How to choose what to write about
The world has changed. Does my writing have to change with it?
I used to write a lot of little essays about the weird things in my life like bad traffic or awkward social situations. I also used to write short stories and flash fiction to try to get published and maybe to amuse my friends.
But all that has changed. Life is so much more serious now. Whether It's the pandemic, or climate change, or social unrest, or political division, or now military conflict, the world seems darker and more bleak than ever before.
And as a writer I don’t know how to deal with it. My attitude has changed. I feel like my writing has to matter more. I feel like the only thing worthwhile now is to talk about the heavy topics that have affected us throughout the world. I feel like I need to add my voice to help drive change in this world.
But what do I say? How do I talk about it? I mean, there is already so much out there. And with so many other people already contributing - people more impacted or far more knowledgeable that I am - what could I possibly add to the conversation?
So then I wonder, maybe people are just getting over-exposed to it all. Are people tired of all the arguing and rhetoric and ranting? Are people exhausted from the tension they feel every day and maybe what they really need to just escape it all for a while?
So maybe the best thing I can do is continue to write my fluffy, meaningless pieces to help people find a distraction from the day's problems.
But how do I do that when I'm having the same struggles? I don’t feel like writing about it anymore anyway. Besides, how can I write about crappy traffic when I work from home now. And social situations? That's pretty much been banned since the pandemic.
So do I just give up? Perhaps I should stop writing because what difference does it make anyway?
But I know that's not right. Communication is the glue that keeps our society together. Writing is how we share and feel connected to one another. And even though we have differences, we need to be more connected than ever. It might be the only way we can get through this.
So maybe that's it. Maybe the answer isn't what you write about, it that you keep writing regardless of the topic. Whether you write about the new Batman movie, or the crisis in Ukraine or how to raise your kids or the failings of our democracy. You need to live, write and share. That's the only way we can get through all of this together.
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