on Jane Friedman site:
Over the course of the pandemic, many of us struggled as writers, and many of us independent editors and book coaches faced some version of the same question from our clients: Why write a novel when the world is on fire?
It certainly feels like a reasonable question. We don’t spend hours in universes of our own making when a hurricane is bearing down on the city where we live. We don’t occupy ourselves with imaginary conversations with imaginary characters when real people are calling for justice right outside our door. And we don’t spend time daydreaming about plot and character when the house is on fire.
But where do we turn when we’re waiting out the hurricane in the hotel of a distant city?
Where do we turn after the protest has passed, and we’re struggling to make sense of what we witnessed?
Where do we turn when we’re trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of our lives and move on after the house has burned down?
We turn to stories.
Here are three reasons to keep writing, even when the challenges in the world at large feel overwhelming.