I haven’t been able to write for a while. You may have noticed. Or not. I’ve been in the dark–the dark of winter, the dark of the pandemic, the dark night of the soul.
Winter has come with too little rain or snow, too much cold, too few encounters with my fellow humans. Over three hundred thousand people have died from the pandemic. My husband and I are refusing invitations, trying to be safe, trying to be responsible, though we so want to see our family and friends. The holidays should make it brighter, but this is the first Yule season without my good friend who was killed in the spring.
And I’ve been wondering about writing. Do I even like writing? Writers say they write because they have to. I don’t really have to. Anyway, it doesn’t seem like I have to. Am I really any good at it? Should I even be bothering? I had planned to work hard in November, but more than a week into December I still couldn’t get started. Is it time to just stop?
Still, in the darkness of this season of festivals of light, it’s not so very dark. I’ve sent cards and cookies and gifts, called people, stayed in touch by social media. I’ve gotten through my Buffy the Vampire Slayer binge watch, and it wasn’t as dark as I remembered it. I’ve been working my way through all my gardening books, because it will be spring again some day. There is a vaccine for the virus, and it’s already in use.
And the writing? I get a regular newsletter that has calls for submissions. One of my stories seemed like a good fit for a call. It was ultimately rejected, but had made it all the way to the final round. I got the nicest rejection letter I’ve ever had.That encouraged me to send it out again. Another one of the magazines, published four times a year, uses the same opening line for all the stories in that issue. The February issue’s opening line intrigued me. I wrote a story. I polished it, adjusted it, sent it to a friend for review, polished some more and sent it off. It was fun. I enjoyed the writing and the editing and the submission process. It might get rejected, but maybe, just maybe, I’m not done writing quite yet.
Maybe the darkness is lifting. We’ll see where I stand a week or two after the Solstice. I bet the world will be just a little bit lighter.