold).  Selling rights overseas becomes more complex.
Often, disabled/neurodivergent people feel turmoil keenly.  Certain government changes could kill (some of) us.  Our evacuation plans for natural disasters can be more complicated.  We are already rooted in contingencies.

It's easier to let our writing careers slide on a "wait and see" because they don't feel vital (excluding those of us who actually pay bills as a wordsmith).  Why worry about writing in the chaos?  Who has the spoons for another worry?

I get it, I do.

But, I contend, writing should be in any plan a writer makes.  Your words matter, especially in uncertainty.  Who will know how things are for you if you won't tell them?  Squeeze in places you can fit yourself and scream, sign in exaggerated gestures, turn up your gorgeous, mechanical voice and curse.

Join writing groups, submit more work, form publishing co-ops with other cripples.  Keep trying to crack any gate locked against us. Amplify each other, support one another.  Don't stop.  Be brave.
We are stronger together.

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