I haven’t posted on this blog in months. That’s because nearly every time I sit and write something, I have to fight of depression. Rare is the day when I finish anything.
There are two major causes of this. The first is that I continue to be unemployed. I’m not in any danger of being homeless or on the street. My parents are giving me a place to stay as long as I continue to look for work. But the lack of financial independence has contributed to my anxiety. Worse, the more my unemployment drags on, the more it feels like searching for a job is a futile effort. But I press on because there’s nothing else I can do.
Secondly, politics. I will not sugarcoat this in an attempt to be apolitical. If I did , I would be being dishonest, both to myself and to you, my readers, however many of you are left. The election of Donald Trump and his subsequent executive orders have me worried about the future. I worry about my friends who are people of color and LGBT+. I worry about healthcare and whether I’ll be able to afford the psychiatric medication that helps keep my depression in check. And I worry that we may be on the verge of autocracy, as crazy and hyperbolic as that may sound.
Photo from the Donald J Trump resistance
So I’m going to get political, and so is my writing. In fact, two weeks ago I wrote a story and finished it. It takes places in what is either a possible future or an alternate present. In this story, an autocratic America is fighting against a rebellion. This is not the story of the resistance, however. Nor is it a story of soldiers. There are no heroes in this story. It is a story about the general public. It is about political apathy and its consequences. And more than that, it is my new mission statement as a writer. From now on, expect to see more overt political messages in my writing. Not every story of mine will be an allegory or specifically anti-Trump, but my politics will be reflected in what I write. If that bothers you, read something else.
I’m going to do everything I can to publish this story. If I can’t sell it to a magazine, I will publish it here. And then I will keep writing, because this is not just about one story, but the entirety of my art. It’s about using art as a platform to make a change. It’s about not letting my anxieties stop me from writing. And most importantly, it’s about being honest about what I believe.
Time to make science fiction great again.