Yesterday this blog turned 1, and I spent some time working on a lengthy blog post that discussed things like how difficult it was to write in 2016, my hopes for 2017, and so forth. I tried to articulate my concerns about the notion of “post-truth” and advocate for personal writing.
Then the news showed me another horrible thing had happened, and I stopped writing.
This has been a pretty regular thing for me in the past six months or so. (I even wrote about it here.)
If you are a writer, or a creator of things, or maybe even just a human being with compassion, perhaps you understand what I’m saying here. The world feels especially rickety and awful right now, and it’s hard to make sense of much of anything. For me, this sense of paralysis and my general feelings of discomfort about the country and the world leaves me wondering what the point of writing is.
That’s not true. It’s left me wondering what the point of my writing is.
I’ve felt voiceless and stifled. I’ve lost faith in my motivation to write. I constantly question what right I had to say anything, or whether I could say the “right” thing. I doubt my ability to capture my feelings about all that awfulness, and everything I’ve tried to write feels like the most egregious bullshit.
Through it all, I’ve continued to read. I’ve continued to find solace and companionship, new perspectives and new meaning, in things I’ve read. I understand the power of the written word, and I fervently believe in that power.
Yesterday some of the conversations surrounded ableism. On Facebook, Son of Baldwin shared a powerful post, part of which read,
This morning, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) posted a blog post about Carrie Fisher. In it, Jess Lader says,
This reminded me of a website called Attempt Survivors that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. On this page, entitled “Out,” I read through the comments that follow the article. I felt so many feels for those commenters. At the time, I found something within me that wanted to fight for those people, for those who feel they are silenced by their experiences. It reignited, and continues to flame, this passion I have for both personal writing and for mental health and disability advocacy.
I think mostly what I’m doing here is trying to convince myself that my writing matters. I think what I’m saying here is that I hope my writing can make a difference.
Writing feels like a form of resistance. Maybe that’s what I’m saying.
I keep writing more here and deleting it – about the election, about the country, about scary, important topics.
I still don’t know what to say or how to shake this fear. I don’t know for certain what I’m writing for, or IF my writing matters. I don’t really know the point of all of this, other than to just write something and share it because, dammit, I have this blog and I should use it.
So I’ll leave this here, and I’ll keep trying to move past the uncertainty and find my voice again.