Unable to write
You all will have to excuse me this week. You know that I don’t get political, that this isn’t that sort of blog, but my heart is breaking and I am having a great deal of trouble turning off the news.
We knew that Ukraine was going to be attacked. We thought that there might be a possibility that Kyiv would be as well. But what is happening in what has been my home for the past six months and where I’d planned to live for the next three years is just devastating.
Throughout the pandemic, I have been able to shut off horrible news and hide inside my books—worlds of my own creation where I am god, the good guys always win, and love triumphs in the end. I have taken solace in being able to control what I could when the real world was completely out of my control.
Somehow, this situation is different.
I have friends who have not been able to leave the city. I have friends who wouldn’t even think of doing so even if they could. They will sooner take up arms than fall aside while their home is invaded.
And I sit here far from the action (my husband insisted that I leave the country weeks ago), in the safety of my little rented apartment, unable to do anything but watch the news.
I’ve got a book to plot. I’ve got characters to create. I’ve got what I hope will be a fantastic and fun spy novel to write. And it all sits next to me, a messy pile of papers with scattered ideas and the beginnings of character arcs, while I watch reporters put their lives on the line to tell me what’s happening in this crazy, unnecessary war that is only desired by one deranged man so desperate for power that he’s willing to put the lives of his people and the economy of his country on the line.
Never have I not been able to write. Today, I simply cannot.
And so I will do what I need to do. I will follow the advice I have given to many other authors. I will deal with what I need to deal with. I will attempt to look after my own mental health (although, it would be a great deal healthier to turn off the tv and pretend this isn’t happening, I simply cannot). I will show myself some kindness, and give myself the leeway I need.
It’s all right if I don’t plot my book today, it’s not going to go anywhere. I know that I will get back to it as soon as I can. And until then, I will shed a tear or a dozen for Ukraine and get through this. I can only hope that the millions of Ukrainians will do so as well. (I’m not even allowing myself to contemplate what I might return to when we go back to Kyiv… or when that might be.)
I hope, next week, to have a real blog post for you—most likely on “good beginnings”. I will try to rally my thoughts in that direction when I can turn off the news. Stay safe, my friends, and be well.