ART IS OUR ACTIVISM
Pandemic, death of a friend, wildfires, elections — let nothing stop you in the pursuit of your creative purpose. Art is activism!
In the past few months, like everyone else globally, I’ve been sideswiped by the pandemic. Being isolated from friends, the lack of external entertainment, the fear of death, the fact that the people we usually rely on for emotional support do not have it to give — it’s been trying for all of us.
Then my best friend died, suddenly. Not of COVID, but of natural causes in her horse barn, next to her beloved Arabian. I took in her corgi. Then a few days later, the entire West Coast of the US went up in flames, including the area where we live. I was evacuated with four animals for two weeks (see earlier blog: Diary of a Wildfire Evacuee).
In the middle of all of this, I was preparing to launch my fourth novel, WATER. I’d spent four intense years writing it. I’d revised it six times from start to finish. I’d had my editor look at it in November, revised it again, had her copy edit it in June, and then did another full revision. The night before it was meant to go to the page designer, I realized it needed one more full rewrite, which I did. I’d commissioned the cover. I’d sought out pictures of tarot cards to adorn each chapter. I’d commissioned two, then three book trailers. If you haven’t published before, you have no idea the amount of intense detail that goes on for many months prior to publication. Finishing writing the book is just the beginning.
Why not just postpone the novel launch? It’s a legitimate question. Why not wait until the fires are over, until I am home (unless, of course, my house has burned down, which I didn’t know for a long time during evacuation)? Why not get settled, then publish my novel? My answer: We have no time to wait! It’s now or never. We have to step up.
The sudden evacuation happened just as I was getting ready to upload the book to Amazon, and establish a marketing push to get the book out there.
Even at home, such a task is time-consuming and exhausting. I found myself on an island I didn’t know, evacuated to a cabin without WiFi, sitting in my car with two dogs at an internet cafe, paying people on Fiverr to do all of the work for me. It was a logistical juggling act, and one made even harder by a mind befuddled by wildfires burning down forests, and houses, and communities of animals, plants, and humans.
Why not just postpone the novel launch? It’s a legitimate question. Why not wait until the fires are over, until I am home (unless, of course, my house had burned down, which I didn’t know for a long time during evacuation)? Why not get settled, then publish my novel? My answer: We have no time to wait! It’s now or never. We have to step up.
Writing is my activism. I’m also a visual artist. Art is my activism. It isn’t something you put off. It’s what makes the difference in a world out of balance.
Global warming, rampant depression, higher suicide rates, deaths due to a mishandled pandemic — this is all because our world is out of balance. Our relationship with the earth is out of balance. I address these issues in my novels. My art is not separate from what’s going on in the world. My art is my passionate plea for humanity, and for myself, to wake up and make a difference. My art is my activism.
As a book coach and creativity coach for 20 years, I see how fear has shut down creatives across the globe.
Are you a creative? A writer, artist, dancer, musician, maker? Are you not doing your work because of all of the chaos? You are needed now more than ever. Our creative spirit is an antidote to the destruction. Tired, upset, losing it? Use that in your writing and your art. Step up! We need all creative hands on deck. Now! You are the answer.