Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Now we write


Writing fiction is an act of empathy. It requires us to see the world through the eyes of people other than ourselves.

Writing fiction is an act of imagination. It requires us to see possibilities that do not yet exist.

Writing fiction is an act of dedication. It requires us to have the discipline to see a difficult labor of love through to completion.

Writing fiction requires writers to feel life more deeply. To absorb the world, to soak it in, to wrap one's self in the spectrum of emotions, from the euphoric to the terrifying.

And there are times when the world feels overwhelming. When those empathetic receptors that writers employ to channel the world are overpowered by the fear and by disbelief that our most dystopian imaginations are not as safely confined in the realm of fiction as we would like to believe.

I don't see silver linings right now. I don't see an orderly pendulum that gives me any expectation that this too shall pass in time. I don't see the utility in joining hands with people who will pull us down. I don't see wisdom in trying to make excuses for the misguided and irresponsible.

So what can we do?

We open our eyes to see the world as it really is.

We remember that our strength comes from each other.

We summon our hope.

We summon our courage.

We fight.

And we write.

Art: Blossoming Almond Branch in a Glass with a Book by Vincent van Gogh






25 comments:

Donna OShaughnessy said...

"We fight and we write" Excellent. In times of stress, personal or national, I believe writers have serious responsibilities. Get it done. Get it said.

Serenity Bohon said...

Love this message. So proud to be in the artist community.

abc said...

I've been shifting between shock and anger for most of the day but this got the tears started. When you feel powerless (as I do in a big way today), write. That's what we can do, man. Even a tweet or a Facebook post. And if it is an entire novel that no one reads but your spouse and a few friends, well, do it anyway. Because that's how you live and deal and heal. Sometimes I wish I had the artistic ability to paint a giant picture that captured all my sorrow and angst or was a reflection of what I saw in the world or maybe was just a peek into a beautiful moment, but I don't have that ability. And no one is going to want to hear me sing a song of rage (so I'll blast it when no one's home and sing to the pets), but I can and will write my heart out. Talented or not, published or not, I will do it.

Janet McDonnell said...

Thank you, thank you. You've said so eloquently what I've been feeling. Stay strong, and keep writing.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thank you for this statement. We need to bear witness to these times, and it can take so many forms, including Facebook and blog posts. We need to build connections and find allies for the struggle that lies ahead.

MET said...

Thank you.

Cinthia Ritchie said...

Thanks so much for writing this, Nathan. I especially like this: "I don't see the utility in joining hands with people who will pull us down. I don't see wisdom in trying to make excuses for the misguided and irresponsible."
Cheers and keep up the good fight.

Jan M. Leotti said...

I so needed to hear this today. Between anger and tears, writing has seemed too painful to even attempt. But now that reality is starting to come back into focus, I will be able to find and unravel the words inside my emotions. Thank you for your helpful and cathartic post. Reading each other's words is a way towards healing.

e.m.eden said...

thank you Nathan

Bryan Russell said...

Hear hear.

rebecca said...

Thank you Nathan. Going for a walk outside has left me overthinking and feeling anxious. You are correct- I am finding a little peace in creating.

Donna Ball said...

Nathan, it's been years since I commented here but thank you for this post. Beautiful, honest, eloquent. And perhaps the truest thing I've heard said since...well, ever.

Anonymous said...

He's going to overreach and cause a recession just like Reagan did. And that will turn even many white racist people against him.

2018 will not be kind to him or the GOP.

Kathryn Peterson said...

Thank you a thousand times for this. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

Kathryn Peterson said...

Thank you a thousand times for this. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

Valentina Hepburn said...

Nathan,this is so powerful. Very best wishes from the UK x

Andrea Rand said...

Beautiful post, Nathan. Thank you so much.

Caitlin Lane said...

A really beautiful and inspiring message for right now. Thank you Nathan.

JOHN T. SHEA said...

Donald Trump has been elected president, not king. Both supporters and opponents of Trump overestimate the capacity of any US president to get things, ANYTHING, good, bad or indifferent, done. Gridlock is the standard default mode of US governance. It's DESIGNED that way. Donald Trump cannot rely on the GOP controlled legislatures as much as people think, and he may have only two years to get his programs through.

Senator John McCain, for example, has easily won a sixth term, no thanks to Trump, who criticized McCain for being captured in North Vietnam. Trump behaves as if he owes nothing to the GOP, but that feeling seems mutual.

Of course I would not rely on gridlock alone to curb political excesses. If Donald Trump, or anyone else, tries to promote racism or other political evils, we should all heed Nathan's powerful and heartfelt call to arms. The pen can indeed be mightier than the sword.

As I finish this comment I see Trump has already backed off trying to abolish the Affordable Care Act, a major turnaround months before he even takes office. I wonder how much of his radical programs will be left when he does take office.

Incidentally, I'm the first commenter to actually mention the Donald's name here!

Camilla Pepin said...

Thank you for this post. I read this aloud to my kid brother who is the son of immigrants and who has been struggling with everything that's been going on. Thank you Nathan.

wendy myers said...

What a great post. Perfectly stated. Thank you.

SL Huang said...

Hi, I found this via Twitter (I’m a SFF author), and thank you for this.

Among other things, some of us in SFF are trying to get an initiative going to use fiction to fight, both thematically and monetarily: http://www.badmenagerie.com/a-call-to-words/ We’d love to get this spreading to other genres as well — as many people in as many genres who want to join in and make it grow. If you like the idea, please feel free to signal boost or reblog it.

And my best wishes to you in all of this. The grief and anger and fear, I’m right there with you.

SL Huang said...

Oops, the link didn't link:

http://www.badmenagerie.com/a-call-to-words/

Damian Teevan said...

Thank you for such inspiring piece. This is what many people needed to hear right now.

Christina Uss said...

Another writer posted this for me to see - thank you. I needed to know I'm not alone. And how the heck to stand and fight.

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