I was going to write about how hard it is to start a book in the middle of a pandemic. The work involved, the thought, the focus, when I am feeling everything but focused. The tricks I have to play on myself to sit down and get to work each day. Turned over hourglasses and candles burning and numerous cups of tea. Noise blocking headphones and chocolate rewards. Nevermind the editor voice in my head
hissing about how dumb this idea is and every sentence a block of clunky words to shift around and labor over. Plus, there's the whole Why Are You Even Bothering voice, reminding me that I'm past my prime and the world's gone to shit and why are you so privileged to be a person who can write novels, maybe you should hang it all up and be a florist. Because who even reads books anymore
and how can anyone write while the world is transforming, collapsing? What will stories even look like after? How will we write about crowds or indoor dining or bare faces or in-person school or holiday gatherings ever again without acknowledging our collective trauma?
We can't. Our stories will be different, just as we are different. But I don't want to write about any of this. What I want to write about is hope
because what else do you call the act of beginning something new in a time like this, in any time, really.
It means that you believe that you will make it through, that you still have something left to say, that the world you are creating is worth creating,
even if it is only for you.