An interesting thing happened in America on Sunday. Writers – novelists, poets, songwriters, essayists, and artists of every stripe – gathered in cities and towns across the country for “a re-inauguration of our shared commitment to the spirit of compassion, equality, free speech, and the fundamental ideals of democracy.”
The collective movement is called Writers Resist (#writeourdemocracy), and the gatherings encouraged writers to read original works, participate in panel discussions about democracy, and show support for the most important pillar holding up the house of democratic government – free speech. Many of us in this country have taken for granted a right that is, in actuality, far too easy to stifle, as many of our kindred writer souls across the world could have told (and have been telling) us.
Over the past few months here on the blog, we’ve been encouraging writers to keep writing. Write through fear. Write through intimidation. Write through skepticism and malice and threats to our rights. Writing is our superpower.
If the going (or the writing) gets really tough, revisit Kay’s summary and link to feel-better strategies to employ in tough times. Consider joining organizations that fight for the rights of artists at home and abroad. Do something local and ‘in real life’ and with real people. And no matter how you’re feeling or what you’re doing today, go have a look at this video by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, doing beautiful poetic justice to Leonard Cohen’s “Democracy”. It might just give you the inspiration you need to put your own words out into the world.
So consider this your inauguration week reminder: if you are a writer, keep writing. If you are an artist of any kind, keep arting in your own special way. The world needs your art, your words, and your voice.