Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Creating in a Storm - Strategies

The news on book banning in the U.S.A., including this recent article in Publishers Weekly about a Tennessee bill that would create a politically appointed commission to essential veto any book in any public school in the state feels like a storm.

public domain photo of a dust storm in Spearman Texas in 1935

Not a rainstorm that washes anything clean, but more of a sand storm, or a dust storm like in this photo of a 1935 dust storm in Spearman, Texas. A storm that makes it hard to see. That disorients. 

How do we create in the midst of so much sand/dust/noise? A few strategies come to mind:

1) Shut it out. Lock your doors, seal your windows, and hunker down and do your creative work.

2) Let the knowledge that everyone understands what you're creating has power fuel your creative work. Recognize that the storm has been created because the power of books for kids and teens is undeniable. Books can be life-affirming for marginalized youth. Books can level the playing field, or keep it unjust. Books can define both perceptions and reality -- control over that power is what the storm is all about in the first place. 

3) Put on some protective gear and go out into the storm to help those who need help. That's a metaphor, and each of us will have to figure out what's our protective gear. (Mine seems to be staying off Twitter.)

4) Focus on who you're creating work for in the first place. That's the kids and the teens, the ones who need your book. The ones for whom it will change everything.

Do you have additional strategies? Please share them in comments.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

1 comment:

Avery Fischer Udagawa said...

Nothing to add but I love your four strategies, Lee.