I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless lately. I think we all have.
So I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and as much writing as I can. The tough thing about writing is that sometimes, even when you desperately want to do it, there are moments it just feels like too much.
That’s something wonderful about stories, though. You’re not the only one who writes them. In those moments you can’t create a story, you can always turn around and dive into someone else’s. For an hour. For a day. For as long as you need to, so you can feel OK again.
We’re all feeling a little hopeless.
But we’re storytellers, and story lovers. We’re addicted to the emotional weight of narratives.
In times like these, we always have something to make us feel hopeful again. Right?
There is hope in every story — even in the darkest tales you can find. Why? Because it’s in darkness that we see light. It’s when we’re feeling trapped and alone that we begin to look around for better things, brighter places, happier times.
So even though I’m feeling like none of this matters right now and that my words aren’t making sense and I shouldn’t even bother, I’m just dropping in to remind you that in your darkest moments, if you’re panicking because you can’t seem to find the light, that means only one thing.
You have to create your own light.
Creating. Now that’s something you can do. Isn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be something good, or even something meaningful. It doesn’t have to be a fully formed idea or something you have to share with everyone you know.
It can just be something you make for no reason other than making things makes you feel whole. Or just makes you feel in general.
Did the four hours I spent messing around in Photoshop last night ultimately accomplish anything of great importance? Absolutely not. But I made something I liked, I let myself spend as much time as I needed to just create something from nothing. It didn’t fix the world’s problems. It didn’t completely turn my mood around.
But for those four hours, I felt. Maybe not hope, maybe not pride or joy, but I felt. Content, maybe. Peaceful.
When all the things around you seem hopeless, tell a story that reminds you hope still exists. It doesn’t matter how or where, what, why. It just matters that you made it and that it made you feel OK temporarily.
There is hope in creation. There is hope in starting something new, in going back to something comforting, even in finishing something you never thought you could.
Hope isn’t gone. You just aren’t finding it in the places you usually do.
Create your own hope. Even if it’s small. Even if it’s dim and doesn’t seem like it reaches too far.
It’s better than nothing.
Anything is better than nothing.
Tell yourself a story. Even if it never reaches beyond your own conscience, at least it’s something. Maybe even something good.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.