Being angry about the state of the world and feeling powerless to change it is exhausting.
Doing nothing is not an option, but there are only a few things in this world I think I’m genuinely good at doing. At least when I’m writing I can take what I’m feeling and weave it into a fictional world where my characters have the power to change their world. It makes me feel better and I hope it will help others escape to a world capable of real change too.
The Dreams at its core has always been a story about my anxieties and fears. Some of them are more grounded in the reality of my life experience than others, but over the last year or two more and more of the aspects of that story have been real worries for me. I feel less and less safe in this world as attitudes in my backward hometown become more toxic, or rather the people that have always had hurtful attitudes become bolder.
I had planned on writing The Dreams for this year’s NaNoWriMo since the end of last NaNo, but now I need to write this story again.
I’m terrified and angry and so, so tired of feeling powerless.
This is the story I can dump all of these feelings and shape them into something coherent. Writing is always therapeutic, but not every story is made to store certain feelings.
I’m not good at talking about myself or experiences that have made me who I am. I’ve never been comfortable talking about things I experienced that aren’t neutral or positive because, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been told I’m too sensitive or I have an overactive imagination when I try to share what frightens and angers me personally. I can’t remember a time I was comfortable writing about myself or my life experiences on anything but the most superficial level. Writing autobiographies in elementary school left me a sobbing, panicked mess. I remember trying to explain what was wrong by telling my mom that my life was private. What I meant was that even little-me understood that my truth was not considered acceptable as nonfiction. On the other hand, fiction is the perfect place for me to express myself without being shut down for being overly sensitive or exaggerating. For me, The Dreams is a place where I can store the darkest, most painful things I’m feeling about the way this country treats women and actually process them.
Inbetween can’t help me there. It’s just not the right story for those emotions. I have to hold back my anger while working on Inbetween or I’ll end up burning the story with my rage.
It has to be The Dreams when it comes to this kind of anger.
I’ll work through it and I’ll come out the other side a stronger person.