NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 10: Coping

“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap.” — Galatians 6:9

I spent yesterday recovering from the long hours at the poll on Tuesday, where we had so, so many people come to cast their ballots. That was inspiring, especially the joy of being able to hand a young man or woman their first ballot, congratulating them and telling them to step into the voting booth. People showed up in good number at my precinct and all but a few were pleasant, courteous and understanding of the crowds and wait. Many thanked us for giving our time to do this. I’m probably going to do it again. I know I’m never going to forget the cheer when I stepped outside at 7AM, looked at the long line already waiting and announced, “The polls are open.”

That was the good. The bad was waking up Wednesday morning sore, headachey and not at all happy with the results. It was hard to write because I felt heartsick and angry. I huddled on the couch, played at my knitting, but when I tried to sit at the keyboard, it was hard and I wandered away several times. In the end, I listened to some music and shut myself off from twitter and the internet because I needed to. As much as I ached with my friends, many of whom have for more reason to be worried at this moment than I do, I needed to start getting my shit together.

There are going to be moments in life when it all hurts and the only thing you feel capable of doing is curling up into a ball and weeping. That’s hard — and we’re not even talking about writing. We’re talking about feeling as if every effort is going to be too much. The pat answer is to say, “It gets better,” but that doesn’t necessarily help when you sitting in the depth of despair.

It can get better. But only if we work at it, and it won’t happen without pain. But we, as writers, have the tools. Our words can inform and inspire others, open minds to new worlds and ideas. They can provide comfort when the world around us seems darkest. None of that will happen, though, if we do not write.

We grieve. We comfort. We get back to our keyboards and we tell our stories because our ideas are the tools to change minds and shape the world. But if we never let them see the light of day, then who do we blame but ourselves?

Word Count Goal: 16,670