You know the old saying, “Writers write.” That’s true, but there is more to it.
A lot more.
Allow me to suggest a more honest version, “Writers write, immersing themselves in the work, losing awareness of time while writing and never quite being present when they are away from that writing because they are living mostly in the story, and then, when they are finally done, writers plunge into doubt (“Does it suck? It sucks, right?”) and constant worry that people will misunderstand the work they’ve put their heart and soul into. That’s what it means when writers write.”
Long sentence. Reflective of the process.
And writing is a process that may sound familiar to many. It starts with conception, when a writer and an idea join in blissful love (or at least attraction).
Sometimes nothing comes from this fling, other times the two find themselves bound together through a long gestation period that includes discovery, pain, worry, and, at long last, the joy of seeing their bond made real.
But almost as soon as that joy is experienced, another looms: worry. And like love, worry never leaves. Will this new addition to the world be accepted? Embraced? Successful? Or will the bullies come for blood?
I am feeling that more acutely with the just finished novella A SIMPLE REBELLION. For me, it is a tale told for the love of America, fueled by a belief in the Idea of America, and fired by a fury over the failure of so many of our leaders to actually lead over the last few decades.
But in this highly divisive current culture, I worry that each side will see it as an attack on America. A SIMPLE REBELLION is not an attack, it is a defense of the Idea of America.
But getting that idea across in today’s national environment of brutal accusation and fingerpointing blame, preemptive dismissal, and prepared party line insult is harrowing.
I’ll admit there were even attempts to create an easy visual to communicate that the novella was written in the American Spirit:
Contributing to the National Discussion when it has devolved into an endless screaming match is enough to give an author pause.
However, it is exactly this hateful maelstrom that inspired the writing. The irony that exactly the same antagonistic atmosphere is its biggest hurtle is not lost on me but neither is it enough to stop the launch.
Yes, I’ll worry, all writers do. And yes, we all can guarantee that there are some of each side who, if they see it, will attack.
What else is new in a writer’s life? Writers write. We put our work out into the world. We love and support the writing as best we can.
The rest is up to the readers.
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