The Writer in Me - Post Election Edition
by Cindy Layton
I struggled to call myself a writer. I was still learning and making mistakes. My fellow work-shoppers were kind, gentle, encouraging souls who tread gently but the fact remained, I was green.
Even after four years I hadn’t quite embraced the idea. I still struggled to identify myself to others as a writer because I hadn’t had anything officially published.
In the aftermath of the election, I ranted to my grown son about the results, frustrated and angry about the missed opportunity to elect the first woman president and furious that the country chose a man whose beliefs ran so contrary to my own. My son listened and asked “So what do you want to do?”
Until that point I felt powerless. I saw no options for redress. The House, the Senate, the administration would be controlled by people who would never have my interests at heart. I stewed for hours when the solution lay in front of me as plain as day. I was a writer. I should be writing.
I wrote to my senator. I expressed my fears and concerns. I implored her to find a way to embrace the millions of people for whom the election has created upheaval and danger. I asked her to give voice to all of us at this time when leadership seems nowhere to be found.
I wrote a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe expressing my deep anger at the people who created this mess.
As writers are told, reading is the better part of being a writer. So I made a vow to keep myself informed and vigilant by reading widely and often.
I connected with others who, like me, are hurt and afraid of what’s to come. I shared the writing of others and offered bits of hope and wisdom wherever I could find it.
This moment in time provides writers an opportunity. Yes, writing can influence people. Yes, writing might even change people’s minds. But the best writing will shine a light. That’s the kind of writer I aspire to be. So now I am a writer.