It’s Thursday and I’m gonna skip all the silly shenanigans and get right to the point today.
There are times in our lives when bad things happen. Maybe they aren’t happening directly to us, but what hurts others eventually finds its way to you, directly or indirectly.
I’m not going to moralize or soapbox or throw any kind of political or religious agenda at you today, but I want to talk about why I keep writing even though all this horrible stuff is happening in the world.
France. Syria. Egypt. Lebanon. Iraq. Israel. Tunisia. Pakistan. The United States. Turkey. The list goes on and on and this is just for the last month of attacks labeled “terrorism”. There are always bad things happening in the world, which is a fucking shame, but it is the truth of the society we currently live in.
Closer to home there are protests, riots, murders, horrible sexual assaults and homicides, bigotry, bullying, theft, small problems escalating into large problems. You cannot turn on the news or open a newspaper or go to a news website without seeing atrocity after atrocity being reported upon.
We’re in the most peaceful era in human history. That’s a statistical fact. And yet it is terrifying to live in this era. To know how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go, as a species, as individuals. As a collective breath on this planet that is all we have right now.
And in the midst of all of this pain, all of this fear, this hatred, this confusion, are the people who want it to stop. There’s a lot of us. We’re scared, and angry, and hurt, even if it’s not touching our lives directly yet.
And here I sit, writing. Playing around in fictional worlds while the one I live in seems to get scarier every day. Is it cowardly escapism? Probably a little bit.
But I have to do something, and this is what I know how to do. I know how to communicate and entertain. I know that when I log into Facebook, or Twitter, or Reddit, or turn on the news that I’m going to see someone, somewhere has been hurt.
Why, then, would I ever think about writing when there’s so much pain and anguish out there? Why am I not doing every last thing I can to prevent these atrocities from occurring if they worry me so much?
I don’t know how. We educate, negotiate, regulate, sanction, strip freedoms and privacy for peace of mind; we retaliate, murder, argue, fight. None of it seems to be working and the people in charge of this shit are supposed to be the ones who know how to handle these upsetting problems!
I’m just some idiot from Oklahoma with a story in his head and a wish for things to get better. What I am doing is living my life the way I think will have a positive impact on those around me. I don’t murder or steal or sexually assault or verbally abuse or bully or manipulate. I don’t hate people for any reason. I used to and all it did was make me miserable.
There are too many pains in this world for me to be adding to them. Maybe it’s not enough. Maybe I need to do more. But until I figure that out, this is what I can do.
So I write. And if my stories remind people of the good in the world, or help them take their minds off of all the bad, or even just gets them to think about their own impact on the world, then I think I’m doing right.
So even though there is so much pain in the world, I’m going to write the hell on, because it’s what I can do.