I haven't written anything new, except for jotting down some ideas ... but not because I'm suffering from the depression and distraction that attends the Covid crisis for so many of us. I'm not writing new stuff because I'm working on editing older stuff, and saving what I hope are good ideas for November, when I'll aim for another 50,000 words in 30 days, participating in NaNoWriMo yet again.
(In the picture, I'm in my office, resisting, glaring at All That Is Wrong, and being a revolutionary because writing is revolutionary, but still looking forward to a drink on the patio when I've finished by work for the day. Does that beret make my bangs look untidy?)
I'm very blessed to live in a biggish house, with a spacious yard, in a neighborhood with wide enough streets that I can walk the dogs without worry about too-close contact. (I haven't walked 'em for a couple of days, though, because there are fires on the nearby Catalina Mountains, and the air's too smoky for my allergies, and I don't think it'd be good for the dogs, either. I mean, we love the smell of campfire smoke, but we like it much better when it's coming from a campfire, rather than a raging wildfire too encouraged by our summer winds.)
Of the many things that it occurs to me to say about These Times, these past and coming months, what I will say here is that ... I hope that whether you are an ally or need an ally in the great social movements that are currenting through our lives right now, you will write about it. Novelists, story-ists, diarists, poets, everybody who puts pen to paper or fingertips to keys, make time to do that. You may have no choice but to ride this out - but don't overlook the possibilities in writing it out. Your Sunset Boulevard losing-it feelings, your grief, your wrath, your sudden or inexplicable serenity, your certainty that we'll come out the other side to a new and all-ways healthier normal - jot it down, rhyme it up, lite it up and lit(erary) it up. Your movie reviews, book reviews, couch meditations, gratitude for your dogs and cats and goldfish, the hilarity and desperation of homeschooling and caregiving - all that, everything, write it down. If nothing else, it will be historic, and you will be history's ally too.
Writing, your own story or a character's, may well help ground you, too. One of a writer's jobs, some say, is to interpret the great themes of our lives, and whether that's how you'd put it or not, writing helps writers to do that for themselves as well as for their readers. In that sense, writing is a form a self-care. What we're feeling now, about any of the so many things happening, is going to change our perspectives. How that change manifests in our feelings and in our behavior, that's worth writing about. If you're not in crisis, write about your blessings, and let your peace break like dawn over the mountains of catastrophe and contention. Be like the dawn: nevertheless, it persists.