Love and calamity in life and writing

NaNoWriMo is going on for another couple of weeks, and although I’m failing miserably at hitting my targets, I am getting something out of the practice of trying to write a novel in a month. It’s not so much coming in the form of honing my craft, or connecting with other writers, but in connecting with something deeper than myself.  And right now, I think that’s a good thing, for any one of us struggling against the weight of what the next four years might feel like.

This snippet came from one of the  Nano encouragement emails I got last week. The author is talking about why suffering is necessary in any good story:

You character didn’t ask to suffer. To be humiliated. To be confused. Lost. Scared. Denied. Kissed passionately. Wait! That part, if it’s in your book, is something your character did want, and it was probably preceded by all of the suffering I just mentioned. Consider it a consolation prize to life. Sometimes, there’s kissing amidst the calamity.

As I watch the world struggle with”calamity,” this small ‘graph helps me reflect on the poignancy of love more than any of the junk I’m reading in my Facebook feed these days.

I’ve been lucky enough to have some “kissing among calamity” in the past week,  so perhaps it makes sense to me only because I’m experiencing the truth of this statement. And maybe that makes my brain mush.

I know it sure is difficult to believe that “love trumps hate” when there is so much hatred out there.  But really, one of the things I love about writing, the act itself, and the creation that results from the process, is that it can transport a person from one set of realities to another. It can make a small impact, change the world, or change your life.

Whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or not, I’d encourage you to check out some of the other great topics at the “pep talks” section here. Not all of them are so warm and fuzzy, but a good read is a good read, and distraction from the mess of our world, however temporary, is always nice.

And perhaps, as Adam Falkner says in the TedTalk I shared in the “change the world” link above,  you will find that your own life and your feelings right now are just what’s needed to change the world and make a mark amid the strife going on these days.


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