As the economic news continues to sour, and the publishing and writing industries continue to struggle, I’ve tried to focus on small bits of kindness, positive notes, and suprises this week.
Ed provided an inexpensive recipe for a hearty corn chowder for writers looking to stretch their food dollars during this difficult time. On first glance, it might not seem like a major blog post. Any of us can look up recipes and corn chowder isn’t that unusual or exotic. But the point is that Ed took the time to share a helpful recipe with his friends and colleagues, which on the heels of a heartfelt post calling for plentitude, serves as a honorable act of kindness. So many blogs these days are full of angst, ennui, and venom. And there’s certainly justification for that. But Ed’s periodic injection of humanity and warmth is a much appreciated bright spot of kindness.
Likewise, blogging agent Nathan Bransford has focused on Positivity Week and Negativity Week in the last several days. During these difficult times, Nathan has pointed out reasons for optimism and happiness. Even his so-called “Negativity Week” is really about how to deal with depressing and difficult subjects in an effective and healthy way. Like Ed, Nathan has been a welcome voice of optimism and humanity.
Finally, as writers, we must keep faith that small surprises do periodically happen. Even though magazines and newspapers are closing, and publishers are trimming back, opportunities do appear at the strangest times to carry you for a few more days or weeks. This week, I got an email from a magazine editor I hadn’t spoken to in almost a year. The editor offered me an assignment that would require a five-day visit to Antigua. The pay won’t be that much, but hell, a trip to Caribbean makes the assignment well worth it.
I don’t share this bit of news to gloat over fellow writers struggling to find outlets for their work. Instead, I share it so you remember that there are breaks in the clouds. If you keep plugging away, and follow those sappy, sentimental platitudes your grandparents used say about keeping your head up, staying positive, and all that stuff, you will find small surprises now and then that can really improve your outlook on the state of writing.