Turning Over a New Leaf in Your Writing

A Longform Essay on the New Year and Writing

Holly Lyn Walrath
Write Weird

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Photo by Evie Shaffer from Pexels

How Can We Write When the World is on Fire?

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that writing right now is complicated. Well, it’s always been complicated, but in the midst of a global pandemic, it feels deeply different. Like apples and oranges. Or maybe a dumpster fire and a serene lake.

I remember a few years ago I would write with a kind of wild ferocity. Lately, my writing has felt softer. My schedule has been upended with the constant shift from in-person work (poets have day jobs too) to at-home. Before the pandemic, I was a freelance editor. Now I freelance while working a more stable job, partly because of the stress of the pandemic. Oh, and I have a spouse at home now too.

At the beginning of the year, we look back on what has come before us. We reflect on where we’ve been and why. But this feels extremely traumatic and difficult to do in a time when the last two years have felt dystopic and many of us have lost loved ones, jobs, livelihoods, houses, or any number of casualties to the world.

Add onto this the pressure of a creative life. The need to always make new things. The desire to meet goals — to break down barriers. The constant need to throw ourselves at our…

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Holly Lyn Walrath
Write Weird

I'm a writer, editor, publisher, and poet. I write about writing. Find me online at www.hlwalrath.com or on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath!