A lot of bad stuff has been happening in the world. There’s no getting around that. And when the world is tearing people down, it can be hard to find the strength to build back up.
But as authors, that’s what we do. We build. We create.
We create places and people and relationships and ideas and adventures for others to enjoy. We broaden people’s horizons, and take them to places they’ve never been. We make them fall in love, experience fear, feel rage, and sometimes even cry, just from our words. And when the world isn’t safe, we provide a space for people–for children–to go and express themselves. A place to escape. A place to process emotions. A place where hearts and minds can be filled with something different.
That’s so powerful.
Dwelling on all the bad 24/7 is no good to anyone.
I decided to write this post because I realized that the best way I’ve personally found to cope with all the horrific news we’ve had lately is to burrow into fiction. The books and shows I’m reading and watching act as my friends–friends who aren’t going to talk about the latest mass shooting, bombing, murder, or election cycle. We all need an escape at times, to keep ourselves balanced and healthy.
And as I was thinking about this coping method the other day, a thought struck me. I create fiction. People may be using my words to escape and bring some light into their lives. Whoa!
So during these times of darkness, destruction, and loss, as debut authors, I urge us all to continue to create. Create! Write, dream, build someplace for readers to go, and invent characters for readers to love. It’s our superpower. Now is a really good time to use it.
Katie Slivensky’s debut novel (THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY) tells the story of a 13 year-old robotics whiz who is thrilled to be chosen to train for an international mission to Mars, but soon finds herself and her fellow cadets in a situation far more dire and deadly than any of them could have imagined. Publication is set for Summer 2017 with HarperCollins Children’s.
Katie is a science educator at the Museum of Science in Boston, where she coordinates school visits, does live presentations, and runs the rooftop observatory program. She lives in a suburb of Boston with her two completely absurd cats, Galileo and Darwin, and is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette.