What do you turn to when the world turns upside down?
For me, weirdly enough, it isn’t art.
Don’t get me wrong, art is the air I breathe —
But when life feels out of control (lately more than usual), I turn to words.
I kind of always have, since I was a teenager. Whenever life would drive me nuts or frustrate me, that’s when I would write.
- Journals (SO many journals)
- Poems (stupid ones)
- Sometimes blogs (more recentlyish)
- Novels (the trilogy I started when I was in college)
My interests always run in cycles (does that ever happen to you? concentration ebbs and flows to different interests?) —
And when life is going particularly well, I can survive without writing for months at a time. That’s when I’ll be gung-ho on art, or social media, for example.
But then some catalyst crashes in and compels me to pull out my laptop and type again.
It doesn’t matter what I write, so long as I put thoughts into semi-coherent sentences.
It isn’t even a conscious decision. Honestly, I didn’t even realize I DID this until last week when I was talking to my parents. I mentioned I was getting into my trilogy again, and they asked why.
I think because, weirdly, it’s comforting.
Somehow, it feels familiar — maybe it’s just because I’ve been doing it for so long, but it feels like a reminder that things tend to turn out all right.
That’s what one of my characters says in my first book. (posting that chapter on Wednesday, actually!)
And it isn’t a half-bad thought, especially these days.
With all the uncertainty flying around and whipping everyone into a frenzy —
With all the nervousness about having kids around full-time, while working from home —
With all the fear and frustration over canceled plans, and hopes that those we love won’t get sick —
There’s so much we can’t control.
But — “We can control what we do,” my character Ari says.
For other people, it might be art.
Or building stuff.
Or exercising (lots of that lately, too).
Or playing music.
Or (and I’m very jealous of these people) cleaning the house or cooking. (￩ I am NOT that person)
What about you?
What can you control in the middle of all this uncontrolableness?