Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Thought for the Day

or 'Woeful Wednesday: On writing and the futility of existence'

Whatever your personal politics, you can't help but be dismayed as the divisions that are forming around the world at present and the economic consequences of recent democratic decisions.

Like many other creatives, I am sure, I find that my ability to work on creative projects is directly affected by my mood. If I'm distracted by things, I find it hard to settle. If I am worried about things, I find it hard to write anything at all.

Waking up to today's news, that the leader of the free world is to be one President Trump - on top of everything else that is going on in Syria, Russia, and the rest of Europe - my initial reaction was, "What is the point in even turning on the laptop today? How can I contemplate spending my time writing a silly little gamebook based on The Wizard of Oz? The world might end tomorrow. What's the point?"

Now I would never claim that what I do is Art. For example, the other night I was out with friends and heard some incredible tales about their time working in Kuwait around the time of the first Gulf War. One of them said I should write a book about it. Then another asked me what I'm working on at the moment, and even as I was explaining The Wicked Wizard of Oz to them, I felt like what I was doing with my days was insignificant and juvenile, when compared to the woes facing the world.

I don't do Art, I do Entertainment. And that remembrance was the trigger that meant I deleted the self-indulgent tweet I had composed* and sat down to write this blog post instead.

I'm not saying that people should disengage from politics and the world, and live in Airy Fairy Land. Far from it. But if reading a inconsequential little book inspired by The Wizard of Oz improves someone's day in these dark times, if only for a minute, then surely it's worth knuckling down to finish said book.

As I said, I would never claim to create Art, with a capital A, but today, Neil Gaiman's words are going to be my mantra.

* In case you're wondering, it read: I shouldn't do politics on social media, it never ends well, but there doesn't seem much point in working today. #amnotwriting #pointless

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