Frozen in Time

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Last week I wrote about how 2017 changed my social media habits. This week, I thought I’d talk about how it’s affecting my writing.

First of all, there’s the obvious: how do you write when the world is imploding around you? I’m not going to lie, it’s a struggle to not sit glued to the news and Twitter 24 hours a day, watching the world burn.

But writing is how I make sense of the insensible, how I bring order to the chaos of my world, and hopefully, one day, the world of my readers. It’s how I fight back. So I’ve had to force myself to walk away from social media and write.

But what to write? Pre-January 20th I was working on a nice little contemporary fantasy MG about a kid with superpowers. But after the 20th it just didn’t feel relevant anymore. Not only that, but as another writer pointed out: “how do you write contemporary when you don’t know what contemporary life is anymore?”

Daily life is changing so quickly, and publishing moves so slowly. Who knows what the world will look like in two to three years (the approximate time it takes to get a book published) when three weeks ago we couldn’t have predicted the reality of today? Massive protests at airports. High school walkouts. Women on strike.

Add to this the extra barriers I face as a Canadian, writing for an American audience, already removed from the subjects of my novel, and I just couldn’t…connect.

So I walked away from the superhero book. (Will I come back? Maybe, it depends on how the future plays out.)

Instead I’ve switched over to a fantasy, something that takes place in alternate universe, and a story whose themes are really resonating with my current state of mind.

So that’s where I’m at. It’s been a week and I’m already 10,000 words in, which feels pretty good. What about you? How has 2017 changed your work? Let me know in the comments.

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