When you write fiction, you are engaging in the art of empathy. Deep empathy. You wholly step into each character’s psyche and see the world from their perspective. You get into the minds of characters who are like you and characters who are not. Given the events of last week, that ability has never been so important.
When you write fiction, you make sense where there is none. You take existing chaos (or create your own) and then bring order to it bit by bit until, by the end of the story, the world makes sense again. You take the loose threads of an idea and weave them together into a tight technicolor tapestry. You fit together even the smallest pieces of the puzzle until everything is exactly where it needs to be.
When you write fiction, you can write your way through despair and into action. You can include all people in your books, making theOther familiar rather than foreign. Humanizing the Other. Normalizing the Other. Making the Other just like anyone else until there is no such thing as the Other anymore. Until we are All One Tribe.
When you write fiction, you create the world you want to live in, if only in your mind, if only for a while. You escape to that world every time you sit down at the keyboard or take pen to paper. Your readers revel in that same escape with every turn of the page.
That escape feels of utter importance right now. With so many people feeling uncertain and unsafe, giving readers that escape is one of the best things we can do as writers. Reimagine our world as a place that values all lives equally. A world that values kindness. A world that values the truth.
When you write fiction, you can reinstate Hope, fill the world with Light, eradicate Hate with every stroke of your computer keys. You can fight against the normalization of Hate by writing about it with outrage and keeping it abnormal, out of place, and unacceptable.
When you write fiction, you can normalize love, acceptance, diversity, and inclusiveness. Anything is possible. Everything is possible. You can change the world one story at a time, one book at a time, one reader at a time.
One writer at a time.
Jen Meyers is happiest when she’s creating—characters, novels, coloring books, salsa, sweets, sweaters, art, etc. She has worked as a professional actor, singer, and artist (among other things), and she writes fiction because she’s totally in love with making things up for a living. She is the author of the Happily Ever After series, Anywhere, the Intangible series, and co-author of the Untamed series. She also creates totally inappropriate self-affirming sweary coloring books (which make her ridiculously happy). Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @jmeyersbooks or visit www.jmeyersbooks.com for more information about Jen and her books.