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A Love Letter to COVID Authors
I know you didn't choose this.
Dear COVID author,
I know you didn’t choose this.
Some days, I think the world needs words most when it is
a terrifying place to be, and of course it does.
But the pressure to be the one with the words—
it’s hard and heavy, isn’t it? The weight?
I’ve been thinking of you for a while, because being an author is one thing.
Being a COVID author, it’s another experience altogether.
I hope you know you don’t have to be a certain kind of writer.
I wonder what part of the journey you’re on—
Did your deadlines get pushed back again, or even closer?
Are you trying to finish a chapter that doesn’t seem to exist inside you?
Have you totally forgotten what the hell a muse is supposed to be?
Are things working surprisingly well, the words coming as gifts when you need them?
This is the unexpected part of it all, the way we share this particular space together.
When COVID first happened, I recognized one thing quickly: we belong to each other.
As writers, authors, artists, creatives.
I realized that when one of us feels out of words, others of us don’t.
I realized that when one of us is too tired to remember how to do this,
someone else says the thing that needs to be said, and we remember.
That’s how words work, after all, how they flow and move and have their being in the world.
So, no matter where you are, I am thinking of you.
I’m thinking of your cancelled book launches,
your pushed-back book tours,
your podcast interviews and instagram live conversations.
I’m thinking of your late nights and early mornings,
your much-needed afternoon naps.
I’m thinking of your tears and your laughter,
and holding gratitude for the people in your life who let you be yourself.
I’m thinking of the coming year, and the coming years, how much the world
will need us and our art, so let us remember this:
Our medicine heals us, too.
We can stop and breathe.
We can re-imagine this life for ourselves.
We can not be okay sometimes.
We can demand answers where we know there are none.
But we can’t give up.
Don’t give up, friend, even if your words feel like
weights in a journal no one will ever see.
Don’t give up on the importance of the career pivot, no matter how hard it is.
Don’t give up on the power of a word in a world that is reeling.
Don’t give up on the power of a story that can change everything.
Don’t give up on yourself, because you matter in this moment and all the moments
I'm thinking of you—of us—and pray the words find us when we are ready for them.