I reckon one of the most important things you can do is acknowledge the good. The world is kinda shit, actually it can be terrifyingly horrible. I’ve been lucky. I was born here and now, and I have friends and family that love and support me. I have a job at a bookshop where I get to talk about books, and get exercise – lugging boxes of books around is good for the bones.
I have a new book coming out in 2015 (Day Boy, but, of course you knew that), and I’m working on a new Death Works story: Number 5 called the Carnival of Death. I get time to write, I am not always tired, and I can say what I want. I even get people telling me that they like my fiction (which is always a wonder, and is always appreciated – thank you lovely people who like my stories).
Life is pretty good. Sure there’s not so good stuff, but that’s the same for everyone, and it is always liable to change. But I think if you acknowledge the good, what you have not what you don’t, those you love, and those who love you back, well it can only make you value it more. Not jealously, but appreciatively, happily. Life isn’t a dragon’s hoard, it’s a finite series of pleasures and delights and losses and tears – even the bad stuff is finite.
And in acknowledging the good, you can more compassionately regard those who are less fortunate (and it is merely fortune that lands us where we are, even if it is the fortune to work hard, and earn what we have, the fortune to be free of disease, or to possess intellect and ambition, to not be broken by the world, to be able to argue your point of view). It also allows us to value our lives and the lives of others, to realise that we have strength and joy and moments of the sublime.
And, in the valuing, it is harder for these things to be taken away, and it is easier for these things to be shared.
Acknowledge the good, share it with others, and be wary of those that would take it away.
Don’t know if that has much to do with writing, and it certainly isn’t original. But, still, it’s something worth remembering.
Right now, it’s raining, and my old dog Ernie is snuffling behind me, and life is pretty good. Time for a nap.