I’m not blind, though I sometimes wish I was. I know what’s going on in the world. I see the fear, the anger, the contempt and depression. My friends and family are fighting with each other, trying to reclaim normalcy that will not truly return anytime soon.
The current realities also hit close to home. I’ve lost work, felt fear for myself and my family, stared at my ceiling in the dead of night wondering what I would do. For some people, it’s too much. Last month, a very close friend of mine had had enough of the daily struggle and took his own life.
Yesterday I was cleaning out the contacts in my phone and came across his number. I couldn’t delete it.
And yet I write. A long time ago, I made a goal to do at least 100 words of creative writing every day. I’m currently up to 150 days in a row and still going.
How do I justify that? It’s not like everything I write is deep or significant or timely. I write stories about monsters and magic and guns that go pew pew. But that’s not all that I write. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done exploring themes of grief, prejudice, courage, and personal accountability.
And what’s so wrong about writing stories that I can escape into? That my readers can escape into? Losing yourself in a good book doesn’t mean giving up on real life. Just like our minds and bodies need a break from hard labor, our hearts and spirits need a break too. A book can be that, for both the writer and the reader.
Two months ago, a good friend of mine experienced a heart-stopping scare. His seven-year-old son was struck by a car and was in the ICU with a collapsed lung and internal bleeding. My friend found himself rotating with his wife between sitting with their youngest boy in the hospital and caring for the rest of their kids at home. I reached out to my friend to see if I could do anything, and he told me something that deeply humbled me.
Just a week before the accident, my friend had received all three Keltin Moore novels in the mail and was beginning to read them. He kept reading them during his son’s stay at the hospital, quietly turning pages as his son slept nearby. My friend told me that my books were an escape for him, a distraction from his fear during those times when there was nothing else to do but sit and wait. He thanked me in a short message. I cried while reading it.
I don’t claim to be the best writer in the world. I don’t think that there is one. But I do believe that throughout our lives, there is the right book for us at the right time. I write so that when that time comes—for me, or for a reader—that book will be ready and available.
As always, thank you to my wonderful patrons for your ongoing support:
Randall Hodgson, Mandy Vincelette, Matthew Paxman, Brenda Hayward, Yoshiyuki Nishikawa, Wil Sisney, Jarred Walton, Joel Stanger, and Kelly Wilbur.
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