Advice on Writing (and Activism) in Tough Times

Advice on Writing (and Activism) in Tough Times February 27, 2017

I really like what I’ve read of Kameron Hurley’s work; when I met her at ICFA last year, she signed my copy of Geek Feminist Revolution, which I maintain is one of the best books of 2016. So I’m happy to present her advice here.

A "tired but working anyway, dammit" selfie.
A “tired but working anyway, dammit” selfie.

As an academic, I resist oppressive policies by educating about them, and that includes writing. But we all process events differently, and so it helps to have a sense of what we need to do in order to recharge and remain in the activist battles.

This is where Hurley’s piece, How to Keep Writing in Times of Great Upheaval, comes in. Her advice includes things like rationing your news, engaging with a hobby it’s okay to suck at, and do what you can. I especially like her last tidbit of advice:

Rage against the dying of the light. Listen. When I’m feeling REALLY bad, and the dogs are curled up with me in bed and the booze is gone and I don’t want to get up, I remind myself that this is what the bad guys WANT. They want me to hide in bed, to get weary, and most of all: to shut up and stop working. On the very worst days, it is pure, blinding spite that gets me out of bed, because fuck those guys.

Yes. So much yes. I don’t want to state publicly just how much spite keeps me going, but, well, there’s a good amount of it. Go read Hurley’s post, and then buy some of her books, and keep on trucking.


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