Writing in the era of Trump
It's about time I wrote about Trump.
I never ever thought I'd get political here, but the Trump situation just become too much of an elephant in the room to not address...since it's been affecting so many of the people I work with, their work, and my own.
In a time where children are being snatched from their families as "punishment" for fleeing their own tense and violent home countries, then being forced to PAY to have them returned...you'd really believe we were living in some kind of shocking, but still only fictional dystopia.
We watch movies on TV and read books about things like this happening in the past, and truly believe that nothing of the sort would ever happen in our lifetimes because society has advanced much further then, hasn't it? But then...events happen.
Atrocities occur right in front of our eyes. And unless we take the time to speak up about them, they will only continue, and before we know it we are accomplices in a world that is completely spiralling out of control.
With all of this happening, you can imagine how hard it is to be in your tiny writing bubble, your small sphere of imagination, trying to write about the perhaps lighter, more fun fictional works you once used to do. This is the message I have been receiving over and over from writing friends and clients across the world of late. How does one concentrate...? Does it mean we're turning our backs on what's happening? Do we sacrifice our time and our peace until happier times are upon us?
I want to give a huge shout out to Alice* on my email list who was the first person to email me to express her concerns about this. You inspired this post, honey, so thank you.
If you're one of the people all over the world who are feeling this way, this is for you.
It can feel pretty useless writing about pixies and fairies when a tyrannous orange man is taking over the world...and not even in your story. You care, as you should. And you shouldn't feel bad or guilty about that. This is one time where your hesitation or discomfort isn't coming from creative fear, but deep, primal fear. Fear of simply surviving in the world we're currently inhabiting - even if you don't live in America and aren't affected by any issues yet personally.
I am not American - but to think that issues happening in other countries can't or won't affect your life at some point would be grave ignorance. To ignore Trump at this point is to ignore xenophobia and racism, healthcare disasters and hate crimes, and it doesn't matter who you are, you're allowed to feel some type of way about it.
Writers are citizens of the world as much as any other person - you don't have to be IN politics to be political, or to care about politics.
Don't ever think that someone else's pain is "none of your business".
As a writer, it is especially your business to know what is happening in the world, to have your own opinions about it, to be accepting and to speak for those who can't speak for themselves, and to lift people up, even if that person you manage to do that for is yourself.
Your writing can be an avenue for you to vent your frustrations about the world in an artistic way, because grounding it in your current truth can help to bring back deeper meaning, passion and relevance to your work.
Besides actively getting involved with protests, calling your representatives and speaking up against what you do or do not believe in (if you're in America), writing can be a powerful and authentic form of activism. Your method of educating those that might be in better positions to help, simply by you helping to ignite the spark in others.
We must continue until we can see a way out, a better future, and sense sinks back into the veins of our society. Until then...
The world is truly weirder than fiction.
As a writer, it is especially your business to know what is happening in the world, to have your own opinions about it, to be accepting and to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. Read more >>> http://www.stephanielennox.com/blog/writing-in-the-era-of-trump
Over to you:
Is the current political climate also getting you down? How are you handling it? Let me know in the comment section below.